Does Your Child Stutter?Your child may have a stuttering problem if s/he has difficulty speaking and has a tendency to hesitate on, or repeat certain syllables, words, or phrases.

Alternatively, s/he may simply be going through a period of normal dysfluency that many children experience as they learn to speak.

The following chart illustrates some of the signs of normal dysfluencies vs. signs of true stuttering. The characteristics are similar, however, care is taken to distinguish between the two.

Normal Dysfluencies

Atypical Dysfluencies

1. Dysfluencies include:

  • hesitations
  • interjections (e.g. “um” “uh”)
  • revisions
  • unfinished words
  • phrase repetitions
  • easy part/whole word repetitions
1. Dysfluencies include:

  • numerous part/ whole word repetitions
  • sound prolongations (eg. “mmmmmyyy”)
  • temporary blocks (physical tension and a buildup of pressure, and no air or sound comes out).
2. Dysfluencies occur on:

  • short words
  • first word of a sentence
2. Dysfluencies occur on:

  • important words
  • throughout the sentence
3. Dysfluencies come and go. 3. Dysfluencies are present most of the time or appear suddenly.
4. Dysfluencies occur when the child:

  • is excited
  • is upset
4. Dyfluencies occur:

  • in specific situations
  • with certain people
  • on specific words or sounds
5. The child shows:

  • no awareness
  • no concern
  • no struggle behaviours
5. The child shows:

  • awareness
  • frustration
  • struggle behaviours
(information gathered from The Fluency Companion-/LinguiSystems 1994 and The Stuttering Foundation)