Stuttering is a fluency disorder that can start during early childhood. Many times, these disfluencies go away on their own. However, for some children, it can persist for a long time. As a parent, it can be quite stressful and concerning to think about your child’s speech. That is why it is very important to understand and differentiate between typical disfluencies and stuttering.
It is quite common for young children to have typical disfluencies. These are the type of disfluencies that go away with time. It is a normal part of development. Here are some of the disfluencies that are commonly found:
There are many theories about why children have typical disfluencies. A commonly known understanding is that language is complex and the children’s articulators cannot keep up with the complex linguistic demands. The above typical disfluencies disappear with time. Some take weeks or years. And in these cases, children are not aware that they have these disfluencies.
Stuttering is characterized by a different set of characteristics. Different from that of typical disfluencies. Here are some of the stuttering dysfluencies that are commonly found:
In addition to the above, children with stuttering also have a higher number of repetitions compared to children with typical disfluencies. Stuttering is more persistent and lasts for longer periods.
According to research studies, around 80% of children will outgrow their stuttering while about 20% of the children have persistent stuttering that grows well into adulthood.
If you have a child whom you suspect to have stuttering, please consult a certified speech and language pathologist. Below are some risk factors to look out for:
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