Stuttering is defined as the disruption of the rhythm of speech. This interruption to speech fluency is involuntary, and shows as part word (e.g., “b b but”), word (e.g., “but but but”) and phrase (e.g., “But I want, but I want”) repetitions, prolongations (e.g., “mmmmum”) or blocking (no vocalisations, appears stuck). Secondary behaviours frequently go hand in hand with these disruption and can include; head jerking and eye blinking. 

Did you know...

  • Males are more prone to developing a stutter than females

  • Stuttering is genetic 

  • Stuttering is likely to appear when children start to use ‘adult-like speech’ - larger vocabulary, mature speech sounds, use of longer and more complex sentences and prosody and intonation - talk about high demands! 

  • Stuttering is not intellectual or psychological 


What can I do? 

  • Speak slowly and clearly 

  • Let children know you are listening 

  • Encourage system rest (non-talking activities) 

  • Sing songs and nursery rhymes 

  • Be patient and give them time to share their thoughts, feelings and ideas

  • And most importantly, see a Speech Pathologist for a diagnosis and treatment as soon as stuttering is noticed. 


Manning, H.W. (2010). Clinical decision making in fluency disorders - 3rd edition. New York: Delmar Cenage Learning.