Stuttering

Stuttering is a disruption to the flow of speech (fluency).

Children who stutter know what they want to say, but have difficulty with the smooth flow of speech. Stuttering may occur at the beginning, the middle or the end of a sentence. Stuttering is very unpredictable, however it may increase when someone is excited, tired, nervous or anxious.

Stuttering affects approximately 30% of children in their preschool years during normal development, particularly when they start putting two words together. Stuttering and intelligence are not linked in any way. A child who stutters is not less intelligent than a child who does not.

There are many different types of stuttering, including:

  • Sound repetitions: repetition of the first sound in a word (s, s, s, so)
  • Syllable repetitions: repetition of the first syllable of a word (pl, pl, please)
  • Whole word repetitions: (tip, tip, tip)
  • Phrase repetitions: (yes please, yes please, yes please, I want that)
  • Pronlongations: (ggggive me the cup)

Children who stutter may also display:

  • Inappropriate pausing
  • Frustration with the effort of talking
  • Physical signs of effort (eye blinking, facial grimacing)
  • Word, situation or talking avoidance

What causes stuttering?

There have many studies carried out to identify the cause of stuttering. Despite research, there are not any specific causes of stuttering, but rather known contributing factors.

  • Stuttering is thought to be a physical disorder, possibly linked to related brain activity and processing.
  • It is not thought to be the result of being tired, excited, nervous and/or from the role of parents.
  • Family history: research indicates that a half of two thirds of people who stutter report having a relative who also stutters.
  • The onset of stuttering can be variable. It may start off mild and then progress over a period of time to a severe stutter. Alternatively, it may occur suddenly, overnight and be severe.
  • Stuttering has a higher prevalence in boys rather than girls. Boys have a lower rate of spontaneous recovery than girls.

If you have questions or concerns about your child, contact us.

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