What is stuttering?
Stuttering is a disorder which causes people to have difficulty talking, particularly with their fluency of speech. It is most noticeable as repetitions of sounds in words, whole words and prolongations of sounds or pauses in speech known as ‘blocks.’
What does stuttering sound like?
Below is some information about the types of stutters you may hear during speech:
- Sound repetitions: “I-i-it’s a cat!”
- Word repetitions: “Can-can-can I have this one?”
- Prolongation of sounds: “Whaaaaaaat is that?”
- Blocks: silence when the child or person is trying to speak
What causes stuttering and when does it begin?
There is no definitive cause of stuttering. However, research indicates that a number of factors may contribute to stuttering. These include:
- Having another family member who also stutters
- Reduced connections of some parts of the brain that support speech production
- Major changes to routine and/or environment
- Experiencing anxiety in particular situations (such as speaking in front of a group)
- Boys are also more likely to have a stutter compared to girls
Stuttering may start gradually or suddenly, and often starts before a child turns 5 years old.
When is the best time to seek treatment for stuttering?
Research has shown that it is extremely important to treat stuttering before a child starts school. Our Speech Pathologists are trained in stuttering therapy, treatment and management. If you notice your child is stuttering, or concerned your child may be stuttering, it is important to contact a Speech Pathologist, at least one year prior to starting school. There are also strategies and techniques that can be used to help manage stuttering in adolescents and adults. Please get in touch with us on (02) 9398 3020 if you have any concerns.