Stuttering & Fluency
County Speech help me?
Most likely. We certainly have the education,
training and experience to provide comprehensive
evaluations, therapy and consultations to children and
their parents and teachers as well as to adults of all
for Adults & Children
The best time to contact
us is when you first have concerns about you or your
child’s speech. We promise not to recommend
unnecessary services. In fact, a brief consultation
may serve to reduce the need for professional
intervention; or a consultation may begin to arrest the
increasing severity of an incipient (beginning stage)
fluency disorder. If an evaluation is indicated,
children are seen in a play-based setting with no aversive
or negative consequences, followed by a parent conference
(with the child not present) to discuss diagnostic
findings and recommendations for therapy (if indicated)
and detailed suggestions for parents and teachers.
should I know as a parent
First, lets get in the habit of not using the
word “stuttering”; when we refer to whatever our concerns
are in the child’s speech as “stuttering”, it can only due
damage and not “help” the situation. If we
need to label a concern or possible disorder, let’s call
it a “fluency problem” or a possible “fluency
disorder”. If we are referring to what a child is
doing (of concern) when he talks, lets refer to his
behavior, or what he does, not what he has.
For example, your child may be “getting stuck on some
words” or, he may be repeating words, or the initial
sounds of words, or prolonging sounds. To label
these dysfluencies as “stuttering” may inadvertently call
attention to your child’s speech differences and create or
increase a self-awareness that could lead to even more
severe dysfluencies and an advanced form of the disorder.
about Fluency and Dysfluency
Note: The following are excerpts from If your
child stutters: A Guide for Parents, published by
The Stuttering Foundation of America. You may want
to visit their website: www.stutteringhelp.org
Does my child stutter?
Speech begins with the first cry at birth. It
then develops rapidly during the first two years as the
child learns to make meaningful sounds and words.
Later, between the ages of 2 and 6, he may begin to have
noticeable difficulties in speaking smoothly and freely,
especially when starting to use sentences. All
children repeat words and phrases, hesitate often, and
have occasional difficulty with the smooth flow of
words, but some have more trouble than others and for
longer periods of time.
If your child has been having this type of trouble, you
may wonder if he or she is beginning to stutter.
Will it get worse or will it go away? If you think
your child is stuttering, should you do something, and
if so, what?
Is it Stuttering?
Stuttering interrupts the flow of speech, but so do many
other things. All of us repeat words or syllables
occasionally; no one has speech that is perfectly
smooth. We all hesitate, insert noises or words,
get syllables mixed up, go back and revise sentences, or
try to say two words at the same time. When these
things happen, we end up confused or stuck for an
The young child who is just learning to talk will
naturally stumble more often than adults and older
children. The smoothness or fluency of everyone’s
speech also varies tremendously with internal feelings
and external circumstances. These variations in
fluency are more extreme in the young child.
Because children with normal disfluencies show many of
the same behaviors found in stuttering, it may be
difficult for you to distinguish them from
stuttering. Moreover, these vary in severity and
frequency depending on time, circumstance, and the
feelings of the speaker.
Therefore, if you are concerned about your child’s
speech, it is probably best to let a speech-language
pathologist determine whether your child is actually
Does a Speech-Language Pathologist* Decide if Your Child
is Beginning to Stutter?
Certain signs indicate a child is in the beginning stages
of stuttering. During a speech evaluation, some
children do not display those behaviors that have
concerned their parents. Therefore, if you decide to
see a speech-language pathologist, your knowledge of the
signs of early stuttering together with your day-to-day
contact with your child make you the best source of
information. You can describe how your child talks,
as well as how often and how consistently the disfluencies
occur, which will help the speech pathologist determine
whether your child is stuttering.