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Stuttering is a disruption in the flow of speech and is characterized by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words, or phrases; and involuntary silent pauses or "blocks," in which the person speaking is unable to produce sound. These breaks in the flow of speech differ in number and severity from those of normally fluent individuals. Stuttering events may be accompanied by secondary physical behaviours including eye blinks, nasal flaring, tremors of the lips and/or jaw, and tension in the head, neck, and shoulders. Stuttering generally begins in childhood, and its exact cause remains unknown.

  • There are no differences in intelligence between people who stutter and those who do not.
  • Stuttering is not a psychological disorder.
  • There are more males than females who stutter; 3:1 ratio.
  • Stuttering tends to run in families.
  • Between 0.5 and 1% of the general population stutters, thus making it a rare disorder.
  • Stuttering affects people from all levels of the socio-economic scale, and is found in all parts of the world.
  • Children do not copy stuttering. Stuttering cannot be picked up by mimicking someone who stutters.
  • Parents do not cause stuttering. However, there are environmental factors that may help to contribute to the development and severity of stuttering
  • Stress and anxiety may aggravate stuttering
  • There are no magical, quick cures for stuttering
  • Research has demonstrated that stuttering can be controlled by direct therapy and environmental changes
  • When you are concerned
  • When your child shows recognition of his/her own speech difficulties. For example, he/she is reluctant to speak, covers his/her mouth when speaking, and/or expresses frustration
  • When the child's patterns of dysfluency change. For example, when the dysfluencies become more frequent, and/or struggle and forcing becomes evident
  • When the child does not appear to be growing out of the normal stage of dysfluency. That is, if the dysfluent period lasts longer than 4-6 months
Cluttering is also a fluency disorder characterized by a speech delivery rate which is either abnormally fast, irregular, or both.  It is possible that cluttering can co-exist with stuttering.  Besides a rapid/irregular rate of speech, people who clutter often times demonstrate the following:
  • Monotone voice
  • Excessive dysfluencies unlike those found in stuttering (e.g., revisions and hesitations)
  • Indistinct "mumbling" speech
  • Truncations (e.g., refrigerator becomes "reor"
  • Co-existing disorders of language and/or articulation
  • Lack of rhythm
  • Poor thought organization and expression (e.g., poor topic maintenance)
  • Short attention span, restlessness, and hyperactivity
  • Poor handwriting

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