Childhood Stuttering

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Stuttering is defined as a disruption in the forward flow of speech. It can be common for young children between the ages of 2-6 years to go through short periods of stuttering as they are developing their speech and language skills. If your child has been stuttering for longer than 6 months, there is a family history of stuttering, or your child has other speech and language difficulties, it is recommended to seek early intervention for your child. 

 

Some people have typical disfluencies which may include some of the following:

  • Whole word repetitions (ie. Maybe maybe we can go there)

  • Phrase repetitions (ie. Maybe we maybe we can go there)

  • Interjections (ie. Maybe uhm we can go there)

  • Revisions (ie. Maybe I - we can go there)

 

Then there are atypical disfluencies which are categorized as stutters:

  • Repetitions of first sounds or syllables (ie. I-I-I-I want milk)

  • Prolongations or holding out the sounds (ie. I wwwwwwant milk)

  • Blocks or pauses (ie. I want [pause] milk)

 

Oftentimes, stutter-like disfluencies coexist with secondary behaviors. These may look like small or large body movements, head turns, or eye blinking while your child is stuttering. 

 

Stuttering is not caused by emotional problems, nervousness or shyness. Although it is hard to pinpoint one cause of your child’s stutter it is often one of the following four: genetics, child development, neurophysiology, and family factors. About 5% of children go through a period of stuttering between the ages of 2 and 6 with only about 1% of those children continuing to stutter past age 7. The natural recovery rate of developmental stuttering is around 75-80%.

 

Research proves that early intervention helps and at Twin Cities Speech Therapy we use a variety of approaches to treat stuttering for ages 2-6 years old including the Lidcombe Program, Yarus’ family focused indirect treatment approach, direct treatment approaches, and syllable timed speech.

 

For more information on stuttering we recommend the following resources: