Stuttering is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is interrupted by:
In an attempt to speak, the person who is stuttering may:
The cause of stuttering is not completely understood. Some experts have suggested that stuttering may occur when:
Muscles and Nerves Involved in Speech
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Stuttering is more common in males and in children 2-6 years of age. Family history also increases the chances of stuttering.
Symptoms may include:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Diagnosis may be based on:
Treatment can improve stuttering. The main goal is to get and maintain a feeling of control over speech fluency. The doctor or speech therapist can:
Treatment may include:
There is little evidence to support the use of drugs to improve speech fluency.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
The Stuttering Foundation
Canadian Stuttering Association
University of Alberta—Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research
Bothe AK, Davidow JH, 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. 2006;15:321-352.
Gordon N. Stuttering: incidence and causes. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2002;44:278-281.
Stuttering. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website. Available at: http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/stuttering. Accessed May 20, 2013.
Stuttering. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders website. Available at: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/voice/pages/stutter.aspx. Updated March 2010. Accessed May 20, 2013.
Perkins WH. Anomalous anatomy of speech-language areas in adults with persistent developmental stuttering. Neurology. 2002;58:332-333.
Prasse JE, Kiakano GE. Stuttering: An overview. American Fam Physician. 2008;7:1271-1276.
Sommer M, Koch MA, et al. Disconnection of speech-relevant brain areas in persistent developmental stuttering. Lancet. 2002;360:380-383.
Yairi E, Ambrose NG. Early childhood stuttering: persistency and recovery rates. J Speech Lang Hear Res. 1999;42:1097-1112.
Last reviewed January 2015 by Rimas Lukas, MD
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 medical condition.
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