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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Stuttering in adults

Kikikiki ki ngā pakeke

Important

Get help if you suddenly develop a stutter when you have never had one before. See your general practice team as soon as possible.

Stuttering is an interruption to the flow of your speech that you cannot control. It is also called stammering.

Stuttering can happen in different ways, such as:

We do not know exactly what causes stuttering. We think it is caused by problems in the part of your brain that produces speech. It may also be partly genetic, as stuttering often runs in families.

Diagnosing stuttering in adults

Only a qualified speech-language therapist can diagnose a stutter. There is no simple test your doctor can use.

Treating stuttering in adults

Although there is no cure for stuttering, several treatments can help you control it. Talk to your speech-language therapist about what is best for you.

Self-care for stuttering in adults

Learn more about stuttering by visiting the START website. START stands for Stuttering Treatment and Research Trust. START is based in Auckland but offers consultations via telephone and Zoom.

You can also read these online resources about stuttering:

Getting help for stuttering in adults

You can get help from a speech-language therapist. They can help you work through the issues you have with stuttering and find solutions that suit you.

You will have to pay to see them privately. There is no publicly funded service available for adults who stutter. To find a speech-language therapist, search on the Speech-language Therapists' Association website.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed July 2023.

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Page reference: 130005

Review key: HISCD-79694