Skip to main content

Top FAQs

  • Action for Stammering Children is the UK charity for children and young people who stammer, and their families. This means that we're here for families living in all four nations of the UK. 

    At the moment, many of our projects take place in England, but we are hoping to expand our reach with time. All of our projects (unless stated otherwise) are open to children and young people living across the UK - you don't have to live in the local area to take part (although we appreciate it can be easier!).

    It's also worth noting that some of our projects take place online and make it easier for young people living in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland to access them. 

  • It is important that all those involved in a child's life understand what stammering is and the impact it can have on a child as they grow up. Parents often seek information and support from education and health professionals, and being able to identify a stammer will speed up referral to specialist services. We hope the definition here is helpful but please take a look at the other FAQs on our website, and get in touch if you would like to know more.


    Stammering, also known as stuttering, is a neuro-developmental condition where someone repeats, stretches and/or gets stuck when they are speaking. It is different from typical hesitations and rewordings.

    It is estimated that 8% or 1 in 12 children stammer at some point. Many of these children will resolve their stammer naturally within a few months. Stammering is more common in boys than girls.

    There are both ‘overt’ characteristics that can be seen and heard, and ‘covert’ characteristics that are emotional, psychological and behavioural. 

    Overt characteristics are those that can be heard and seen when the person is speaking and can include: 

    • repeating sounds, syllables, or words (e.g. "k-k-king")
    • lengthening sounds (e.g. "lllllake")
    • stopping or ‘blocking’ speech sounds, where the person is unable to produce sounds easily
    • visible tension in the face, breathing and body

    Covert characteristics, on the other hand, refer to the internal experiences associated with stammering, which can go unnoticed by family, friends and colleagues

    • feelings of anxiety, frustration and embarrassment relating to speaking
    • avoidance of words and speech sounds that are difficult for the person to say, such as the person’s own name or certain sounds in words 
    • avoidance of speaking situations where the stammer increases, such as speaking on the phone or giving presentations

    The frequency of stammering moments and how much the stammer affects a person varies greatly. It is vital to get a full picture of these overt and covert symptoms to provide the best support to children and young people who stammer.

  • Whether you're a GP approached by a concerned parent or a teacher who suspects that a pupil in your class might be stammering, it is really helpful to be aware of the support available. 

    Speech and Language Therapists are allied health professionals who work with children who have speech, language, communication and swallowing difficulties.

    As a GP or teacher you can seek advice or make a referral (following discussion with the parent/guardian) to the local speech and language therapy service. 

    Timely referral and sign-posting gives parents the information they need to best support their child. 


Stories from our Stambassadors

Our Stambassadors

Taking the next steps into higher education or the world of work can be challenging for any young person. Our Stambassadors provide inspiration and encouragement by sharing their own stories of how they succeeded in their chosen career.

Simon Martin, Investment Management Lawyer
Nick Fischer, Property Lawyer
Craig Beaumont, FSB
Matthew Hassell, Project Manager


We provide a range of resources that can be used with young people as well as their friends and family. Take a browse through our collection and keep an eye out as we add more.



Research into childhood stammering is essential for developing the evidence-base and ensuring that children who stammer and their families are receiving the most effective support. You can read more about the research that we have been involved in on our website

Find out more