Childhood stuttering


Stuttering (stammering) is common in young children. For many, stuttering resolves by age five but for others it may be an ongoing condition. It is a form of ‘dysfluency’ or interruption in the flow of speech. The first signs of stuttering may appear between the ages of 18-24 months old when there is a burst of language development. It may manifest as:

  • repeating certain syllables, words or phrases
  • prolonging certain syllables, words or phrases
  • stopping or blocks “I….I want to come too”
  • making no sound for certain sounds and syllables

Stuttering is thought to relate to a problem in the neural processing area involved in speech production. Stuttering may be accompanied by feelings of frustration fear, embarrassment and anxiety. It tends to run in families and affects more males than females.

Treatment is most effective during early childhood, preferably before the child starts school.

This short course is designed to provide health professionals with up-to-date information about stuttering as well as help them provide evidence-based advice, support and when appropriate, speech language therapy referral options.

By completion you will have an understanding of:

  • How stuttering may present.
  • When and where to seek help for a child who stutters.
  • Helpful tips when talking with a child who stutters.


    Once you have completed this short course and quiz, please click 'submit' where you will be taken to the results page. From here you can print your certificate for 1 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hour.


    This content has been created by Voon Pang, Speech & Language Therapist, Stuttering Treatment & Research Trust (with support from his START SLT colleagues Janelle Irvine and Roz Young) and reviewed by Dr Karen Falloon MBChB, FRNZCGP, PhD, Senior Lecturer, University of Auckland in 2019.

    The material is presented by the Goodfellow Unit (GFU), an accredited continuing medical education/ continuing professional development (CME/CPD) provider for the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and functions under a tripartite agreement between the Goodfellow Foundation, the College and the University of Auckland. The Unit is located within the Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, and within the School of Population Health.


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