Stuttering is a speech disorder that disrupts the flow of speech. Stuttering is also known as stammering and dysfluency. People who stutter typically know what they want to say, but have difficulty saying or expressing it. A stutter breaks the fluency of speech by repetition or prolongations of sounds, syllables, or words. Stuttering also presents itself by the speaker’s inability to produce any sound, as in speech blocking or stoppages. In some cases, people may exhibit a visible expressive struggle—such as eye-blinking, facial contortions, or body movements—during their efforts to speak.


Currently, there is no known exact cause of stuttering. But several factors are likely to contribute to this speech problem, which begins in childhood. These factors might include a child’s genetics, language skills, life events, and temperament. Stuttering can begin gradually and develop over time, or it can appear suddenly. Stuttering is about four times more common in boys than girls, and an estimated five percent of all children experience a period of stuttering lasting six months or longer.


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