Stuttering is a speech disorder that arises in early childhood (between 2 -4 years) and has proven to respond very effectively to treatment. The following describes stuttering, causes, treatment, important facts and natural recovery.
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What is Stuttering?
Stuttering is a speech disorder that can be defined as involuntary interruptions to speech. These interruptions can include:
- Repetitions of sounds – p p p put the milk in the fridge
- Repetition of words – can can can I go outside
- Prolongations of sounds – h——–how old are you?
- Blocks (involuntary stoppages of sounds often at the start of the word)
The nature of a child’s stutter can vary from day to day and between months.
Stuttering is thought to be a physical disorder probably caused by some problem with the neural processing (brain activity) that underlies speech production. Stuttering has a genetic component but the nature of the link is unknown.
- Stuttering arises in childhood.
- Stuttering increases between 2 to 4 years of age. Onset usually begins when the child is starting to put words together and formulate sentences.
- Stuttering is 4 times more prevalent in males than females
- Stuttering is NOT caused by psychological factors
- Stuttering is NOT caused by adverse parenting practices
Early treatment is extremely important. Most effective treatments involve a behavioural treatment approach. Please contact s speech pathologist for treatment advice.
Many children naturally recover from stuttering however it is difficult to determine which children will and won’t naturally recover. Natural recovery is more likely when:
- There is a family history of natural recovery
- Recovery occurs shortly after onset
- Girls are more likely to naturally recover than boys
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The review "What is Stuttering?" was last updated on 18/06/2009.