It is important to refer a child to a Speech Therapist if you suspect that they may be developing a stutter. According to Yaruss (2007), “Stuttering is a communication disorder in which the forward flow of an individual’s speech may be characterized by the occurrence of disruptions, or disfluencies. These disfluencies generally take the form of repetitions of parts of words e.g. ‘li-li-like this”, prolongations of sounds e.g. ‘llllllike this’, or instances when no sound is produced at all, sometimes called blocks e.g ‘l –  -ike this’. We do not know the precise cause of stuttering, but current research suggests that a combination of factors such as one’s genetic predisposition, environment and attitudes and feelings about stuttering can increase one’s likelihood of developing a stutter. Children who stutter may also deal with teasing and bullying in the school or home environment and it is important for teasing and bullying to be addressed in order to promote a positive communicative environment.


Yaruss, J.S. (2007). Application of ICF in Fluency Disorders, Seminars in Speech and Language,           28, 312 – 322.

Written by: Candice Tu, Speech Therapist at Sparrow Schools Educational Trust.

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