Stuttering: Signs, Causes and How to Help Children

Stuttering is a communication disorder in which the flow of speech is broken by repetitions (li-li-like this), prolongations (lllllike this), or abnormal stoppages (no sound) of sounds and syllables. There may also be unusual facial and body movements associated with the effort to speak. Stuttering is also referred to as stammering. Fluency is the flow of speech. Fluent speech is smooth, forward-moving, unhesitant and effortless speech.

There is no single cause of stuttering. There are several factors that likely play into the cause of stuttering: genetics, child’s language skills, environmental factors and temperament. Approximately 60% of children who stutter have a family member who also stutters. Environmental factors may include: major life changes, family and sibling conflicts and unpredictable life events. Personality traits for those children who stutter might be over-sensitive or highly competitive. Parents do not cause stuttering.

When it comes to preschool children, one intervention approach which has been highly successful to date is The Lidcombe Program. The Lidcombe program is a stuttering treatment program developed by the Australian Stuttering Research Centre. It is an early intervention behavior based program designed for children who have developed stutter speech in the age group from 2-6 years old. Several of our therapists are trained in the Lidcombe Program.

Stuttering therapy is sometimes covered by health insurance, which we are happy to look into for you. You can learn more about our therapy services for stuttering here.