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You are in: Home > Articles > Disorders of Fluency in Children (Stammering)

Disorders of Fluency in Children (Stammering)

Disorders of Fluency in Children (Stammering)

The following information is supplied by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

Stammering (or stuttering) may affect speech in the following ways:

Repetitions of syllables, sounds, words or phrases
Silent pauses, called ‘blocks’
Physical struggles to speak
Unusual breathing sounds
Lengthening speech sounds
Avoidance of some words and situations

How to help


• look and listen carefully: concentrate on what your child is saying rather than how they are saying it
• slow down your own rate of talking and ensure that you use a level of language that your child understands
• remain calm when you are speaking
• try to have a regular routine at home and school, and discuss future events so that your child is prepared for them
• give your child regular periods of uninterrupted time with you so that they don’t feel that they are always left out in conversation
• talk about your child’s speech with them if they want to
• avoid giving the impression that dysfluency is wrong and shameful
• listen with interest, and encourage a relaxed atmosphere whenever possible
• ask a registered speech and language therapist for advice


• draw attention to your child’s stammer
• finish of sentences for them
• mimic them
• interrupt them
• speak for them
• insist on making them speak when they do not want to
• hurry them along
• tell them to start all over again
• try to bribe them to speak differently, or punish incorrect speech
• lose eye contact - this can be a sign of boredom or impatience
• talk about their problem in front of them
• compare them with other children

Support Organisations:

Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
British Dyslexia Association
Dyspraxia Trust

Other articles supplied by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

Delayed Language
Voice Problems in Children
What is the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists?

More information on speech and language difficulties


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