By Jessica Safer MS, CCC-SLP

As children grow and develop language, many may display “typical disfluencies” in their speech. These disfluencies are natural as the young child’s language is emerging, and his or her speech system is working hard to put together new words in a variety of ways.

Typical disfluencies occur between the ages of 2 ½ and 5. They can include:

Typical disfluencies are common among young children and are not cause for concern.

The disfluencies characteristic of Childhood Onset Stuttering are different than typical disfluencies. Some examples of the disfluencies seen in Childhood Onset Stuttering include:

These disfluencies may be accompanied by:

In addition to the types of disfluencies demonstrated, the following are considered risk factors for persisting stuttering:

Knowing the differences between typical disfluencies and Childhood Onset Stuttering can help identify those children that would benefit from therapy. If you’re not sure if your child is demonstrating Childhood Onset stuttering, contact a speech language pathologist with experience in stuttering. Your speech language pathologist can help determine if therapy is recommended, and if so, assist you in finding the therapy approach that would be the best fit for your child and family.

Jessica Safer, MA, CCC-SLP, is a clinician at The Stuttering Clinic at National Therapy Center. She is an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Group 4, Fluency and Fluency Disorders. You can contact her at