Stuttering

What Is It?

Stuttering is an interruption of the normal flow of speech, which takes on many different patterns. Commonly, it involves either saying a string of repeated sounds or making abnormal pauses during speech.

In early childhood, stuttering is sometimes part of normal speech development. In fact, about 5% of all young children go through a brief period of stuttering when they are learning to talk. Stuttering typically is first noticed between the ages of 2 and 5. It usually goes away on its own within a matter of months. In a small number of children (around 1%), stuttering continues and may get worse. Boys are more likely to stutter than girls.

Researchers still are trying to determine why stuttering occurs. It runs in families, and genetic (inherited) factors probably play a larger part than previously recognized.

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