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Stuttering is a speech problem in which a child may repeat, draw out, not complete, or skip words or sounds without meaning to.
The cause of stuttering is not known, but it happens when the brain is not able to send and receive messages in a normal way. Stuttering often gets worse at stressful times, such as during public speaking. It often does not happen when a person sings, whispers, talks while alone or to pets, or reads aloud with a group.
Sometimes stuttering gets better on its own. But some types of stuttering probably will not get better without treatment. Treatment can be helpful whether stuttering is expected to be temporary or not.
Treatment often includes speech therapy for the child and counselling for parents. Speech therapy may help your child learn speech and language skills and feel better about his or her ability to speak. Counselling teaches parents about speech development and how to help their child at home.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
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Current as of: March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Susan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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