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.