Stuttering – What is it and what to do

At Cooee Speech Pathology, our Brisbane North Speech Pathologists work with families to support their children who have a stutter.


What is Stuttering?                                                       

According to the World Health Organisation and the Australian Human Rights Commission, stuttering is a disability that affects 1–2% of people worldwide.

There is largely no known cause of stuttering, however many people who stutter have a family history. Stuttering typically starts in the pre-school years when a child begins to speak in longer sentences. 


Stuttering can impact how easily someone can communicate their ideas, opinions and stories. A stutter can look like: 

  • Repeating sounds, parts or whole words e.g. l-l-l-like, li-li-li-like or like-like-like-like 
  • Stretching out a sound or syllable e.g. sssssnake 
  • Getting stuck on a sound or word. This may look like someone opening their mouth to speak and nothing coming out
  • Tensing or movement of the face, head and/or body 


Common Stuttering Myths Busted!

MYTH: People who stutter are less intelligent
FACT: There is no link between stuttering and intelligence

MYTH: People who stutter are nervous
FACT: Nervousness does not cause stuttering but can increase disfluencies

MYTH: People stutter on every word
FACT: Stuttering doesn’t happen all the time and can vary in severity 


When to Seek Support?

Research indicates that parents should seek support from a speech pathologist as soon as they can if they notice their child beginning to stutter. 

There are a number of different approaches and programs to assist children who stutter. The choice of intervention depends on a number of factors, including age of the child, desired outcome and family preferences. 

If you would like to find out more about stuttering, the Australian Speak Easy Association support to all people who stutter and have some wonderful resources on their website.

If you have any concerns that your child may be presenting with a stutter, please do not hesitate to contact our lovely client care team on 3265 4495 or chat to one of our speech pathologists via our website.


Kimberly Killick

Speech Pathologist