(Stammering; Disfluent Speech)
- Repetition or prolongation of sounds, words, or syllables
- An inability to begin a word
- Frequently blink the eyes
- Have abnormal facial or upper body movements
- A child's ability to speak does not match his verbal demands
- There are psychological factors in a child’s life such as mental illness, extreme stress
- Problems occur in the connections between muscles, nerves, and areas of the brain that control speech
- There are problems in the part of the brain that controls the timing of speech muscle activation
|Muscles and Nerves Involved in Speech|
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- Family history of stuttering
- Sex: male
- Age: between 2-6 years of age
- Repetition of sounds, syllables, words, or phrases
- Prolongation of sounds within words
- Between-word pauses and lack of sound
- Spurting speech
Accompanying behaviors, such as:
- Facial ticks
- Lip tremors
- Tense muscles of the mouth, jaw, or neck
- Worsening symptoms when speaking in public
- Improvement in symptoms when speaking in private
- Stuttering history
- Circumstances under which stuttering occurs
- Speech and language capabilities
- Evaluation of hearing and motor skills, including a pediatric and neurological examination
- Further testing and treatment by a speech language pathologist who specializes in communication disorders
- Evaluate the stuttering pattern
- Assess what strategies may work best
- Behavioral therapy—This focuses on behavior modifications that can be made to improve fluency.
- Speech therapy—A primary goal of this type of therapy is to slow the rate of speech.
The National Stuttering Association http://www.nsastutter.org
The Stuttering Foundation of America http://www.stuttersfa.org
Canadian Stuttering Association http://www.stutter.ca
Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research University of Alberta http://www.istar.ualberta.ca
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Stuttering. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website. Available at: http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/stuttering/ . Accessed May 20, 2013.
Stuttering. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders website. Available at: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/voice/pages/stutter.aspx . Updated March 2010. Accessed May 20, 2013.
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Sommer M, Koch MA, Paulus W, et al. Disconnection of speech-relevant brain areas in persistent developmental stuttering. Lancet. 2002;360:380-383.
What is stuttering? The National Stuttering Association website. Available at: http://www.westutter.org/what-is-stuttering/stuttering-info/ . Accessed May 20, 2013.
Yairi E, Ambrose NG. Early childhood stuttering: persistency and recovery rates. J Speech Lang Hear Res. 1999;42:1097-1112.