(Stammering; Disfluent Speech)


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
Tongue Innervation
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Risk Factors

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.


There are no current guidelines to prevent stuttering. However, early recognition and treatment may minimize or prevent a life-long problem.


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

The Stuttering Foundation


Canadian Stuttering Association

University of Alberta—Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research


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Gordon N. Stuttering: incidence and causes. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2002;44:278-281.

Stuttering. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website. Available at: Accessed May 20, 2013.

Stuttering. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders website. Available at: 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.

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