Stuttering

Abstract

Stuttering is a communication disorder that involves disruptions in a person's ability to produce speech fluently. In many cases, stuttering results in adverse impact on the person's communication and overall quality of life. The most common type of stuttering, childhood‐onset fluency disorder, typically starts during the preschool years. It is a genetically influenced condition associated with differences in neurological structure and function. It is believed to be due to a complex interaction involving several key aspects of a child's development. Many children go through a period of stuttering when they are very young, but the majority recover, even without intervention. Early intervention can increase the rate of recovery in young children. Individuals who do not recover in early childhood are likely to continue stuttering throughout their lives, though speech therapy and support experiences can help people enhance their fluency and reduce the adverse impact of the disorder.

Key Concepts

  • Stuttering is a communication disorder that involves both disruptions in speech fluency and adverse impact on quality of life.
  • Stuttering is associated with neurological differences; stuttering is not just a habit or behaviour that one learns.
  • Stuttering behaviours are highly variable across situations and over time.
  • Early intervention can help to hasten recovery in young children.
  • There is no known cure for stuttering in school‐age children, adolescents and adults, though treatment and support experiences can help speakers improve their speech fluency and reduce the adverse impact of the disorder.
  • Speech‐language pathologists should address more than just observable speech behaviours in treatment with individuals who stutter.

Keywords: stuttering; speech fluency; fluency disorders; speech‐language pathology; speech therapy

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Chang SE (2014) Research updates in neuroimaging studies of children who stutter. Seminars in Speech and Language 35: 67–79.

Reardon‐Reeves N and Yaruss JS (2013) School‐age Stuttering Therapy: A Practical Guide. Stuttering Therapy Resources, Inc.: McKinney, TX.

Smith A and Weber C (2016) Childhood stuttering: where are we and where are we going? Seminars in Speech and Language 37: 291–297.

Yaruss JS and Reardon‐Reeves NA (2017) Early Childhood Stuttering Therapy: A Practical Guide. Stuttering Therapy Resources, Inc.: McKinney, TX.

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How to Cite close
Yaruss, J Scott, and Nasir, Sazzad(Jun 2019) Stuttering. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0028069]