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Top FAQs

  • Getting access to the right support can be challenging and so we're here to try to simplify the routes available to you.

    Here are a few things you can do - if you want to discuss your individual situation, we recommend you contact us directly using the 'request form' at the top of the page

    • You can ask your GP to make a referral to your local NHS speech and language therapy service.
    • Speak with your child's teacher about your concerns. They may be able to refer you to the local speech and language therapy service.
    • The Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children, a specialist centre run by Whittington Health NHS Trust and supported by ASC, Whittington Health Charity and the Stuttering Foundation of America, offers several options for referral. You can find out more here
    • There are also private therapy options. The Association of Speech & Language Therapists in Independent Practice (ASLTIP) provides information about speech and language therapists offering private therapy. All speech and language therapists (whether they work in the NHS or independently) must be registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC). You can find out more information about things to check when considering non-NHS services with the professional body, the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists
  • No. 

    We know that parents do not cause a child to stammer. Stammering is not a result of anything parents do or their parenting style. A person may be more likely to develop a stammer due to a combination of factors, such as, genes, gender and brain development but there is not one reason for a stammer to develop or continue beyond childhood.

    Parents naturally play a vital role in supporting their child with their stammer to help them develop into confident communicators. 

    For more information on possible causes, see 'what causes stammering' knowledge article.

  • We understand that when your child begins to stammer, it can be a worrying and confusing time for you as a parent. 

    As their parent, you want to know how best to support them and so we have put together some general support strategies that children who stammer have reported to be useful. As you would expect, what a child finds supportive is individual to each child. Nonetheless, many of the following strategies are beneficial to all children, whether they stammer or not.

    • Be patient - It can be frustrating and saddening to hear a child struggling to get their words out. However, hurrying them, interrupting and/or finishing their sentences often makes the child feel frustrated and less confident about being able to express themselves the next time. Instead, let them finish sentences themselves and comment on ‘what’ they have said, not ‘how’ they have said it. 
    • Avoid correcting a child’s stammer - It is better to use pauses and slow speech yourself rather than tell a child to slow down, relax or breathe.
    • Take turns - taking turns in conversations means that everyone gets their chance to talk and people are not interrupted. For children who stammer it can be helpful to take clear and calm turns in conversations so they do not feel rushed and know that their message will be fully heard.
    • Build confidence - It can be helpful for a child to focus on their achievements and take the focus away from their stammer.
    • General well-being - good sleeping and eating habits are important for everyone. They may have a positive effect on a child's stammer as we know that children can stammer more when they are feeling tired and run-down. 
    • Take the pressure off talking - You may have noticed there are times when your child stammers less. Some activities can take the pressure off talking, for example walking side by side rather than talking face-to-face, talking whilst you are drawing. Other children may prefer to talk face-to-face with eye contact to feel that you are actively listening so it is important to find what works best for your child. 
    • Ask your child - If you feel comfortable, sometimes you can ask a child gently: ‘What would you like people to do when your talking is bumpy?’. Please be aware and respect that not all children will know what helps and some will not want to talk about their stammer. However, some children as young as 3 years of age have talked about what it is like to stammer and may have some tips of their own. This can be a great way to let your child know that you care and are listening to their thoughts, feelings and opinions about their stammer and how it is affecting them.

    A Speech and Language Therapist will be able to give more detailed and individual strategies for you to use at home and with your child. They will assess the strategies that seem to help your child talk smoothly and find ways for parents, school and friends to use them.


Speech and Language Therapists work with children who stammer to develop fluency, confidence, self-esteem and resilience. Your local NHS Speech and Language Therapy service should be able to support you. If you need more information about how to make a referral or what services are available to you then please get in touch.

We also partner with organisations to offer courses run by speech and language therapists that would not otherwise be available via the NHS. Take a look at our project page for details.

Stambassador Stories

We know that parents worry about the impact a stammer might have on their child in the longer-term. Although many children may not go on to stammer into adulthood, some children do and we want to reassure you that stammering shouldn’t prevent a child realising their potential.

Our Stambassadors Network is made up of inspiring adults who stammer sharing their experiences of navigating their chosen career path. Through their stories, we want to illustrate that every child can pursue the college course, university degree, and career that they aspire to.

From engineers and doctors to political advisors and journalists, have a browse of the stories provided by our Stambassador Network.

Find out more


We are committed to promoting more robust research into childhood stammering so that children and their families receive the most effective support. This includes funding research projects, sharing recent insights from published work, and offering an opportunity for families to take part in research studies. Take a look at our research and policy section for more information. 

Find out more