These factors increase your chance of developing stuttering. Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors:
Family history of stuttering (There is increasing evidence to support a genetic link in stuttering.)
Age: between 2-6 years of age
Symptoms may include:
Repetition of sounds, syllables, words, or phrases
Prolongation of sounds within words
Between-word pauses and lack of sound
Accompanying behaviors, such as:
Tense muscles of the mouth, jaw, or neck
Worsening symptoms when speaking in public
Improvement in symptoms when speaking in private
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. She will also do a physical exam. Diagnosis may be based on:
Circumstances under which stuttering occurs
Speech and language capabilities
Evaluation of hearing and motor skills, including a pediatric and neurological examination
Further testing and treatment by a speech language pathologist (someone who specializes in communication disorders)
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:
Evaluate the stuttering pattern
Assess what strategies may work best
Treatment may include:
Drug therapy—There is little evidence to support the use of drugs to improve speech fluency.
Behavioral therapy—This focuses on behavior modifications that can be made to improve fluency.
Speech therapy—A primary goal of this type of therapy is to slow the rate of speech.
There are no guidelines for preventing stuttering. But, early recognition and treatment may minimize or prevent a life-long problem.
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
Gordon N. Stuttering: incidence and causes.
Dev Med Child Neurol.
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders website. Available at:
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a