Speech Problems: Stuttering and Normal Disfluency - Topic Overview
Normal disfluency is
stuttering that resolves on its own. It can be
hard to distinguish between normal disfluency and mild development
stuttering. The distinction is important because developmental stuttering
requires treatment in order for speech to improve.
When talking with a parent about a child's speech patterns, a health
professional may ask whether the child typically:
Repeats whole words or entire
Makes word or phrase repetitions more than once every 8 to
Has repetitions that are more than two
Appears frustrated or embarrassed from the difficulties
Has physical symptoms, such as blinking eyes or tension
around the mouth.
Adds extra sounds (like "uh") or unrelated words
(like "well") when starting a word.
Parents may also be asked if their child sometimes:
Makes no sound at all for several seconds while
trying to talk.
Forces sounds to come out by physical
movements, such as nodding the head.
Substitutes simple words for
those that are more difficult.
Quits talking in the middle of a
The more positive answers a parent gives, the greater the likelihood
that stuttering is a chronic problem (developmental stuttering) rather than