Stammer versus Stutter

People often ask speech and language therapists the difference between stammering, stuttering and dysfluency. The answer is … there is no difference. The terms mean the same but stammering is the accepted term in this country to describe speech which is “bumpy” or dysfluent.

Stammering is not an issue that can be addressed without advice and input from your speech and language therapist. We recommend that you get help for any child who stammers as soon as possible.

The longer a child has been stammering the more likely it is that they will continue to stammer. There are a number of therapy techniques that may be used, but it is crucial that everyone at home and at school is giving the same message and is working together to support the child.

There has been a great deal of research into what causes stammering but it remains a complex issue. There are physiological, psychological and environmental factors that can make a child more vulnerable to developing a stammer. It is well documented that anxiety has a considerable impact on a child’s fluency and so it is important to reduce pressure and the speaking demands on them in the classroom.

A stammer can manifest in a number of ways. Our article by guest writer Daisy Hope, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist, looks at this in more detail. Read Daisy’s article for an insight into the feelings of children who have a stammer.

For our Speech Link users:

If a child shows signs of stammering, we do not recommend working on speech sounds in the classroom.

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