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Aphasia is a neurological disorder caused by damage to the portions of the brain that are responsible for language. Primary signs of the disorder include difficulty expressing oneself when speaking, trouble understanding speech, and difficulty with reading and writing. Aphasia is not a disease but a symptom of brain damage. There are over 100,000 Canadians living with aphasia today—a condition that is not well-known or understood.

Stuttering is a speech disorder that usually begins in childhood, in which the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words and phrases, as well as involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which the person who stutters is unable to produce sounds. The prolongation of sounds tends to be on sounds that are normally prolonged briefly, for example, /s/ /sh/, /v/ and /f/. For many people who stutter, repetition is the primary problem. The term stuttering covers a wide range of severity, from barely perceptible difficulties to severe symptoms that effectively prevent the person from talking.

The impact of stuttering on a person’s functioning and emotional state can be severe. This may include fear of saying specific sounds or words and fears of being caught stuttering in a social situation. These fears may lead to self-imposed isolation, anxiety, stress, shame, and being a possible target of bullying (especially in children). People who stutter sometimes use word substitution and rearrange words in a sentence to hide the stuttering. They may experience a feeling of loss of control during speech. Some people believe that stuttering is caused by anxiety, but no such connection has been found, though social anxiety may develop in individuals as a result of their stuttering.

Neurogenic stuttering may occur after a stroke, head trauma, or other type of brain injury. With neurogenic stuttering, the brain has difficulty coordinating the different movements involved in speaking because of signaling problems between the brain and the nerves and muscles.

There is no cure for stuttering. However, there are many fluency-enhancing techniques that can be taught to the person who stutters. The type of techniques that work best varies from person to person, depending on the type of stuttering, the age of the person and the severity of the stuttering.

At SVS-Rehab we are trained to work with people who stutter. For an appointment please call us at 905-302-0998 or contact us by email at

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