Diagnosis is made by observations of the adult or child while speaking in a number of different types of situations.
If you're the parent
If you're the parent of a child who stutters, the doctor or speech-language pathologist may:
- Ask questions about your child's health history, including when he or she began stuttering and when stuttering is most frequent
- Ask questions about how stuttering affects your child's life, such as relationships with others and school performance
- Talk to your child, and may ask him or her to read aloud to watch for subtle differences in speech
- Differentiate between the repetition of syllables and mispronunciation of words that's normal in young children, and stuttering that's likely to be a long-term condition
- Rule out an underlying condition that can cause irregular speech, such as Tourette's syndrome
If you're an adult who stutters
If you're an adult who stutters, the doctor or speech-language pathologist may:
Aug. 20, 2014
- Ask more questions to better understand how stuttering affects you
- Want to know how it has impacted your relationships, school performance, career and other areas of your life, and how much stress it causes
- Want to know what treatments you've tried in the past, which can help determine what type of treatment approach may be best
- Rule out an underlying medical or mental health condition that could cause stuttering
- Stuttering. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/stuttering.htm. Accessed July 21, 2014.
- Childhood-onset fluency disorder (stuttering). In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed July 21, 2014.
- Stuttering. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/voice/pages/stutter.aspx. Accessed July 21, 2014.
- The facts. Stuttering Foundation of America. http://www.stutteringhelp.org/Default.aspx?tabid=17. Accessed July 21, 2014.
- 7 tips for talking with your child. Stuttering Foundation of America. http://www.stutteringhelp.org/7-tips-talking-your-child-0. Accessed July 21, 2014.
- Craig A, et al. Trait and social anxiety in adults with chronic stuttering: Conclusions following meta-analysis. Journal of Fluency Disorders. 2014;40:35.
- Blomgren M. Behavioral treatments for children and adults who stutter: A review. Psychology Research and Behavior Management. 2013;6:9.
- Strand EA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 28, 2014.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 27, 2014.