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Discovery

299 EpisodesProduced by BBC World ServiceWebsite

Explorations in the world of science.

27:00

Science of Stammering

In this edition of Discovery, Erika Wright explores the science of Stammering, a widely misunderstood condition that occurs at the same level in all cultures, countries and languages. There is a window of opportunity in early childhood when stammering begins but is also a time of natural faltering when help may not be required, so therapists and parents have to decide when and whether to intervene.

To add to the complexity many young children who stammer will recover naturally – although the exact number is debated and so therefore, is the incidence of stammering – but it’s universally agreed that to identify those that will persist is critical.

There are clear risk factors for Stammering and Discovery speaks to the professor of speech pathology who has made it a lifelong quest to study the common factors that may place children at risk.

There is news of a new trial using brain stimulation while adults who stutter talk on the beat, to see if word fluency can be enhanced.

And new initiatives in Rwanda and Burkina Faso - to name just two - where volunteers are working to combat the stigma often associated with this problem.

(Photo credit: Dieudonne Nsabimana, co-ordinator, African Stuttering Research Centre)

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