5 Possible Signs of Stuttering
4 December 2017
Stuttering is a disruption in the forward flow of speech. Stuttering may take many forms and may be accompanied by secondary behaviors. It is normal for preschoolers to display some non-fluent speech, but this tends to be episodic or cyclical, coming and going without apparent cause.
Less typical non-fluent speech that may be signs of stuttering include:
1. Part-word or part-sound repetition such as “ta-ta-ta-table” or “t-t-t-toy”
- Whole-word repetition is more typical of normal language development.
2. Drawn-out sounds like “rrrrrrrrrrabit”
- Phrase repetitions such as “I wanted to-I want to go” are typical of normal development.
3. Brief loss of voice or airflow for several seconds called a block
- Hesitations, silent pauses or interjections such as “like” or “um” are more typical of normal development.
4. Physical tension, struggle or tremors
Good to know: There is no known one cause of stuttering. It is not caused by emotional problems, nervousness or parenting style.
5. Fear or avoidance of speaking
Good to know: Many preschoolers will outgrow early signs of stuttering.
If you’re concerned about your child’s speech:
- keep a journal to document any improvement or decline
- request a screening through your local school district