Dr. Hudock’s TedTalk about the experience of stuttering.




What is Stuttering?

  • Stuttering is an interruption in fluent speech.
  • Although everyone has moments of dysfluency, people who stutter have more frequent speech disruptions.
  • Stuttered speech includes frequent disruptions, such as repetitions or prolongations of sounds, words, or even phrases.
  • Stuttering isn’t necessarily a problem, but it can make communication difficult for both the speaker and listener.

Who Stutters?

  • Approximately 5% of children stutter for an extended period of time (more than six months).
  • There is a 4:1 ratio of boys who stutter to girls who stutter. However, 75% of preschoolers who stutter stop.
  • In adulthood, the ratio of men who stutter to women who stutter is 2:1.
  • Currently, over 3 million Americans stutter, amounting to 1% of the population.
  • Stuttering appears to have a family connection – people who have family members who stutter are more likely to stutter themselves.

Characteristics of Stuttering

  • Repetitions: Repeating a single sound, partial word, complete word, or phrase
    • Ex. W-w-w-what time is it?
  • Prolongation: Stretching a sound out when unable to move to the next sound
    • Ex. SSSSSSit down
  • Interjections: Adding “um”, “uh”, or “like” in between words
    • Ex. I um um want um a um cookie
  • Blocks: A period of no airflow or voice, usually for several seconds
    • Ex. Where did ___________ you park?

Things to Look For

  • More than 2 repetitions of a sound, word, or phrase
  • Stuttering that lasts for longer than 6 months
  • Signs of tension and straining in the facial muscles
  • Stuttering or dysfluencies more than 10% of the time
  • Dysfluencies in most, if not all speaking situations
  • Episodes of dysfluency with periods of fluency in between (weeks or months)
more than a tangled tongue

Facts about Stuttering

  • People who stutter report that they stutter less in certain situations
    • Choral speech
    • Whispering
    • Speaking to animals, infants, or yourself
    • Speaking with an accent
    • Acting





Bloodstein, O. (2007). A handbook of stuttering (6th ed.). Stamford, CT: Thomson Delmar Learning.

Buchel, C., & Sommer, M. (2004). What causes stuttering? Plos Biology, 2(2), 0159-0163. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0020046

FAQ. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.stutteringhelp.com/faq.

Stuttering. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/stuttering.htm.

Stuttering frequently-asked questions. (1996). Retrieved from http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/kuster/Kehoe/FAQstuttering.html.

The Stuttering Foundation. (n.d.) If you think your child is stuttering [Brochure]. Guitar, B., & Conture, E.G.: Authors. Retrieved September 1, 2013 from http://www.stutteringhelp.org/sites/default/files/pictures/0041iyti.pdf

What is stuttering? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.westutter.org/what-is-stuttering/stuttering-info/.

Yairi, E., & Seery C. H. (2011). Stuttering foundations and clinical applications. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.