Stuttering symptoms include:
- Difficulty starting a word, sentence or phrase
- Repetition of a sound, syllable or word
The speech difficulties of stuttering may be accompanied by:
- Rapid eye blinks
- Tremors of the lips or jaw
- Tension, tightness or movement of the face or upper body
Stuttering may be worse when you're excited, tired or under stress, or when you feel self-conscious, hurried or pressured. Situations such as speaking in front of a group or talking on the telephone can be particularly difficult for people who stutter.
When to see a doctor
It's common for children between the ages of 2 and 5 to stutter. For most children, this is part of learning to speak, and it gets better on its own. However, stuttering that persists may require treatment to get better.
Call your child's doctor for an appointment if stuttering:
- Lasts more than six months
- Becomes more frequent
- Occurs along with facial tension or tightness
- Occurs with other facial or body movements
- Affects your child's schoolwork or social interactions
- Causes emotional problems, such as fear or avoidance of situations in which your child has to talk
- Continues beyond age 5 or first becomes noticeable when your child begins reading aloud in school
If you're an adult who stutters, seek help if stuttering causes you stress or anxiety or affects your self-esteem, career or relationships. See your doctor or a speech-language pathologist, or search for a program designed to treat adult stuttering.
Sep. 08, 2011
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- Kliegman RM. Dysfluency (stuttering, stammering). In: Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0755-7..00032-4--sc0015&isbn=978-1-4377-0755-7&uniqId=259689939-3#4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0755-7..00032-4--sc0015. Accessed June 20, 2011.
- Stuttering. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/voice/stutter.htm. Accessed June 21, 2011.
- Facts on stuttering. The Stuttering Foundation. http://www.stutteringhelp.org/Default.aspx?tabid=17. Accessed June 21, 2011.
- Antipova AA, et al. Effects of altered auditory feedback (AAF) on stuttering frequency during monologue speech production. Journal of Fluency Disorders. 2008;33:274.
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- 7 tips for talking with your child. The Stuttering Foundation. http://www.stutteringhelp.org/Default.aspx?tabid=632. Accessed June 21, 2011.
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