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Some degree of dysfluency is normal for everyone.  In young children, it is not unusual to hear hesitations and sound or syllable repetitions.  This may be especially true when a child is tired or excited. These periods of normal dysfluency typically don’t last longer than a few months. 


Stuttering can manifest in many different ways, including:

  • Sound, syllable or whole word repetitions

  • Sound prolongations

  • Voiceless blocks (instances where the person appears to want to speak but no sound comes out)

  • Frequent hesitations

  • Prolonged pauses during speech

  • Tense facial expressions accompanying speech

  • Fear of speaking


If left untreated, persistent stuttering will typically continue to develop into adulthood. In addition to the above-listed stuttering behaviours, prolonged dysfluency can lead to fear or anxiety when the need to speak arises, which may develop into social anxiety. This can lead to avoidance of speaking in order to prevent embarrassment associated with stuttering.


The way people experience and cope with stuttering varies between individuals. For some, dysfluency does not interrupt their daily function. For others, it impacts all aspects of their life. Speech therapy will therefore be tailored to your individual needs and experiences. Goals may include fluency shaping techniques and desensitization exercises to reduce the impact of stuttering.

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