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What are the Different Causes of Stuttering in Toddlers?

By Patti Kate
Updated May 17, 2024
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Experts believe several factors influence stuttering in toddlers and pre-school aged children. Research indicates these conditions may be linked to a minuscule flaw in the child's brain. Emotional trauma may be another cause of stuttering in toddlers, although there has been much debate as to whether this theory is credible. Hereditary factors may be a cause of stuttering in toddlers as well.

Stuttering in toddlers may be more recognizable as the child becomes upset, excited, or tired. Therefore, emotions may be one cause of stuttering in toddlers. This may be due to the lack of social skills.

Environment may influence stuttering in toddlers. Parents who demand more from their child than he is capable of providing can contribute to the problem, according to some experts. Stress and anxiety, even in children as young as three years old, may play a role in stuttering. Many child experts concur that this theory may only be speculation.

Pediatricians and researchers believe that this problem is more common in males than in females. This may be due to a genetic factor. Scientists also believe that stuttering in toddlers is more probable if one or both parents stutter or stuttered as children.

Another cause of stuttering in very young children may be difficulties in cognitive development during the first few years of a child's life. The rapid growth of the brain occurs at a very fast pace during the first few years of development and in some cases may contribute to stuttering problems. This has been researched for many years.

Often, when a toddler's mind is racing with thoughts, his language skills cannot keep up with the fast pace. This may result in stammering over a word or repeating a syllable several times in succession. Signals within the part of the brain that controls speech may become mixed as the child's thoughts are put into words.

When a child as young as two or three years old tries to put his thoughts into words, it is not uncommon for him to stammer or stutter over a word or sentence. These repetitions of words and sounds are known as disfluencies. In most cases, stuttering in toddlers will gradually disappear after he begins school. Experts often reassure parents this generally is not a cause for alarm.

If the child continues to stutter after reaching school age, he may have a problem that requires therapy from a trained speech pathologist. This expert is trained to recognize speech irregularities that require intervention. Enrolling the child in therapy can help him overcome speech difficulties early on.

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