Stuttering also referred to as stammering and/or disfluency is a communication disorder that affects the fluidity of speech production. It is characterized by involuntary disruptions, that is, repetition of sounds, syllables, words and phrases, sound prolongations and blocks (long pauses due to cessation of air and reduced coordination of respiration and phonation). Negative feelings such as anger, embarrassment, and/or shame may arise due to stuttering and peers may tease a child that stutters. It is beneficial to seek early detection and intervention from a qualified speech language pathologist. Stuttering is rated on a severity scale from mild to moderate to severe.

Below are examples of disfluencies: 

  1. Repetition –
    • Sound: c c c c c cat (English); b b b b b bili (Hindi, Urdu)
    • Syllable: ba ba ba ba baby (English, Hindi, Urdu)
    • Word: salt and and and and pepper (English); namak aur aur aur aur miri (Hindi, Urdu)
    • Phrase: my name is my name is my name is Sameer (English); mera naam mera naam mera naam Sameer hai (Hindi, Urdu)
  2. Prolongation –
    • Sound: mmmmmmmmother (English); ammmmmmmmi (Hindi, Urdu)
  3. Blocks –
    • Muscle tension, cessation of air and reduced coordination of respiration and phonation causing long pauses in verbal communication