Acquired Stutter?

Hello! My name is Tyler and I’m an undergrad studying to be an SLP. I know a few people in my life who stutter, and they are all very young. So my question is can a stutter be acquired post-childhood, or something that may only occur during very stressful moments (ex. a presentation)?

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Acquired Stutter? — 3 Comments

  1. Hi Tyler,

    Someone else (Christine) asked about acquired stuttering – you might find it interesting to scroll down and read responses to her query as well as reading this reply.
    Most people who stutter have what is known as ‘developmental stuttering’ – this is the kind of stuttering we usually talk about, and typically begins when someone is between the age of 2 – 6 years old. It is possible for stuttering to begin later in life. This is usually termed acquired stuttering, and can occur as a result of a brain injury, be associated with other neurogenic conditions (such as Parkinson’s Disease); psychogenic conditions (including PTSD) and even side effects of medications.

    I hope that answers your question,

    • Hello! Yes, I agree with both Rita and Jenny here. Stuttering can come about later in life and ever so often does have a later onset (I have had some individuals come to the therapy room that started stuttering at ages ten or fourteen and it runs in their families, for example, this is less common, but can happen so don’t discount that.) There is also psychogenic disfluency (following a traumatic event), neurogenic disfluency and malingering (when someone fakes stuttering) and I have seen all of the above come into my office. I have even had a person who stutters tell me (a few actually) that stuttering runs in their family, but that they started stuttering after said traumatic event- so it leads you to think, well did the stuttering happen from the event or was the person already genetically predisposed to stutter? Regardless, the human being in front of you needs your help. 🙂 Each type of disfluency area has distinct features, and involves extensive interview with the individual you are seeing. As Jenny mentioned, medications can even be a factor, so that is why contacting the referring physician, or a parent contacting the pediatrician (or an adult PWS contacting their doctor) may be in order if this could be part of it. I hope that this helps to answer you questions. Be well and take care!

  2. Hi Tyler,

    Stuttering post childhood can be acquired secondary to head injury or neurological insults (neurogenic stuttering.) I have also seen teens and young adults with stuttering onset past the preschool years. It has typically occurred during periods of neurological growth spurts and I always wonder if they had some previous, unrecognized stuttering or some other propensity to develop stuttering at that time.

    Stuttering is not caused by nervousness or stressful moments. Although, a person who stutters experiences more stress and anxiety in time pressured speaking situations and increases in audience size such as a public speaking situations. Fluent speakers can develop anxiety in public speaking and stumble over their words, but that is not stuttering and is a very different experience.

    thanks for your question!

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