“Wh’s” of Neurogenic Stuttering
“Wh’s” of Neurogenic Stuttering
What is Neurogenic Stuttering?
Neurogenic stuttering is a rare type of fluency disorder. A person with stuttering finds it difficult to maintain smooth speech while performing speech tasks. Neurogenic stuttering usually presents after some injury to the central nervous system. The injuries include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Cerebrovascular Accidents (CVA)/ Stroke
- Tumors/ Neoplasms
- Drug-induced side effects
- Degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, etc.
- Other diseases such as Meningitis etc.
In neurogenic stuttering, the cause of the stuttering is usually known. Many times, the stuttering resolves on its own such as in the case of drug-induced side effects. This happens when the individual stops taking the medications. In many conditions, however, the stuttering can persist.
Who is at risk for Neurogenic Stuttering?
Any individual who experiences the above is at risk for neurogenic stuttering. However, CVA’s and TBI’s are the most common causes. Individuals with neurogenic stuttering usually have typical speech and language skills premorbid. For individuals who had a history of developmental stuttering, neurogenic stuttering can occur due to the above causes. Males are at a higher risk than females. And it can occur at any age. Most of the time, it is seen in adults and older adults.
What are the characteristics of Neurogenic Stuttering?
The causes for neurogenic stuttering are usually known. And the causes are many. That is why the characteristics of stuttering vary among individuals. Here are some of the characteristics that are commonly identified:
- Dysfluencies occur on any subclass of words like content (ex. nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.) as well as on function words (ex. prepositions, conjunctions, pronouns, etc.)
- Excessive revisions and interjections
- Prolongations, repetitions, and blocks occur at all positions of the word unlike the initial word position in developmental stuttering.
- Speaker is generally unaware that they stutter. Stuttering-related anxiety is usually absent. If they are aware, they may present with secondary behaviors.
- Secondary behaviors such as eye blinking, head movements, facial grimaces are usually absent but are present occasionally.
- Adaptation effect is absent i.e. on reading the same passage again, there is no reduction in the frequency of dysfluencies.
Is it easy to diagnose Neurogenic Stuttering?
No, it is not easy to make the diagnosis. Because individuals post CVA’s, TBI’s, etc. present with various other speech and language disorders such as:
- Aphasia: A language disorder where individuals have difficulty in understanding, speaking, and reading/writing skills.
- Dysarthria: A speech disorder where individuals have difficulty in performing speech tasks because of muscle weakness. Individuals may have changes in voice, slow/fast rate of speech, and may sound monotonous or robotic.
- Palilalia: A speech disorder where words or phrases are repeated several times with increasing speed and reduced loudness.
- Apraxia: A speech disorder where individuals have difficulty in planning and making speech sound movements. The speech errors are usually have inaccurate and have poor timing.
Then how is Neurogenic Stuttering diagnosed and treated?
Consult a speech-language pathologist who specializes in fluency disorders. The speech-language pathologist will evaluate the client’s speech. They would also require details like case history, medical history, and any premorbid communication impairments. The diagnosis will usually indicate whether the stuttering is neurogenic. It will also tell if there is another communication impairment that is affecting the client’s fluency.
Your speech-language pathologist will formulate a lesson plan after the evaluation. Your therapist will also make a lesson plan that will include SMART goals. It will also include the strategies and activities that you will use to improve your fluency. Your therapist will counsel and give you a home plan. Your therapist will ask you
The recovery process from a neurologic injury can be slow. This is because such injuries can have long-term changes to the brain. They may also have additional medical issues to add on to. It is important to be patient with your loved ones as they will need all the support from you.
Where can I get help with Neurogenic Stuttering?
A speech-language pathologist is one who can help you with stuttering. At 1SpecialPlace, we provide client-centered customized online therapy to help with your fluency goals. Our speech therapists are highly trained and treat various fluency disorders regularly.
Learn about the Benefits of Teletherapy for Adults with Speech Disorders
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