Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You'll probably first discuss stuttering with your child's pediatrician or your family doctor. The doctor may then refer you to a speech and language disorders specialist (speech-language pathologist).

Because appointments can be brief, and there's often a lot of ground to cover, it's a good idea to be well prepared. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and know what to expect from your doctor or speech-language pathologist.

What you can do

Take these steps prior to your appointment:

  • Write down key personal information, such as when your child said his or her first word and when he or she started speaking in sentences. Also, try to recall when you first noticed your child stuttering and if anything makes it better or worse. If you're an adult who stutters, be prepared to discuss how stuttering has affected your life, current problems it may be causing and what treatments you've had in the past.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements that you or your child is taking.
  • Write down questions you'd like to ask the doctor.

Some basic questions to ask may include:

  • What's causing my stuttering or my child's stuttering?
  • What kinds of tests are needed? Do these tests require any special preparation?
  • Is this condition temporary or long lasting?
  • What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
  • Are there any alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?

Don't hesitate to ask questions at any time during your appointment, and ask for clarification if you don't understand something.

What to expect from your doctor or speech-language pathologist

Your doctor or speech-language pathologist is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to discuss further. Your doctor may ask:

  • When did you first notice stuttering?
  • Is stuttering always present, or does it come and go?
  • Does anything seem to improve stuttering?
  • Does anything appear to make it worse?
  • Does anyone in your family have a history of stuttering?
  • What effect has stuttering had on your life or your child's life, such as school or work performance or social interaction?
Sep. 08, 2011