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  • Lori Melnitsky

Stuttering: Basic Facts for Parents


What is Stuttering? Stuttering (also known as stammering or dysfluencies) consists of disruptions in the normal flow of speech. It includes repeating words or parts of words, complete sound blockage, sound prolongations and physical tension or struggle.

What causes Stuttering?: There is no single cause of stuttering. Research has found that genetics, language skills, sound development, the child’s temperament and environmental factors play a role in the development of stuttering.

Is Stuttering an emotional problem? No. It is not caused by anxiety or being nervous. However it can cause fear of speaking.

Is Stuttering Cyclical? Yes it is common for people to stutter more at times and then be fluent at other times. It tends to come and go and people often learn to avoid words they might stutter on. Avoiding speaking can have a negative impact on social, emotional and educational development.

Does Stuttering cause fear and embarrassment? For many people who stutter it does. This causes people who stutter to hide talking so no one hears them speak. They learn to change words or avoid speaking altogether.

What are warning signs of Stuttering in Children? Onset after age 3, males higher incidence but females can stutter too, other speech language and oral motor difficulties, family history, signs of struggle and awareness, tension and secondary characteristics such as facial grimaces or eye blinking.

Should I wait to get my child help? No. Waiting can impact the rest of their lives. Stuttering treatment for ages 2 ½ to 6 involve trying to eliminate stuttering or minimizing it in a fun way. We do this with the help of a speech pathologist specializing in stuttering therapy and parent involvement.

Can Children who Stutter 7 and over be helped? Yes, Full recovery is more challenging at this age but stuttering can be minimized. Developing more fluency is important at this age as well as improving confidence and self esteem while speaking. Parents learn the importance at this age of helping with healthy attitudes and improving family listening skills.

Can older teens and Adults be helped? Yes, intensive therapy can be very effective for this age group. The Modified Phonation Intervals-2 program is researched based and helpful. Teens/Adults can learn to combine words together and regulate breathing to dramatically improve stuttering.

Do I need to seek help from a Speech Pathologist with Stuttering Expertise? Yes. Stuttering impacts one percent of the population and is a specialty area. It is important to get the correct help.

Do you need more information?

Please contact You can also visit her blog on website- Our director, Lori Melnitsky, overcame a severe stuttering disorder to help others communicate. She runs support groups for stuttering and ADHD online and in person. Lori Melnitsky, speech pathologist and stuttering specialist, has been directing All Island Speech and Stuttering Therapy for over 25 years. With specialty certifications in Lidcombe Stuttering, MPI-2 Adult stuttering and Prompt Certification she can help you and your family. Lori Melnitsky can be reached at 516-776-0184.

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