Did you know that stuttering is considered a normal part of children’s natural speech development?  During the early years when children begin to talk, there is a huge expansion of new language, sounds and surroundings requiring lots of brain processing power which can cause children to repeat, prolong or have blocks towards sounds and words.  

Children should typically outgrow intermittent stuttering, however, if persistent or frequent, early intervention is crucial.  

Stuttering typically begins to emerge either gradually or suddenly and usually presents at approximately 2.5 to 3 years of age.  The causes of stuttering are unknown; however, studies do suggest there is a link through family genetics.

“Red flags” to consider if your child stutters
  • Stuttering for longer than three months  
  • A family history of stuttering 
  • The stutter becomes more severe over time  
  • When a stutter is 10% or more of a child’s natural communication
  • Secondary behaviours such as rapid blinking or body movements    
  • Other delayed childhood development e.g. language and speech  
  • Stuttering affects a child’s communication message  
  • Stuttering affects a child’s emotional state and confidence  

Types of stutters 

  • Sound – “t,t,t, take” 
  • Prolongations – “mmmmonkey” 
  • Syllable “tha tha thank you”  
  • Word “when when when”
  • Phrase – “we went, we went” 
  • Fillers – “um um”  
  • Secondary behaviours – Eye blinking, muscle tension, rapid movements, avoidance in participation or conversation topics.   


  • Children who stutter can help it
  • Stuttering is caused from trauma
  • People who stutter prefer individuals to complete their sentences
  • Children acquire stuttering by copying others
  • Correcting and making awareness to the stutter supports a child
  • People who stutter are less intelligent
  • People who stutter are too shy to speak
  • Stuttering is caused by poor parenting


The “wait and see” approach is not recommended. Early intervention is key! For young children who stutter, the strong evidence-based “The Lidcombe Program” is highly recommend. The Lidcombe Program is delivered by a trained speech pathologist and is centered around positive play-based interactions.   

Stuttering treatments vary in duration, however, therapy requires daily parent-lead interventions with the child and weekly visits with a qualified speech pathologist. If you have any concerns regarding your child’s fluency, please contact a speech pathologist to discuss further.