Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made by a health professional trained to evaluate and treat children and adults with speech and language disorders (speech-language pathologist). The speech-language pathologist observes the adult or child speak in 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 are 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:

  • Ask questions about your health history, including when you began stuttering and when stuttering is most frequent
  • Rule out an underlying health condition that could cause stuttering
  • Want to know what treatments you've tried in the past, which can help determine what type of treatment approach may be best
  • Ask questions to better understand how stuttering affects you
  • Want to know how stuttering has impacted your relationships, school performance, career and other areas of your life, and how much stress it causes
Aug. 01, 2017
References
  1. Stuttering. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/stuttering.htm. Accessed July 3, 2017.
  2. Childhood-onset fluency disorder (stuttering). In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://dsm.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed July 3, 2017.
  3. Stuttering. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/stuttering. Accessed July 3. 2017.
  4. FAQ: Stuttering facts and information. Stuttering Foundation of America. http://www.stutteringhelp.org/faq. Accessed July 3, 2017.
  5. 7 tips for talking with your child. Stuttering Foundation of America. http://www.stutteringhelp.org/7-tips-talking-your-child-0. Accessed July 3, 2017.
  6. Carter J, et al. Etiology of speech and language disorders in children. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed July 3, 2017.
  7. Carter J, et al. Evaluation and treatment of speech and language disorders in children. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed July 3, 2017.
  8. Perez H, et al. Stuttering: Clinical and research update. Canadian Family Physician. 2016;62:479.
  9. Gabbard GO, ed. Communication disorders. In: Gabbard's Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2014. http://psychiatryonline.org/doi/book/10.1176/appi.books.9781585625048. Accessed July 3, 2017.
  10. Minimizing bullying for children who stutter. National Stuttering Association. http://www.westutter.org/who-we-help/minimizing-bullying-children-stutter/. Accessed July 5, 2017.
  11. Clark HM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 17, 2017.