The Facts About Stuttering

More than 3 million Americans stutter. Yet, myths about stuttering are common. Often, they are the reason children and adults are frequently mocked and judged.

Learn and share the facts about stuttering:

Myths vs. Facts



Stuttering is only about disfluent speech, which is characterized by repetitions, blocks, and prolongations during speech. Stuttering may also include tension and negative feelings about talking. People who stutter may avoid certain sounds and words, avoid going places where they think they might stutter, and have extra movements in their mouth, face, and body when they try hard to get words out.
People who stutter are the only ones who have disfluent speech. Everyone is disfluent at times, like saying “uh” or repeating a word or phrase. Not all types of disfluencies are stuttering.
Stuttering reflects intellectual ability. There is not a connection between stuttering and intelligence.
You should finish sentences for someone who stutters. Don’t interrupt or try to speak for another person.
Tell someone who stutters to slow down, stop stuttering, or think before they talk. Statements like these increase tension and negative reactions. Pay attention to what a person says and not how they say it. It’s never okay to make fun of someone’s speech.
Children outgrow stuttering. Children are often disfluent when they are first learning to talk. But children who have stuttering-like disfluencies will likely continue to stutter.
All people who stutter want to be more fluent. Some people who stutter think of their speech as merely a different way of talking. And they may be proud of their resilience and confidence in speaking.

How Speech-Language Pathologists Can Help

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) help people with stuttering. Certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), they have the education and expertise to work with children, teens, and adults who stutter. Another myth is that the goal of speech therapy is to cure or overcome stuttering.

In fact, SLPs can help people:

  • Learn about stuttering
  • Stutter in an easier way with less tension
  • Stutter less
  • Feel better about speaking
  • Have more confidence
  • Improve overall communication

SLPs can also help if someone is being teased or bullied because of stuttering.

Use ASHA’s stuttering toolkit to educate yourself and others. It is full of information and resources—plus you can hear from a person who stutters, Taro Alexander. An actor and the founder and president of SAY: The Stuttering Association for The Young, Alexander candidly shares his life experiences which have the power to motivate us all to know and be guided by the facts about stuttering.

Additional Resources

ASHA Corporate Partners