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Stuttering Specisalist Newcastle Little Star Speech Therapy

Stuttering is a speech disturbance, which involves difficulty producing sentences with a natural flow. Stuttering typically begins in the preschool years and the onset can be gradual or sudden. Stuttering may begin after a phase of rapid speech or language development. The cause of stuttering is unknown however it can run in families.  Stuttering is not a psychological problem nor is it caused by anxiety. Stuttering affects more males than females.


If left untreated, persistent stuttering during the adult years can lead to social phobia and/or anxiety.


Characteristics of stuttering:

  • Repetitions: The sound is repeated (ex. a-a-a-and), or the syllable repeated (ex. um-um-umbrella) or the whole word repeated (ex. can can can can can)

  • Prolongations: The sound is extended (ex. mmmmummy, sssssschool)

  • Blocks:  The sound becomes “stuck” (ex. a^and)

  • Secondary behaviours: (ex. eye blinks, nasal flare)

  • Fillers: words or sounds (ex. um-a-um-um-um-I-um-want to go….)


What can be done?

  • Assessment: It is important to determine the extent and severity of the stuttering by a qualified speech therapist. Typically the assessment lasts one-hour.  During this time, the clinician gains important case history information, gathers a conversational sample, measures stuttering (percentage syllables stuttered and severity ratings) and writes the information into a report. The clinician will recommend the best treatment approach for the client.


  • Treatment: Early intervention is highly recommended to prevent persistent stuttering in the later years. However, successful treatment approaches exist for older children up to the adult years

    • The Lidcombe Program is an evidence-based approach to treat early stuttering between the ages 3-6

    • Speech prolongation techniques are highly effective in reducing stuttering to near-zero levels for older school age, adolescents and adults

    • Treatment visits are typically between 45minutes to 1 hour on a weekly basis until the stuttering reaches near-zero levels.  Maintenance visits are built into the program to ensure that the stuttering remains at near-zero levels.

If you are unsure if your child has a communication problem, please phone us at Little Star to speak directly to a speech therapist regarding your questions

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