What is Stuttering?

Stuttering is the condition in which the flow of speech is broken by abnormal pauses (no sound), repetitions (st-st-stuttering), or prolongations (ssssstuttering) of sounds and syllables. Unusual facial and body movements may also accompany a person’s effort to speak.

Stuttering affects more than 3 million people in the United States. Although it most commonly occurs in children between the ages of 2 and 6, it can affect all age groups. Stuttering tends to run in families, and males are 3 times more likely to stutter than females.

Most children outgrow their stuttering and become perfectly capable speakers. For those who don’t, and for the estimated 1% of adults who stutter, professional treatment may be beneficial.

Emotional Impact of Stuttering

Someone growing up with a stutter may experience discrimination, rejection, failure and ridicule—factors that can erode confidence and self-esteem. While the person who stutters may appear shy, unintelligent, or non-assertive, none of these traits might be an accurate reflection of the stutter’s real personality.

In children and adults, stuttering can be a source of embarrassment, distress, and frustration. Because of this, people who stutter often avoid speaking situations. They may avoid particular careers if they believe that their stuttering will become obvious or be viewed as a handicap.

Sadly, some people avoid stuttering by not speaking at all.

Risk Factors Indicating Inability to Recover

There are a number of risk factors that indicate a child may not recover from stuttering without speech therapy:

  • Family history of stuttering
  • Stuttering persisting beyond 3-6 months and increasing in severity
  • Child begins to avoid speaking situations
  • Child displays frustration when he or she stutters
  • Parents are concerned that their child in unable to speak fluently
  • Child has other speech/language delays
  • Child frequently repeats whole words or parts of words
  • Child is unable to get words out or stretches out sounds in words
  • Speech begins to increase in volume and pitch during stuttering moments
  • Child displays struggle behavior when speaking

Contact Us

To be seen by one of our speech pathologists, you will need a referral. You or your physician can call
(585) 758-5730 to schedule an appointment.

For inpatient questions, please call (585) 275-8493. Our office hours are Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.