• Stuttering is a speech disorder in which sounds, syllables, or words are repeated or prolonged, disrupting the normal flow of speech.
  • Stuttering begins during early childhood and, in some cases, lasts throughout life.
  • Most people produce brief disfluencies (stutter) from time to time, but it is only considered stuttering when the disfluencies impede communication. Stuttering is sometimes referred to as stammering.
  • These speech disruptions may be accompanied by struggling behaviors, such as rapid eye blinks or tremors of the lips.

Signs & Symptoms:

  • Repetition of words or parts of words
  • Prolongation of sounds
  • Some people who stutter may appear very tense or “out of breath” when talking
  • Speech may become completely stopped or blocked
  • Interjections such as “um” or “like” may occur frequently

Symptoms of stuttering can vary significantly throughout a person's day. In general, speaking before a group or talking on the telephone may make a person's stuttering more severe. Singing, reading, or speaking in unison may temporarily reduce stuttering. In emergency situations, stuttering can become worse because of the added pressure and tension.


  • Sound repetition: “W-W-W- Where are you going?”
  • Sound prolongation: “SSSSave me a seat”
  • Series of interjections: “I’ll meet you – um um um you know like - around six o’clock”

Stuttering can become worse in emergency situations because of the added pressure & tension.


Developmental stuttering occurs in young children while they are still learning speech and language skills. It is the most common form of stuttering. Developmental stuttering also runs in families.

Neurogenic stuttering may occur after a stroke, head trauma, or other type of brain injury. With neurogenic stuttering, the brain has difficulty coordinating the different components involved in speaking because of signaling problems between the brain and nerves or muscles.

Tips for Better Communication:

  • Don’t interrupt or fill in words for the person who stutters
  • Be a patient listener – allow plenty of extra time for communication
  • Simply ask the person what would be the most helpful way to respond or help
  • Being supportive helps take pressure off the person whostutters and can lead to more effective communication
  • Do not pretend to understand if you do not