Frequently Asked Questions about Stuttering

What is Stuttering?

The American Speech-Language Hearing Association defines stuttering as a communication disorder in which the flow of Speech is broken by repetitions (li-li-like this), prolongations (lllllike this), or abnormal stoppages (no sound) of sounds and syllables. There may also be unusual facial and body movements associated with the effort to speak. Stuttering is also referred to as stammering.

What causes stuttering?

There are four factors most likely to contribute to the development of stuttering: genetics (approximately 60% of those who stutter have a family member who does also); child development (children with other speech and language problems or developmental delays are more likely to stutter); neurophysiology (recent neurological research has shown that people who stutter process speech and language slightly differently than those who do not stutter); and family dynamics (high expectations and fast-paced lifestyles can contribute to stuttering).

Stuttering may occur when a combination of factors comes together and may have different causes in different people. It is probable that what causes stuttering differs from what makes it continue or get worse.

How many people stutter?

More than 68 million people worldwide stutter, which is about 1% of the population. In the United States, that's over 3 million Americans who stutter.

What is the ratio of males to females who stutter?

Stuttering affects four times as many males as females.

Courtesy Stuttering Foundation

Speech Plus Team

Our Executive Director, Valerie Thompson, is a Board Certified Specialist in Fluency and Fluency Disorders. Board Certified Specialists are individuals who hold their Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) awarded by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and have demonstrated a high level of knowledge and clinical expertise in diagnosing and treating individuals with fluency disorders.