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Stuttering is a communication impairment characterized by excessive, involuntary disruptions in the rate, rhythm and forward flow of speech.

Facts about Stuttering

  • Stuttering is universal—it occurs in all cultures and languages worldwide.
  • 1% of our total population stutters to some degree.
  • 75% of the children who display stuttering-like behavior do not become adult stutterers.
  • Stuttering is more common among males than females by about a 3 to 1 ratio.
  • Most stuttering begins in the preschool years, with almost no stuttering beginning after puberty (unless there has been an occurrence of brain damage).

A word may be considered stuttered upon if . . .

  • a person struggles when trying to begin the word.
  • there is a silent stop before the word.
  • there is forced breathing associated with the word.
  • there is prolongation on any sound in a word.
  • there is repetition of any of the sounds or syllables in a word, or the word itself.
  • there are changes in the pitch or loudness of the voice during the dysfluency.

A person’s emotional reactions to their dysfluencies (stuttering) are often fear and avoidance of situations (such as making a telephone call, or ordering at a restaurant) where they have had particular problems in the past. They may even expect specific words or sounds will be stuttered upon; therefore, they avoid these words and sounds.

Risk Factors and Signs
Ways to Help Someone Who Stutters