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Stuttering is a speech disorder that involves repeating certain sounds or syllables at a fast or slow pace. This is a fairly common phenomenon in which a person can stumble in the process of communication. Despite the fact that stuttering manifests itself differently in each individual, it occurs quite often in everyday life and is considered a normal speech disorder. However, if the frequency of stuttering exceeds the norm and begins to cause psychological discomfort, then such stuttering is considered pathological.
Stuttering can occur for various reasons and is most often caused by the influence of several factors, for example, genetic (organic) factors, developmental factors, environmental factors and psychological factors. In children under the age of three, genetic factors mainly prevail, but from the age of three, the appearance of speech fluency disorders may be associated with developmental processes such as language acquisition. Stuttering, which occurs at the age of 5 to 8 years, is often caused by environmental factors, for example, criticism from others regarding the child’s speech skills.


When most children learn to speak, the repetition of sounds or syllables with incorrect pronunciation is considered normal. However, with pathological stuttering, this process is more frequent, and the repetition of sounds or words lasts more than 0.5 seconds. In addition, with pathological stuttering, symptoms appear constantly.

  • Repetition of syllables or speech sounds
    This case is characterized by multiple repetition of the same speech sound, and then multiple repetition of the same syllable, before finally the originally conceived word is pronounced. Sometimes these repetitions of sounds or syllables can last from 30 seconds to 2-3 minutes, which is a serious manifestation. Usually the initial sound or syllable of the word is repeated.
  • Intermittent speech
    This is a phenomenon in which it becomes difficult to maintain a conversation because speech is intermittent. Sometimes, after one such interruption, it becomes difficult to restore the normal rhythm of speech. Stuttering also manifests itself at the beginning of words or sentences. If the repetition of words is accompanied by intermittent speech, then the symptoms are more serious than just repetition.
  • Changing behavior
    When intermittent speech causes rejection from people around, fear of it develops and secondary behaviors such as avoidance appear.
  • Hidden symptoms of stuttering
    Hidden symptoms of stuttering include fear of words, situational fear, etc. Fear of words is a fear of words or sounds, when uttering which a person easily stutters. Situational fear is a feeling of fear of a situation that usually occurs when communicating with older people or with strangers. Most people with situational fear also suffer from telephonophobia.


The main signs for the diagnosis of stuttering are age discrepancy in terms of fluency of speech and speech rhythm disorders. If there is compliance with at least one of the 8 points based on the DSM-IV diagnosis, and if a person has difficulties in learning, professional activity or socialization, then this may indicate the presence of this disorder.

Treatment and course of the disease

It is necessary to learn proper breathing, conduct relaxation therapy and speech therapy. When talking, slow down and speak slowly, and if there are emotional disorders, also conduct individual psychotherapy or family therapy.

Treatment of stuttering can be classified into two main types. The first type is therapy with correction of stuttering, aimed at eliminating existing stuttering, and the second type is therapy for the development of fluency of speech, the purpose of which is to train a person to speak more smoothly and without stuttering. The approach to treatment may vary depending on the nature and severity of stuttering.

Stuttering, as a rule, has a short-term course that lasts several months. Most children suffering from stuttering, over time, completely overcome this condition by the time the childhood period ends. However, in a small percentage of children, about 1%, stuttering can continue into adulthood.

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