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Children's Health

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Stuttering May Not Cause Emotional Woes in Kids

Research also suggests many of these children actually have advanced language skills


However, it's likely to take more than a year, based on her team's findings. Of the 142 preschoolers who developed stuttering, only 6 percent saw it go away within a year.

Reilly said researchers still need to figure out how long stuttering "recovery" typically takes.

There are certain factors that experts have found to be important: Girls, for instance, are more likely than boys to outgrow it on their own, Grossman said. Once kids get to the ages of 6 or 7, the number of boys who stutter is a few times higher than the number of girls -- for reasons that are unclear.

Grossman said she wouldn't want parents to interpret the new findings as an indicator that stuttering is no problem for kids.

"There are some children who even at this young age do have these (emotional or social) issues," she said. And, if the stuttering does not improve, they could develop more problems when they are older and in school.

Reilly agreed that is a possibility. "This is something we now want to investigate as we follow the children up into the school years," she said.

And both she and Grossman said parents shouldn't hesitate to talk to their pediatrician or a speech pathologist if they are worried about their child's stuttering.

In the United States, Grossman said, speech-language therapy is widely available, though parents would want to make sure the speech pathologist has expertise in managing stuttering.

The number of therapy sessions, and the cost, would vary based on where you live and the severity of your child's stuttering, according to the Stuttering Foundation. But the charges generally range from $50 to $125 an hour, which insurance may or may not cover.

Once kids are in school, though, they may be eligible for free evaluation and therapy through their school district, according to the foundation.

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