Stuttering is a speech disorder that disrupts the normal flow of speech.


People who stutter know what they want to say, but they have a hard time saying it. Stuttering is common in young children as a usual part of learning to speak. It often gets better on its own. But it can continue into the adult years.


Symptoms include finding it hard to start a word or sentence. Those who stutter stretch or repeat words, or add words or pauses in a word. They can be tense, or they may move their face or upper body to produce a word. They also may be anxious about talking and have trouble communicating.


Seek treatment if stuttering lasts more than six months, becomes more frequent or continues as a child ages. Also seek treatment if stuttering affects communication, causes anxiety or starts as an adult. A speech-language pathologist can teach skills to help speech flow and improve communication.