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