Why has my previously normal 4 year old started to stammer?

5% of children develop stammering (synonym: stuttering) and 80% grow out of it.  It tends to come on around the age of 3 or 4 on the background of normal language development up until that point. It seems that it occurs at the time that language acquisition becomes more complex.

Stammering is known by Speech and Language (SLT) therapists as “dysfluency” and there should be a dysfluency service in your region that your GP or paediatrician can refer you to.  My local SLT service tells me that outcomes are better if the child is seen by them within a year of the onset of the stammer.  They are keen on a parent led programme called the Lidcombe programme.  Click on the link in the name to read more about it.  Stammering persists into adulthood in about 1 in every 5 cases.

You may find the following links helpful:

The Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children in Islington runs intensive courses in school holidays for older children.  Tel 02033168100 www.stammeringcentre.org.

The British Stammering Association (http://www.stammering.org/) has a wealth of information, in many languages, for professionals, parents and children on its website.  It also has a phone helpline staffed by people who stammer.  Tel 0845 603 2001/0208 8806590

The Fluency Trust (http://www.thefluencytrust.org.uk) provides residential courses in activity centres for children older than 10 years with dysfluency.

City University, London, provides intensive week long courses in school holidays for those over 8 years.  Contact Bethan Lewis, tel 0207 040 8288 (http://www.city.ac.uk/health/public-clinics/compass-centre/stammering-clinic/instensive-courses-for-people-who-stammer)

This entry was posted in children's health and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *