Stuttering

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A disturbance of rhythm and fluency of speech by an intermittent blocking. Stuttering is a disorder of speech fluency that interrupts the forward flow of speech. Everyone is disfluent at times, but what differs between children who stutter and those with normal speech disfluencies is the kind and amount of the disfluencies. Almost all children go through a stage of disfluency in early speech development, usually between the ages of two and five. As children mature and sharpen their communication skills, these disfluencies usually disappear, but not always. We still do not know what causes stuttering; possible causes could be in coordination of the speech muscles, the rate of language development, and life stresses. For more information contact the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association 1-800-638-8255, www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/stuttering.htm or Stuttering Foundation of America 1-800-364-1677 www.stuttersfa.org

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