Kids and Stuttering

Stuttering in children is a common speech problem. Stuttering is a form of dysfluency — an interruption in the flow of speech. We call it stuttering when someone:

  • repeats parts of words eg. 'tay-tay-tay-table'

  • seems to get stuck on the sound at the beginning of a word (sssssun)

  • is silent before, during or after a word.

  • shows muscle tension or tremors in lips, jaw and neck, or may blink or turn their head from side to side when trying to get the word out.

Stuttering is not uncommon in children between the ages of 2 and 5. Children most often stutter at the start of sentences, but stutters can also happen throughout sentences.  We don’t really know why stuttering happens. For many children, it's simply part of learning to use language and putting words together to form sentences. It may come and go, and it may last for a few weeks or for a couple of years. Most children outgrow stuttering on their own without professional intervention.

 Stuttering runs in families, which means a child is more likely to stutter if other people in his family stutter or have stuttered. But this doesn’t mean that a child who has a family history of stuttering will definitely stutter.

If you notice that your child has a stutter, contact a speech pathologist. The speech pathologist will assess your child’s stuttering and work out whether to treat your child’s stutter straight away, or whether to wait and check your child regularly.

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“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” Winston Churchill