What is a stutter and a stammer, are they the same and which celebrities suffer from the speech condition?

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FOR a number of people, conversing can be a daily challenge as they have to battle with a stammer in order to talk to other people.

But what exactly is stammering and stuttering and how can it be treated? Here’s all you need to know about the frustrating speech impediment…

 Actress Emily Blunt used to suffer from a stammer as a childReuters Actress Emily Blunt used to suffer from a stammer as a child

What is the difference between a stammer and stutter?

Stuttering and stammering are actually just the same thing, they refer to a relatively common speech problem in childhood which can persist into adulthood.

What is a stammer?

A stammer can present itself in a few ways; it can cause the person to repeat syllables, make words sound much longer or sometimes words can get stuck and not come out at all.

It can vary in its severity in different people, some who are barely affected at all while others can find the condition debilitating.

What causes a stammer?

It’s hard to say what causes children to start stammering but the NHS reassures parents that it won’t be caused by anything they have done.

They explain that the development of speech is complicated and depends on many factors and that problems can occur when parts of this developing system aren’t quite coordinated.

 Tiger Woods has described his experience of stuttering as: “words got lost somewhere between the brain and the mouth”Getty Images Tiger Woods has described his experience of stuttering as: “words got lost somewhere between the brain and the mouth”

As the brain develops these issues can iron themselves out or the brain is able to compensate which is why some people “grow out” of a stammer.

How is a stammer treated?

If you have concerns about your child’s speech development the advice is to speak to your GP.

There are a number of different speech and language therapies for those who struggle with a stammer and each child would have their own tailor made treatment plan.

These could include creating a more relaxed environment to build the child’s confidence and working on the feeling associated with stammering like fear and anxiety.

What celebrities have a stammer?

Gareth Gates

Gareth famously stole the nation’s hearts on Pop Idol as he struggled to get his words out when talking but still managed to sing like an angel.

Tiger Woods

Tiger has spoken out about his struggle with stuttering as a child, he said that the “words got lost somewhere between the brain and the mouth”. He would practise speaking to his pet dog.

Emily Blunt

The Devil Wears Prada and The Young Victoria star Emily Blunt also struggled with a stutter.

One day one of her teachers suggested she try and use different accents to say her lines and she found the practise worked immensely well.


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