What is Stuttering?

Stuttering (also known as Stammering) is a speech disorder that can be defined as involuntary interrupts to speech. These interruptions can include:

  • Repetitions of sounds – ppp put the milk in the fridge
  • Repetition of words – can can can I go outside
  • Prolongations of sounds – h — how old are you?
  • Blocks (involuntary stoppages of sounds often at the start of the word)

The nature of a child's stutter can vary from day to day and between months.

Stuttering Causes

Stuttering is thought to be a physical disorder probably caused by some problem with the neural processing (brain activity) that underlies speech production. Stuttering has a genetic component but the nature of the link is unknown.

Stuttering Facts

  • Stuttering arises in childhood.
  • Stuttering increases between 2 to 4 years of age.
  • Onset usually begins when the child is starting to put words together and formulates sentences.
  • Stuttering is 4 times more prevalent in males than females
  • Stuttering is NOT caused by psychological factors
  • Stuttering is NOT caused by adverse parenting practices


Early treatment is extremely important. Most effective treatments involve a behavioral treatment approach.

If you have concerns that your child stutters, it's best to contact a speech pathologist for treatment advice. The earlier you can get onto it, the more chances for it to be resolved. Many children naturally recover from stuttering however it is difficult to determine which children will and will not naturally recover. Natural recovery is more likely when there is a family history of natural recovery or recovery occurs shortly after sunset. It is important to note that girls are more likely to naturally recover than boys.