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