(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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- 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.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association http://www.asha.org
The Stuttering Foundation http://www.stutteringhelp.org
Canadian Stuttering Association http://www.stutter.ca
University of Alberta—Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research http://www.istar.ualberta.ca
Bothe AK, Davidow JH, et al. Stuttering treatment research 1970-2005:I. Systematic review incorporating trial quality assessment of behavioral, cognitive, and related approaches. Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2006;15:321-352.
Gordon N. Stuttering: incidence and causes. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2002;44:278-281.
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.
Perkins WH. Anomalous anatomy of speech-language areas in adults with persistent developmental stuttering. Neurology. 2002;58:332-333.
Prasse JE, Kiakano GE. Stuttering: An overview. American Fam Physician. 2008;7:1271-1276.
Sommer M, Koch MA, et al. Disconnection of speech-relevant brain areas in persistent developmental stuttering. Lancet. 2002;360:380-383.
Yairi E, Ambrose NG. Early childhood stuttering: persistency and recovery rates. J Speech Lang Hear Res. 1999;42:1097-1112.
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD
- Review Date: 01/2015 -
- Update Date: 05/07/2014 -