Developments of a Stutter

Phase I: Age 2-6

* Disfluencies tend to be single syllable, whole word, or phrase repetitions, interjections, pauses, and revisions.

* The child will not exhibit visible tension, frustration or anxiety when speaking disfluently.

* Normal disfluency will occur when the child is learning to walk or refining motor skills.

* There are periods (days or weeks) of fluency and disfluency

* Changes in the child's environment can cause normal disfluency.

Phase II: Age 2-6

* Disfluencies tend to be repetitions and sound prolongations]

* More than two disfluencies put together (e.g., "Lllllets g-g-go there") and periods of fluency and disfluency come and go in cycles.

* The child demonstrates little awareness or concern about his/her disfluencies but may express frustration

Phase III: Age 2-6

* Disfluency most commonly occurs at the beginning of words or phrases.

* The child tends to be more disfluent when excited or upset

* Repetitions are usually part-word as opposed to whole-word

* The stuttering comes and goes in cycles, sometimes triggered by events and stressors

* The child may show awareness that speech is difficult in addition to the frustration

Phase IV: Age 6-13

* Types of disfluencies include repetitions, prolongations, and blocks.

* Stuttering becomes chronic, without periods of fluency

* Secondary behaviors appear (eye blinking, limb movements, lip movements, etc.)

* Stuttering tends to increase when excited, upset or under some type of pressure.

* Fear and avoidance of sounds, words, people, or speaking situations may develop.

* The person may feel embarrassment or shame surrounding the stuttering

Stage V: Ages 14+

* Speech is characterized by frequent and noticeable interruptions

* The person may have poor eye contact and use various tricks to disguise the stuttering

* Person anticipates stuttering, fears and avoids speaking

* The person identifies him/herself as a stutterer and experiences frustration, embarrassment and/or shame.

* The person may attempt to choose a lifestyle where speaking can often be avoided.