Preparing for your appointment

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).

If you're an adult who stutters, you may want to search for a program designed to treat adult stuttering.

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

Before your appointment, make a list that includes:

  • Examples of problematic words or sounds, such as words that start with certain consonants or vowels. It may help to make a recording of an episode of stuttering, if possible, to play at the appointment.
  • When the stuttering started, such as when your child said his or her first word and 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 what treatments you've had, current problems and how stuttering has affected your life.
  • Medical information, including other physical or mental health conditions.
  • Any medications, vitamins, herbs or other supplements regularly taken, including the dosages.
  • Questions you'd like to ask the doctor or speech-language pathologist.

Some basic questions to ask the doctor or speech-language pathologist may include:

  • What's causing the stuttering?
  • What kinds of tests are needed?
  • 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 have? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment.

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. Be ready to answer them to reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. You may be asked questions such as:

  • 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?
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.