What causes it?

We don’t really know yet. Scientists have been working for years to try and find out whether there is a cause and whether there is a cure. So far, all that has been agreed is that the problem is highly complicated, although developing research believes it is related to reduced blood flow to a certain area of the brain.

Please head over to our research area to find out more.

The “ingredients” of stammering are probably different for every person who has a stammer and the things that help stammering may be slightly different for everyone too.

For example, different factors that impact stammering could be physical/biological factors, such as having a family history of stammering in blood relatives or the co-ordination of the speech mechanism. There may be a link between the way in which a child develops speech and language which is important. This may either be that a child is quicker or slower than his age group, or that there were some earlier, sometimes quite subtle, difficulties. A child’s environment, such as their family life or rapid pace of life can impact a stammer, as well as personality traits.

However, it’s important to remember that every child is unique. We use this diagram below to help understand the factors that might explain why a child starts to stammer, how the stammer changes over time, why children stammer more or less in particular circumstances and the impact that it has on the child and family. Everyone is born with their own physical ‘make-up’ and as we grow and develop, everyday experiences shape our personal characteristics, our strengths and our vulnerabilities. Each individual who stammers will probably have a different combination or ‘loading’ of these factors and these can change over time.

Different factors may be impacting on the stammering:



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