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Stuttering: a developmental disorder?

Posted Apr 16 2008 12:00am
Sorry for the few posts over the last weeks. I am currently on a France round trip, and I will be at the Antwerp stuttering conference on Friday and Saturday. I will report on the conference.
Today, I want to talk about stuttering as a developmental disorder. The term is misleading. Let's assume stuttering is caused by genes (as it is in some families), how can you possibly label stuttering a developmental disorder??? After all, the body has developed smoothly according to what the genes instructed! The final results might well show deviations from the normal population that became apparent during the development of the child, but that is hardly a developmental disorder per se? On the other hand, if stuttering is caused by a neurological incident like a virus infection or head injury, the smooth development of the brain according to what the genes instructed has definitely been disrupted, and we can call it a developmental disorder.
People seem to define a developmental disorder, a disorder that becomes apparent when the child is in development. So it is based on symptoms. This way of thinking is highly misleading and confusing.
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