can be devastating for afflicted children and adults, so when a preschool child
starts to stutter, parents and educationists can be very concerned.
Researchers found the cumulative incidence of stuttering onset by 4 years of age was 11 percent. Researchers also found that recovery from stuttering was low, at 6.3 percent 12 months after onset. Rates of recovery were higher in boys than girls, and in those who did not repeat whole words at onset than those who did. The study found boys were more likely to develop stuttering. Researchers were surprised to find that stuttering in the preschool years was associated with better language development and non-verbal skills
, with no identifiable effect on the child’s mental health or temperament at age 4. Higher rates of stuttering most often occurred in boys, twins, and children whose mothers were college-educated.
Current best practice recommends waiting until age 12 months before beginning treatment, unless the child is distressed, there is parental concern, or the child becomes reluctant to communicate. Parents are encouraged to talk to a speech pathologist
or health care provider if they are concerned.