Stuttering - What it is and how to help

Updated: Jul 31, 2021

Updated: May 27th, 2021

Everyone knows how it feels to trip over your words and find yourself stuttering for a moment, but for some people, a stutter is a daily challenge to their communication.

What is it?

For 1% of the population, stuttering is a speech disorder that begins in childhood, usually between age 2 and 6, and may last throughout adulthood. It can present as repetitions of sounds, words, or blocks where the person can’t get a sound out for several seconds. People who stutter know what they want to say, they just have difficulty doing so. The anxiety and fear about stuttering in a speaking situation keeps some individuals from enjoying their lives to the fullest, making them feel even more isolated and stressed.


Don’t take it from us, listen to what those who stutter directly are saying: “Growing up, I always struggled with my stutter. As a child, I was silenced, bullied, and ashamed about how I spoke, which led me to hide my stutter from other people.” – (“Discrimination Against my Stutter”, January 2016).

“My sister would call my friends on the phone for me because when I called, their moms would hang up before I got out what I wanted to say.” (Hays, January 2017).

“The feeling of disappointment, numbness and simultaneous relief after a tough presentation is all too familiar… I had just finished a 20-minute presentation that should have only taken five-minutes… because of a relentless barrage of stuttering and vocal blocks.” (“On Perseverance and adaptation, October 2017).