Does my child have a stutter?
It is normal for all people to experience disfluencies in their talking. It is when these disfluencies become frequent and impact an individual’s ability to communicate clearly on a daily basis, that concerns may arise that they are experiencing stuttering.
What is stuttering: Stuttering is a speech disorder which impacts the flow and smoothness of speech. Stuttering behaviours are divided into three main categories:
- Repetitions: repetitions of sounds (e.g. bbb-ball), repetitions of syllables (e.g. break-break-breakfast) or repetitions of words (e.g. but but but I want to….).
- Blocks: when you cannot get your words out (e.g. sn……ake)
- Prolongations: when the beginnings of words are elongated (e.g. sssssssssssstop)
- Other behaviours may include facial grimaces, eye blinking, tics, frowns and filler words (e.g. like, um) etc.
Some facts about stuttering:
- Researchers have not yet pinpointed the cause of stuttering.
- People do not stutter because they are anxious or nervous, however anxiety can make stuttering worse.
- Typically, stuttering emerges during the preschool years between 2-5 years of age. It can come on suddenly (e.g. overnight) or gradually.
- 11.2% of children develop stuttering by the age of 4.
- Some children recover naturally from stuttering. Between 2-3 there is a higher chance at 4 years there is a small possibility of natural recovery however after 5 years of age natural recovery is not possible. It cannot be predicted which children will recover naturally. be
- Children have the best chance of clinical success during the preschool years.
If you have concerns that your child may be stuttering, it is recommended they receive an assessment by a Speech Pathologist. From there, we will advise you on the best course of action.