Overview

Stuttering — also called stammering or childhood-onset fluency disorder — is a speech disorder that involves frequent and significant problems with normal fluency and flow of speech. People who stutter know what they want to say, but have difficulty saying it. For example, they may repeat or prolong a word, a syllable, or a consonant or vowel sound. Or they may pause during speech because they've reached a problematic word or sound.

Stuttering is common among young children as a normal part of learning to speak. Young children may stutter when their speech and language abilities aren't developed enough to keep up with what they want to say. Most children outgrow this developmental stuttering.

Sometimes, however, stuttering is a chronic condition that persists into adulthood. This type of stuttering can have an impact on self-esteem and interactions with other people.

Children and adults who stutter may benefit from treatments such as speech therapy, using electronic devices to improve speech fluency or cognitive behavioral therapy.

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.