Stuttering
Thursday, August 21, 2008

Many toddlers and preschool age children stutter as they are learning to talk. Most of these children will outgrow the stuttering and have normal speech as they get older. Dr. Ed Hill tells us more about stuttering in today’s 60 Second Housecall.

Stuttering is a speech problem that makes it hard to say certain words or sounds. People who stutter may repeat sounds, words or parts of words. They may also pause longer than normal between sounds and words. They may blink their eyes, jerk their jaw or move their head when they stutter.

Anyone can stutter, but it usually happens in young children who are learning to talk. Most children stop stuttering before they become adults.

Stuttering is generally diagnosed by a speech-language pathologist, a professional who is specially trained to test and treat individuals with voice, speech and language disorders. The diagnosis is usually based on the history of the disorder, such as when it was first noticed and under what circumstances, as well as a complete evaluation of speech and language abilities.

A variety of treatments are available for stuttering. Any of the methods may improve stuttering to some degree, but at present there is no cure. Stuttering therapy, however, may help prevent developmental stuttering from becoming a life-long problem.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, I’m Dr. Ed Hill.