Stuttering

Alternative Names

Children and stuttering; Speech disfluency; Stammering

Definition of Stuttering

Stuttering is a in which sounds, syllables, or words are repeated or last longer than normal. These problems cause a break in the flow of speech (called disfluency).

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

About 5% of children (1 out of every 20 children) aged 2 – 5 will develop some stuttering during their childhood. It may last for several weeks to several years.

Symptoms

Stuttering may start with repeating consonants (k, g, t). If stuttering becomes worse, words and phrases are repeated.

Signs and tests

No testing is usually necessary. The diagnosis of stuttering may require consultation with a speech pathologist.

Treatment

There is no one best treatment for stuttering. Most early cases are short-term and resolve on their own.

Expectations (prognosis)

In most children who stutter, the phase passes and speech returns to normal within 3 or 4 years. Stuttering that begins after a child is 8 – 10 years old is more likely to last into adulthood.

Review

Benjamin W. Van Voorhees, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics and Psychiatry, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 5/13/2010

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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