Stuttering is a speech disorder characterised by disruptions in the normal flow of speech. Stuttering typically begins in early childhood, usually between the ages of 2 and 5. Many children go through a phase of stuttering as they develop their language and speech skills, and most outgrow it without any intervention. However, for some children, stuttering persists and may require professional assistance.
Stuttering is characterised by the following features:
Repetitions: The child may repeat sounds, syllables, or words, such as "b-b-boy" or "I-I-I want that."
Prolongations: There may be prolonged sounds or interruptions in the normal flow of speech, as in "sssssnake" or "ssssstop."
Blocks: The child may experience blocks, where the sound or word gets stuck and does not come out, even though the child is trying to say it.
Early intervention by a speech pathologist can be effective in helping children overcome stuttering and develop fluent speech.