Stuttering

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Stuttering is a speech problem that interferes with normal word patterns. A person who stutters involuntarily repeats, draws out, does not complete, or skips sounds or words when speaking.

A person who stutters may:

  • Repeat sounds, parts of words, and sometimes entire words.
  • Pause between words or within a word.
  • Use a different word in place of a word that's hard to speak.
  • Use incomplete phrases.
  • Show obvious tension or discomfort while talking. Other physical symptoms may occur, such as eye-blinking or head-nodding.
  • Make parenthetical remarks. This means a person who is talking seems to abruptly change subject matter. For example, a person may say, "I wonder if it will. . .where is the dog?"

Stuttering that is part of normal speech development is called typical disfluency. This usually goes away on its own before puberty. More severe forms of stuttering are called developmental stuttering. They usually do not get better without treatment.

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.