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HealthInfo Canterbury

Stuttering in teenagers

Stuttering, or stammering, is an interruption to the flow of your speech that you can't control. It can happen in different ways, such as:

We don't know exactly what causes stuttering, but we think it is caused by difficulties in the part of the brain that produces speech. It may also be partly genetic, as stuttering often runs in families.

About 1% of the population stutters. It usually develops in childhood, and may come and go as you get older. If you experience any interruptions in your speech, such as repetitions, prolongations or blockages, you may have a stutter.

Diagnosing stuttering in teenagers

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

Treating stuttering in teenagers

Several treatment approaches are available for teenagers who stutter. Your speech-language therapist will choose the best one to meet your needs.

Self-care for stuttering in teenagers

There are several things you and your family can do to help lessen the impact of stuttering.

You can also learn more by reading these online resources about stuttering:

Getting help for stuttering in teenagers

A speech-language therapist can help you to work through the issues you have with stuttering and find solutions that suit you. They can help you to:

Check through your school if there is any publicly funded help available to you.

You may wish to pay to see a private speech-language therapist. You can search for a therapist on the Speech-language Therapists' Association website.

Contact a support group:

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed August 2021.

Page reference: 129952

Review key: HISCD-79694