Speech & Hearing - Stuttering

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Stuttering, sometimes called stammering, is the condition in which the flow of speech is broken by abnormal stoppages, repetitions, or prolongations of sounds and syllables. These dysfluencies may also be accompanied by observable facial and body movements.

Many children between the ages of 2 and 4 years go through a stage when they seem to stutter. This disfluent speech can be very disturbing to parents. Is this a stage the child will outgrow or the first sign of a long-term fluency problem? Early stuttering may be variable in its appearance; that is, children have "good" days (with very little stuttering-like speech) and "bad" days (with lots of stuttering-like speech) or even good weeks and bad weeks.

A speech-language pathologist will be able to tell you whether your child's hesitations and sound or word repetitions are similar to those of other children of the same age or whether they may be early signs of stuttering.

Characteristics of Stuttering:

  1. Repeats parts of words, either sounds or syllables (t-t-table, ta-tata-table); prolongs a sound (ssssun); or breaks up words (cow. . .boy)
  2. During repetitions, substitutes an uh vowel for the vowel in the word (tuh-tuh-tuh-table)
  3. May use a broken rhythm during repetitions (b. b. . . . . b. . boy)
  4. Has 10 or more disfluencies every 100 words
  5. Opens the mouth to speak but no sound comes out or turns off the voice between sound repetitions
  6. Appears to struggle physically to produce speech
  7. Other family members who stutter
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University Hospital Clinics Building
1005 Harborside Drive
Galveston, Texas

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Brittany Plaza
1600 West League City Parkway, Suite D
League City, Texas

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Mainland Crossing
9300 Emmett F. Lowry Expressway
Texas City, Texas

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