Debunking 6 common myths about stuttering

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Debunking 6 common myths about stuttering

Stuttering is a problem that can be very frustrating and distressing for both the child who stutters, as well as their parents who don’t how best to support them.

To make matters worse, there are many myths about stuttering, and so much contradicting information is now readily available. This blog article will debunk the 6 most common myths about stuttering, which will leave you feeling much more comfortable and knowledgeable about your or your child’s stuttering journey.  

1.  Stuttering is caused by something stressful that occurred

This is one of the biggest myths about stuttering and often leaves parents feeling guilty and anxious. Environmental factors are definitely not the cause of stuttering.

Although these factors have an influence over when your child might start to stutter, stuttering is mostly genetically inherited. This means that a child who stutters is usually born with an inherited genetic predisposition to develop stuttering. When something changes in their environment, such as a big burst in their language skills, their speech system is tipped out of balance and the stuttering begins.

Ongoing research is continuing to explore genetic contributions to stuttering onset and its trajectory.

2. There is only one program available for preschool children who stutter

This is not the case. There is typically one main program recommended by speech pathologists for treating young children who stutter. However, new research is showing that family centred care and individualisation of treatment principles to suit the child and family, is extremely beneficial and effective for treating stuttering in young children.

Dr Kerianne Druker implements a stuttering program that combines and individualises stuttering treatment principles, with an effective rate of over 90%. 

3. Stuttering is normal and children will always grow out if it

Although there is a level of stuttering or “disfluencies” that can occur as young children become skilled language users, these disfluencies are typically mild and transient.

Typical disfluencies might include a repetition of a phrase (e.g., I want, I want an ice-cream), whereas an atypical disfluency could sound something like: I-I-I-I want an ice-cream). 

Early intervention for stuttering is critical. The earlier you get support for your child’s stuttering, the more likely they will overcome this potentially lifelong problem.

4. I need to see my GP when my child starts stuttering

You do not need a GP referral to see a Speech Pathologist. 

In the absence of any medical concerns or issues, it is not necessary to see your GP when your child starts stuttering. It is, however, highly recommended to contact a Speech Pathologist with a specialisation in stuttering, to ensure you get the best outcomes for your child.  

5. Stuttering treatment is only effective for young children

Although the main goal of stuttering treatment shifts from “zero stuttering” (which is the ultimate goal of preschool stuttering treatment), there are many evidence-based techniques and strategies that can be put in place for school-age children, adolescents and even adults who stutter. Strategies help to reduce the stuttering by giving individuals control over their speech system. Treatment for these age groups also addresses the underlying emotional consequences of living with a stutter, improving communication confidence and self-esteem.

6. People who stutter have trouble forming sentences or thinking of words to say

People who stutter know exactly what they want to say, they just get stuck when making the sounds or words. They typically have no trouble formulating thoughts into sentences, however, the sentences often don’t come out as planned. This is what makes stuttering so frustrating!

Next Steps

Now that the 6 most common myths about stuttering have been debunked, you should be feeling more knowledgeable and empowered about your child’s stuttering journey.

Access the Stuttering Checklist now to find out the best course of action to take to help your child overcome their stutter!  


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