Overcoming Stuttering Disorder

Chances are either you or someone you know stutters. In fact, one out of every twenty children stutter. Despite what many believe, in most cases stuttering is actually a speech disorder. If your child has a stuttering disorder it can affect their self esteem by causing anxiety, isolation, and embarrassment. Early intervention with a Speech Pathologist can help your child overcome their stuttering, often by the time they are 6-8 years old.

As your child is learning to talk between 18 months and three years old it is common to go through a stuttering "phase". In most cases it only lasts a few weeks or months and is no reason for concern. So, when should you become worried that your child's stuttering may be more than a phase? There are a few simple questions you can ask yourself that may help you determine when to call a Speech Pathologist for an evaluation.

  • Has your child’s stuttering been going on longer then 6 months? Typically, if it is just a “phase” and a normal part of the speech learning process it will clear up in a few weeks or months. If your child is still stuttering after 6 months they may have a stuttering disorder.
  • Did your child’s stuttering begin after over the age of three and a half years old? Stuttering typically occurs when your child is learning how to talk and communicate, as their brain and mouth are figuring out how to work together. By the time your child is three years old their basic language should be mostly formed. If they begin stuttering after this point it may be due to other speech issues.
  • Is there anyone one else in your immediate family with a stuttering disorder? Though sometimes the cause of a stuttering disorder may be unknown, it is common for children to develop a stuttering disorder if a family member also stutters.
  • Does your child suffer from any other speech/language problems? Developmental delays, cerebral palsy, and dyspraxia (problems with motor coordination) are just a few conditions that may accompany a stuttering disorder.

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions then give us a call. Our Speech-Language Pathologists can help answer any questions and concerns you may have. We can evaluate your child and help him gain confidence in his voice. Be sure to ask for Carolina Pediatric Therapy when you talk to your pediatrician, and we’ll look forward to hearing from you.

Overcoming Stuttering Disorder
Shandy Marso, Contributor
Carolina Pediatric Therapy © June 2014

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