Stuttering in children: causes and treatment


Stuttering (logoneurosis) is an unpleasant and frightening speech disorder to which children are prone. But it is curable, and quite effective. This is evidenced by statistics. About 4% of children suffer from stuttering. And the same speech disorder occurs only in 2% of adults.

The formation of children's speech function is a very complex process, during which various failures can occur. The most common speech disorder is stuttering. It can be caused by a mass of reasons. Stuttering manifests itself quite early, and timely reaction of parents is the key to success in overcoming the problem.

If you do not pay due attention to this, the child may have great difficulties in social contacts, he will close, will not be able to fully build relationships with people and successfully study at school.

The reasons

Defect speech in children can be caused by multiple factors - both external and internal. If the baby began to stutter from an early age, at 2–3 years old, it is likely that sources should be sought in violations of brain functions. These will be congenital causes:

  • Pathology of pregnancy. Problems with speech can be caused by intrauterine hypoxia, if for a period of nine months the crumb did not have enough oxygen. Mom could have suffered a serious infection during the carrying of the baby, the little tot could suffer from an intrauterine infection.
  • Problems in childbirth. If the birth was difficult, the baby could suffer from hypoxia during its birth. Or the baby got a birth trauma, which affected the normal activity of the brain. Often the cause of stuttering is the premature birth of the child into the world.
  • Genetics. If someone from the blood relatives of the child stutters, it is very likely that the baby will also begin to suffer from this speech disorder. The genetic factor of stuttering is one of the main factors in determining the cause of a problem.
  • Individual characteristics. If your child was born with a choleric temperament, then the probability that he will begin to stutter is significantly higher than that of sanguine children or children of melanchols. This is due to increased excitability and nervousness of choleric individuals.

If the child first spoke normally, and he began to stutter only at the age of 4 or at the age of 5-6, this may indicate an adverse external influence on the speech function.

Such stuttering is considered acquired:

  • Psychological trauma. If the child is painfully suffered the loss of someone from the family, something very scared him, he is experiencing chronic prolonged stress, it can be broken. Stuttering can begin to suffer children who are experiencing a critical lack of attention or, conversely, spoiled and capricious kids. Often the psychological reason for stuttering lies in the inflated demands of parents and the fear of the preschooler not to comply with them.
  • At risk children from families in which reigns unfavorable psychological climate, often there are scandals and quarrels, recently there was a divorce of parents, if the family allowed physical punishment of the child. Children who spend a lot of time at the computer in front of the television are at risk of becoming stutters. They replace the real world with a virtual one, it becomes harder for them to communicate with others, speech disorders develop.
  • Physiological processes. In children under 5 years of age, the cerebral hemispheres are not fully matured, and function in a “test” mode, this can be a natural cause of stuttering. Such a speech disorder does not need correction, it goes away by itself, and quite quickly, as it grows up.
  • Past illnesses. Speech impairment can be a consequence of the infectious diseases that have been transferred - meningitis or encephalopitis, brain injury - concussion, CMP, bruises. Sometimes stuttering is based on diabetes mellitus or influenza, acute respiratory viral infections and acute respiratory diseases, which have suffered from complications.
  • False stutter. If a child stutters in the family of a child (mom, dad, grandmother, grandfather, brother, etc.), the kid can simply copy the manner of speech of a loved one. At the same time, he himself has no pathology. This phenomenon is called pseudo-expiration
  • Attempts to remake left-handedness. Very often children, whose parents are trying to artificially change their left hand with their right hand, start to stutter. Kids - left-handers suffer more stress, it is a feature of their psychology. If mom and dad are constantly shifting the spoon and pencil into the right hand from the left-handles that are convenient for the child, this situation will be the strongest stress for the baby.

This release of the transfer from a qualified doctor will tell you what can be the trigger of stuttering in children.

To determine the cause of stuttering will help closely monitor the child. If he begins to stutter only in a nervous or stressful situation, when he is very worried, in the presence of outsiders, this may indicate an acquired stutter, a neurotic, neurosis-like one. With such a violation of speech in a calm and well-known atmosphere, the baby usually pronounces everything quite normal.

If stuttering is permanent, independent of external factors (weather, the presence of strangers, the excitement of the child), then it is probably the cause of a disturbance in the malfunctioning of the brain, a lesion of the speech center.

Boys are 4 times more likely to stutter than girls.

Symptoms and signs

  • Convulsive spasms of the speech apparatus when trying to pronounce sounds at the beginning, in the middle of a word. And the kid can “stumble” both on one sound “mmmmmm-machine”, “machine-to-k-ka”, and on the whole syllable “ma-ma-machine”.
  • Tightened pauses between the sounds in the middle of the word “ma .... tavern”, stretching the sound.
  • Combined speech disorder, when there is a syllable-sound repetition, and unjustified pauses in the middle of the word.
  • With the advent of stuttering, the child usually becomes more nervous, aggressive and tearful. He tries hard to utter a word, he fails, he worries, often cries.
  • A stuttering kid in most cases, there are nervous tics.
  • Quite often, children who have difficulty in pronouncing words become isolated. They find it difficult to communicate, they prefer to be alone, afraid to become an object of ridicule.
  • With the advent of stuttering, sleep is usually disturbed, nocturnal enuresis, anorexia and digestion may occur.

Signs of stuttering - the main thing to notice on time! We suggest you look at the story of one child, in particular a practical lesson as a boy being treated for stuttering.


  • Pathological stuttering. You can talk about it if the causes of speech disorders are congenital or genetically determined. Neurotic stuttering. He is referred to in all other cases (injuries, past illnesses, if a child stutters from fright, stress, severe psychological factors).
  • Tonic stuttering. Experts say about this type of speech disorder when a child pauses in parts of a word or stretches vowels.
  • Clonic stutter. This is a stutter in which a child cannot pronounce a single syllable or letter, often repeating them. Combined stuttering. This is the most difficult form of speech impairment.With her, the child shows signs of both tonic and clonic type of stuttering.
  • Stable (habitual) stuttering. If it is permanent.
  • Unstable stuttering. It can be judged if the child does not always stutter, but only under certain circumstances, most often in a stressful situation, in an unfamiliar environment.
  • Cyclic stutter. This is a speech disorder, which is characterized by “rest” intervals, i.e. the child may speak quite normally for a period, then the stutter returns.


Usually stuttering a child is quite effectively amenable to correction. The main thing - as soon as possible to identify the cause of the defect of speech, and eliminate it. The first thing that parents who have noticed a beginning stutter at their toddler have to do is to calm down. You should not show the kid that you are frightened or irritated by his lack. It is better not to focus attention on the unsuccessful attempts of the crumbs to argue something. Just watch and look for the cause.

We offer to your attention a very interesting, and most importantly useful video of Dr. Komarovsky about children's stuttering.

Regardless of whether the original source was able to detect the problem or not, the child should be shown to a neurologist, speech therapist, psychologist, and sometimes a psychotherapist. It is better to begin the examination with a pediatrician's consultation, do not be surprised if he gives a referral to a child psychiatrist. Specialists will conduct the necessary diagnostics, help to figure out what has become the "trigger mechanism" of stuttering and tell you what to do next.

Get ready for the examination to be pretty impressive. In addition to conversations with the child, evaluating the manifestations of his psychosomatics, doctors are likely to prescribe an EEG and MRI of the brain. With the data of these diagnostic methods, the picture will be more complete.

Treat stuttering in children in different ways. Drug treatment is quite effective, but without psychotherapy does not lead to the desired result. The method of hypnosis, which the psychotherapist can offer to the parents of the child, is contraindicated for most children, usually it is recommended to adolescents. Definitely one can only say that the treatment will be purely individual, selected according to the results of the survey, taking into account all the personal characteristics of the child and the reasons that caused the speech disorder.

Parents should prepare for the fact that treatment will be complex and quite long, fix stuttering is not easy. During the whole therapy, it will be necessary to strictly follow every prescription and recommendation of doctors every day. It is a great desire to get rid of stuttering, everyday joint work with the child, dedication and firm belief in victory will help the child overcome the problem and live a full life.

We also offer you to listen to the lecture of S. B. Skoblikova about children's stuttering.

Main correction

A pediatrician, psychiatrist, neurologist and psychologist will help to determine the true causes of stuttering. But to treat a child from him will be a speech therapist - a defectologist. Contact this specialist will have quite often. He will become almost a friend of your family. Modern speech therapy allows you to choose an individual correctional program for your baby.

Speech therapist will explain to parents the basic principles and give exercises that will need to be performed at home. With a certain frequency, you and your child will show a speech therapist how much success you have achieved.

Speech therapy techniques are based on the normalization of breathing and rate of speech. All classes are conducted using the game activity. Doctors stuttering kids recommend singing songs, reciting poems, and practicing rhythm. Very often speech therapists insist that parents record a child in a choir. This allows you to train the speech apparatus, and during singing, as you know, speech defects are imperceptible, the stuttering completely disappears.

Gradually, in the game, the kid begins to overcome the barrier that prevents him from uttering words, and his speech acquires a normal pace.

To achieve the result, treatment procedures will also be needed. Since stuttering is a complex problem, the approach to it will be the same. The recommendations of the doctors here are pretty standard.


A lesson on speech therapy techniques, the assimilation of speech material will be complemented by massage sessions. Massage will be aimed at relaxing, improving blood circulation. The goal - to remove the spasms of the speech apparatus on the physical level, relaxation. The areas to which the massage therapist will pay particular attention when correcting speech impairment - neck, lips, shoulder girdle, larynx, facial muscles. They, as a rule, are in good shape, clamped in children with speech problems.

Video articulation massage as an aid to stuttering children.

Breathing exercises

Most often in the correction of children's stuttering, the Strelnikova technique is used. The main goal is to form correct and effective breathing, in which the blood supply to the whole organism as a whole and speech organs in particular will significantly improve. During the lessons, the child will be able to teach words to be spoken on the exhale, this will help him to pronounce them entirely, not splitting into syllables or individual sounds.

It is better if you do gymnastics according to the Strelnikova method under the supervision of an experienced physiotherapist, since many of the exercises in her system are quite difficult for the child, the baby may get tired, if done at home, he may have high blood pressure and headaches.

We offer to your attention a training video lesson of respiratory gymnastics according to the Strelnikova method.


Hypnosis is suitable only for children of middle and high school age with a fairly stable psyche. For the correction of speech problems, the method can be used only if the child is susceptible to the hypnotic influence of the psychotherapist. Many kids, alas, are unbearable.

Hypnosis has its advantages - with a trance state, the child is able to discover the true cause of the disturbance in his speech, this makes it possible to quickly find out what frightened him or became a stress factor.

We offer a video about the treatment of stuttering hypnosis, and the actual test results.

Drug treatment

Doctors try to treat stuttering with medicines only in the most difficult cases, when the child has serious mental and nervous disorders. In such cases, the doctor prescribes tranquilizers, anticonvulsants drugs. Light sedatives can also be prescribed for mild stuttering. What medications can be prescribed for stuttering?

  • «Pantogam». Nootropic drug designed to improve the blood supply to the brain. Available in the form of tablets, capsules and syrup for children under 5 years of age, which are contraindicated tablet form of the drug.
  • "Haloperidol." Neuroleptic with antipsychotic action. Available in tablets and solutions for injection. When stuttering is appointed only in difficult cases of mental development. Fully contraindicated in children under 3 years. Sold according to recipes.
  • "Mydocalm". A muscle relaxant that helps relax muscle clamps and stabilize intracellular metabolism. The drug in pharmacies exists in the form of tablets and solution for injections. The drug is allowed to use for children who have reached the age of one. Up to 1 year "Mydocalm" is not appointed.
  • «Atarax». An antispasmodic drug with a mild action, regulating sleep, reducing muscle tone, but not impairing memory. When stuttering can be prescribed as a sedative, relaxing agent. Available in pill form. Children under 3 years old are not recommended, but if necessary, the doctor will calculate the individual dosage. The product is sold by prescription.
  • «Anvifen». Nootropic agent with anticonvulsant and tranquilizing effect. Moderately suppresses the central nervous system.Available in gelatin capsules. When stuttering and children's tics can be assigned to children from 3 years. Babies younger medicine is strictly contraindicated.
  • «Tenoten». Mild sedative with anti-anxiety action. The drug is available in general and pediatric forms. In tablets for a rassasyvaniye, for teenagers and adults, and under the registered name "Tenoten of children". Children's medication can be prescribed from 3 years. Pharmacies available without a prescription.
  • «Phenibut». Nootropic agent with a tranquilizing effect. Available in tablets and powders for oral administration. This medicine has proven itself as a gentle and tactful remedy for the treatment of stuttering, neurosis, and urinary incontinence in children of primary school age. Children under 3 years of age should not take the drug. Sold according to recipes.
  • Motherwort Forte. This is not a medicine, but a dietary supplement (dietary supplement). It has a sedative effect. Appointed as a sedative to children of any age. Available in tablets. Tincture motherwort when diluted with saline or boiled water is available for children from 7 years.
  • «Glycine». Amino acid that has a positive effect on the metabolism of neutrocytes. It has a moderate sedative effect, available in sublingual tablets. "Glycine" can be given even to babies. In the treatment of stuttering in children is prescribed most often.
  • "Pentokaltsin". This nootropic drug with anticonvulsant effect. Available on the shelves of pharmacists in a single form - tablets. It can be assigned to children of any age for the correction of stuttering, bed-wetting.
  • «Phenazepam». Tranquilizer. Available in the form of tablets and solutions for intravenous injection. The drug, even when properly used, is capable of causing addiction, with prolonged use it becomes the cause of strong dependence. Manufacturers recommend the use of the drug to children from 16 years of age, but children's psychiatrists prescribe this medicine for severe forms of nervous disorders and at an earlier age. The score is pretty subject.
  • Sibazon. Anticonvulsant tranquilizer. It happens in tablets and solution for injections. Tablets are contraindicated in preschool children up to 7 years.

Homeopathic remedies

Folk remedies

If the speech disorder is minor and is not caused by serious problems of the psyche or nervous system, the doctor may recommend adding phytotherapeutic agents to the main correction.

  • Herbal teas for children with a calming effect.
  • A phyto bath for children with a calming effect.
  • Inhalations with phytopreparations - natural sedatives.

Herbs that have a calming and relaxing effect - chamomile, sage, lemon balm, oregano, lime blossom, motherwort, lavender, mint. Teas based on them can be prepared independently, or you can buy it in finished form at any pharmacy. Bath decoctions are made from the same herbs.

It is important to know that herbal medicine is not as harmless as it seems to many parents, and therefore the dosage, the duration of the course of taking herbal tea or herbal tea should be agreed with your doctor. Now, many children's sanatoriums offer whole health and medical courses of herbal medicine, which are designed to help save the child from stuttering.

General recommendations

  1. As soon as we managed to recognize a child’s stuttering, it should be protected from everything that causes emotional stress - from watching TV for a long time (enough good cartoons for 20 minutes a day), from bloody computer games, from noisy public events, loud music.
  2. Include classic music for your child - its healing effect has long been recognized even by official medicine. The music of Mozart, Beethoven, Grieg, Chopin influences children’s psyche especially favorably.Limit the arrival of guests in the house, set aside for later joint travel with the child, because new, even positive, emotions can cause a deterioration in his condition.
  3. Do not rely only on your own strength. Do not hesitate to contact the specialists, the sooner you can beat a child’s stuttering, the easier it will be for him to communicate, learn, learn the world.
  4. Classes with a child should be systematic. You can not take long breaks.
  5. Measures should be taken immediately, as soon as you notice that the child begins to stutter. You should not wait for the defect to pass by itself. Such, as we found out, also happens, especially if there is a physiological stutter, but you should not count on it, you can miss precious time.
  6. You can not choose their own medicines and start giving them to the child. If you make a mistake with the cause of stuttering, and it, for example, is acquired, then anticonvulsants and tranquilizers are more likely to cause a deterioration of speech and well-being and brain activity in a child than help. Any medication for stuttering should be prescribed by a doctor.
  7. Throughout the course of treatment, the child must be provided with a calm, friendly atmosphere. There should be no conflicts and quarrels at home, the baby should not become an unwitting witness to "adult" conversations. He should have an optimal day regimen, in which there is a place for walks, daytime sleep, and remedial activities.

Positive psychological background should be maintained after the course of treatment is completed, and stuttering will be a thing of the past. Otherwise, relapses are highly likely, under the influence of stress factors, the baby may begin to stutter again.

What are the predictions?

Of course, this is the main question that worries moms and dads. In most cases of neurosis-like stuttering with moderate psychosomatics, the forecasts are positive. This, unfortunately, cannot be said of genetic stuttering and speech process disorders associated with congenital causes.

Plays an important role and age of the patient. The stuttering in children aged from 3 to 5 years is most easily and naturally corrected. The sooner it is possible to understand that the child stutters, the sooner adequate measures are taken, the greater the chances of removing the stuttering once and for all.

If stuttering begins in school-age children, dealing with it will be somewhat more difficult. The treatment of a speech defect will be longer and more difficult in the case of stuttering, if the problem persists up to 9-11 years, the predictions of a favorable outcome are less favorable.

In the next video, Children's Doctor Dmitry Chesnov will "sort through" the problem of stuttering in children.


Prevention of stuttering in neurologically and mentally healthy children is quite simple and it consists in a good family relationship. Where there are no conflicts, quarrels, and there is love and understanding, a child has much less risk of becoming stuttering. Curing stuttering is more difficult than preventing. Stuttering a child sometimes manifests itself in order for parents to understand their own mistakes.

Wean't stutter, we can only help, to establish mutual understanding and cooperation with the child. And remember that love and faith in the ability of the baby creates real miracles that even traditional medicine is not always able to explain. Believe in your child, and he will succeed.

Learn about which causes and principles of treatment are distinguished by Dr. KomarovskyYou can from another article.

Information provided for reference purposes. Do not self-medicate. At the first symptoms of the disease, consult a doctor.