Stuttering Symptoms & Causes

LIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke This

Sometimes, it is difficult to know whether your child has an actual stuttering problem. These speech styles are part of true stuttering:

  • repeating words, sounds, or syllables
  • talking slowly or with a lot of pauses
  • having an uneven rate of speech
  • stuttering more when tired, excited, or under stress
  • acting fearful about talking

What causes stuttering?

The exact mechanical causes of stuttering are not completely understood, but it is thought to be a hereditary condition.

What are the different types of stuttering?

There are several types of stuttering:

  • Developmental stuttering. This is the most common type of stuttering which occurs in children. As their speech and language processes are developing, they may not be able to meet verbal demands.
  • Neurogenic stuttering. Neurogenic stuttering is also a common disorder that occurs from signal problems between the brain and nerves and muscles.
  • Psychogenic stuttering. Psychogenic stuttering is believed to originate in the area of the brain that directs thought and reasoning. This type of stuttering may occur in people with a mental illness, or those who have experienced excessive mental stress or anguish. Although stuttering may cause emotional problems, it is not believed to be the result of emotional problems.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944