Stuttering Specialist

Speech Success

Jacqueline Ahrens, SLPD, CCC-SLP

Pediatric Speech Therapist located in Emerson, NJ

It's common for children to go through a stuttering phase, especially when their speech is developing. But if it lasts longer than six months, it's time to seek treatment from Jacqueline Ahrens, SLPD, CCC-SLP, at Speech Success. Dr. Ahrens develops age-appropriate treatment and works with parents, helping them learn tips they can use at home to support their children. If your child stutters, don't wait to contact Speech Success. Call the office in Emerson, New Jersey, or book an appointment online today.

Stuttering Q&A

What is stuttering?

Stuttering is a type of speech disorder called a fluency disorder that interferes with your child’s ability to speak in a smooth, naturally flowing manner. We all experience moments of disfluency speech. Maybe we add “umm” or “uh” to our sentences. Those who stutter may experience more of these moments or different types of disfluencies. These can include repeating a word, repeating a sound, or even voicing a single sound for an extended period of time. 

But there is more to stuttering than just producing smooth speech. At times, stuttering can include physical components such as eye blinking and head nodding. Additionally, it is often accompanied by negative thoughts or feelings about speaking.

The severity of your child’s stuttering can vary over time and change based on their emotions or circumstances. For example, they may not stutter when relaxing at home but have difficulty speaking in front of other people or reading aloud in school. 

What symptoms occur due to stuttering?

Stuttering typically begins in children 2 to 6 years old. Many children go through normal periods of stuttering when learning speech and language skills. However, this type of stuttering should go away within six months.

The symptoms of stuttering include:

  • Difficulty starting to say a word or sentence
  • Repeating sounds, letters, syllables, or words
  • Changing the words in a sentence
  • Adding an extra sound or word
  • Prolonging a word or sounds within a word
  • Opening their mouth to speak but saying nothing
  • Talking slowly or with many pauses

Along with stuttering, you may notice behaviors such as:

  • Eye blinking
  • Head nodding
  • Fist clenching
  • Facial tics
  • Tremors in their lips or jaw

Children who are aware of their stuttering may get anxious when they need to talk or try to avoid talking.

When should I seek help for my child's stuttering?

Call Speech Success to schedule an appointment when:

  • Their stuttering lasts longer than six months
  • Their stuttering gets worse
  • Their stuttering starts after the age of 3-4
  • They avoid talking
  • They say it's hard to talk

With early treatment, your child's stuttering is less likely to last into adulthood. 

How is stuttering treated?

Dr. Ahrens uses different activities and techniques to teach children ways to decrease their stuttering, but the therapy they receive depends on many factors such as age, severity, and motivation.  

When appropriate for your child, she may help them learn to recognize when they start stuttering and how to use strategies to reduce the stutter. She may train them to slow down and pace their speech.

Dr. Ahrens also works with parents, giving them strategies they can use at home to support their children and help them cope with stuttering.

If you have questions about your child's stuttering, call Speech Success, or book an appointment online today.