All About Stuttering

What is stuttering?

A disruption in speech fluency which makes it difficult for listeners to understand the message of the speaker.

Specific types of disfluencies:

  • Repetitions - repeating parts of words or whole words
  • Prolongations - stretching sounds for extended periods of time
  • Blocks - silent pauses where a speaker is unable to produce words or initiate speech

What age does stuttering begin?

Stuttering usually starts between 2 and 6 years of age. Some children go through normal periods of disfluency lasting less than 6 months. Periods of disfluencies longer than this may require treatment.


Causes of Stuttering

Possible causes include the following:

  • Family history - Many people who stutter have a family member who also stutters.
  • Brain differences - People who stutter may have small differences in the way their brain works during speech.

You cannot always know which children will continue to stutter, but the following factors may place them at risk:

  • Gender - Boys are more likely to continue stuttering than girls. Data are currently limited to individuals who identify as male or female.
  • Age - when stuttering began. Children who start stuttering at age or later are more likely to continue stuttering.
  • Family recovery patterns - Children with family members who continued to stutter are also more likely to continue.
child with a flower