Titis section relates some of the best-known “facts” about stut tering. These are replicated research findings that pertain to the occurrence and variability of stuttering in the population and in individuals. As we discuss these findings, we will note what they suggest about the nature of stuttering. Thus, as you read the rest of this chapter, you will become increasingly aware of my perspective on the nature and treatment of stuttering.
Much has been made of the “heterogeneity” of stut tering; a number of authors have suggested that stuttering is not one disorder, but m any. Researchers have proposed various ruvisions of the disorder, such as Van Riper’s (1982) four “tracks” of stuttering development and St. Onge’s (1963) triad of speech-phobic, psychogenic, and organic stutterers. My approach is to focus on the majority of people who stut ter- those whose stuttering begins during childhood with out an apparent link to psychological or organic trauma. This most common type of stuttering hasbeen called “devel opmental stuttering;’ because symptoms usually emerge gradually as a child develops, especially during the period of intense speech and language acquisition. I simply call it “stut tering.” In denoting similar fluency problems that are associ ated with psychological problems, brain damage, cognitive impair men t, and cluttering, I refer to their assumed etiology; such as “disfluencies associated with brain damage:’
Note, however, that even with in the group of individuals whose stuttering begins in early childhood during rapid speech and language development, there is a great deal of variability in the behaviors we call stuttering and in how these behaviors change (or don’t) as the child progresses toward persistence or recovery.