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Stuttering Warning Signs


  • Multiple part word repetitions (repeating the first letter or syllable of a word, such as t-t-table, or ta-ta-table)
  • Excessive repetitions of whole words or phrases (for example, “We we we went to the store.” or “We went we went we went to the store.”)
  • Prolongations (stretching out a sound, such as in rrrabbit)
  • Inserting a weak or neutral schwa vowel (for example, buh buh buh baby instead of ba ba baby)
  • Rises in pitch and/or loudness (pitch and volume increase momentarily while repeating and/or prolonging sounds, syllables, or words)
  • Tremors or other secondary behaviors (may include fleeting quivering of the lips, tongue, etc, but may also occur as a head nod, foot tap, or eye blink)
  • Avoidance (as the child becomes more concerned, aware, or frustrated, he may display an unusual number of pauses, substitutions of words, interjection of extraneous sounds, words, or phrases, and avoidance of talking)
  • Difficulty in starting and or sustaining airflow or voicing for speech (heard most often as the child begins to speak, at the beginning of sentences, or after natural pause boundaries within sentences. Breathing may be irregular, and speech may occur in spurts)