(Stammering; Disfluent Speech)
Stuttering is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is interrupted by:
In an attempt to speak, the person who is stuttering may:
The cause of stuttering is not completely understood. Some experts have suggested that stuttering may occur when:
These factors increase your chance of developing stuttering. Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors:
Symptoms may include:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. She will also do a physical exam. Diagnosis may be based on:
Treatment can improve stuttering. The main goal is to get and maintain a feeling of control over speech fluency. Recovery rate is about 80%, more in girls than in boys. The doctor or speech therapist can:
Treatment may include:
There are no guidelines for preventing stuttering. But, early recognition and treatment may minimize or prevent a life-long problem.
The National Stuttering Association
The Stuttering Foundation of America
Canadian Stuttering Association
Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website. Available at: http://www.asha.org/ .
Bothe AK, Davidow JH, Bramlett RE, 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. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders website. Available at: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/ .
The National Stuttering Association website. Available at: http://www.nsastutter.org .
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 Family Physician. 2008;7:1271-1276.
Sommer M, Koch MA, Paulus W, 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.
Last reviewed September 2012 by Rimas Lukas, MD