Role of Physician

The physician is often the first professional to whom a parent turns for help. Knowing the difference between normal developmental speech disfluency and potentially chronic stuttering enables the physician to advise parents and refer when appropriate. Early intervention for stuttering which may range from parent counseling and indirect treatment to direct instruction can be a major factor in preventing a life-long problem.

Data from several different treatment programs indicate substantial recovery if treatment is initiated in the preschool years.6,7,8

6. Fox, P.T., Ingham, R., Ingham, J.C., Hirsch, T.B., Downs, J.H., Martin, C. et al. (1996). A PET study of the neural systems of stuttering.Nature, 382:158-162.

7. Fox, P.T., Ingham, R.J., Ingham, J.C., Zamarripa, F., Xiong, J.- H., and Lancaster, J.L. (2000).  Brain correlates of stuttering and syllable production: A PET performance-correlation analysis. Brain, 123:1985-2004.

8. Sommer, M., Koch, M.A., Paulus, W., Weiller, C. and Buchel, C. (2002). Disconnection of speech-relevant brain areas in persistent developmental stuttering.  Lancet, 360: 380-383.

Guitar, B., & Conture, E. G. (Eds.) (2006). The child who stutters: To the pediatrician. Fourth edition, publication 0023. Memphis, TN: Stuttering Foundation of America.