The aetiology and treatment of developmental stammering in childhood
Ward, D. (2008) The aetiology and treatment of developmental stammering in childhood. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 93 (1). pp. 68-71. ISSN 0003-9888
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1136/adc.2006.109942
Developmental stammering (DS, also known as idiopathic stammering or stuttering) is a disorder of speech fluency that affects approximately 0.75% to 1% of the populations of Great Britain, Australia and America,(1-4) although a recent study puts the point prevalence figure at between 1% and 3% in the UK.(5) Prevalence is generally thought to be similar amongst communities worldwide, although there have been occasional suggestions that this figure might be lower in countries where there is less pressure on verbal acuity.(6) DS may be distinguished from neurogenic stammering, which can occur subsequent to neurological damage of various aetiologies (for example, stroke, tumour, degenerative disease) and psychogenic stammering, whose onset can be related to a significant psychological event such as bereavement. While a diagnosis of neurogenic stammering might be made in early childhood and adolescence, both neurogenic and psychogenic types are typically associated with an adult onset. DS is by far the most common form of stammering and usually develops in the pre-school years. The mean age at onset is 4 2, with 75% of cases beginning before the age of 6.(1) However, occasionally, stammering onset may be seen as late as 12 or 13 years of age.