There are many reasons why children’s fluency of speech is disrupted. In current society there is a general misunderstanding about stammering and what causes it. This can result in people developing unhelpful attitudes towards stammering and then using inappropriate behaviours to try to ‘fix’ it. In light of this parents and carers of children who stammer can feel a wealth of emotions ranging from guilt to anxiety.

The information on this web page has been created to increase awareness about stammering that begins in childhood and to give parents, carers and other associates the support they need to enable their children to speak comfortably and spontaneously without shame or embarrassment.

What is stammering?

Stammering, also sometimes referred to as stuttering, is one of a range of different ways of talking that changes speech rhythm and fluency. We all use breaks or interruptions that break our flow of speech when we talk, but for the majority of people this is not stammering.

Stammering has distinctive characteristics and usually begins between the ages of 2 and a half years to 5 years of age, when children’s language is developing rapidly. It is rare for a child to start stammering after 12 years of age. Please download our What is Stammering and our Facts About Stammering leaflets to understand more about it, what we know about the cause and how to identify it.

How to respond to stammering

It is vital to understand that children who stammer cannot help it. While they have the ‘timing disturbance’, stammering will be the way they talk sometimes. Therefore, it is not helpful to try to stop a child stammering or to ‘fix’ how stammer on words by telling the child how to speak e.g. to slow down or to repeat the word.

To prevent or reduce negative impact on a child’s well-being and participation we need to give them the message that it is okay to stammer; that what they say is important whether they stammer or not. You can do this by making positive changes in the speaking and listening environment at home, nursery or school.

Please download our Helpful Responses and Unhelpful Responses leaflets to understand more about how you can effectively support your child.

Helpful resources for children and teenagers who stammer

Please click on the headings below to find a range of websites and video resources that may be useful when supporting a child or teenager who stammers.

Links to useful websites Click to Toggle

Action for Stammering Children

Action for Stammering Children is a charity that aims to ensure that every child and young person across the UK who stammers has access to effective services and support to help them meet any challenges they may face as a result of stammering.

Stambassadors – Action For Stammering Children

Stambassadors connects people from the world of work who stammer with young people who stammer, sharing their stories and inspiring young people to think big when they are considering their career choices. They aim to provide confidence to people who stammer so that they can follow their dreams of working in the career they want to.


Also known as ‘British Stammering Association’, STAMMA is the national organisation for adults and children who stammer. This is run by people who stammer and provides lots of useful information about stammering.

Let’s talk About Stammering – Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust

This is our free e-learning module that can be completed by anyone who would like to learn more about stammering and how to support a person who stammers.

Talking Out Ltd

Talking Out is an organisation that offers specialist support for people who stammer and their families from all parts of the UK. Their aim is to help everyone feel that it is ok to stammer. They offer online and residential groups for people who stammer and their families. This is fully funded by ‘Action for Stammering Children’.

Links to useful videos Click to Toggle

My stammering child – YouTube – ‘My stammering child’ looks at the concerns of parents and puts their unique role in supporting children and young people who stammer with the aim of helping others going through what can be an anxious time.

My stammering tap – YouTube – ‘My stammering tap’ is a video of a child giving a description of what stammering might feel like for the person who stammers.

Dear World…I rock my stammer – YouTube – Check out Sam’s video where he describes how talking negatively about stammering is very unhelpful and highlighting that it is ok to stammer.

“What I have to say is important, even if I stutter” – YouTube – This is a video about 10 year old Jolie who explains the importance of accepting stammering and how it is ok to stammer.

Katie’s video – In this video, Katie talks about how you can respond appropriately to someone who stammers.

Ella’s video – In this video, Ella talks about the importance of the language we use when talking about stammering.

“I have come to recognize the importance of my voice” – YouTube – In this video, 14 year old Taylor talks about how she has developed her confidence and accepting her stammer, and how her therapy focused on her saying what she wants to say whenever she wants to say it rather than focusing on fluency.

Jack speaks at the American Institute for Stuttering Gala – YouTube – In this video, 11 year old Jack talks about acceptance of stammering and the importance of being open with others about stammering.

Has your pre school child started stammering? – Kirsten Howells, Programme Lead at the British Stammering Association trading as Stamma, introduces our new videos giving guidance and tips on what help is available and how you can support your child at home.

Should I be worried that my pre school child is stammering? – In this video Kirsten Howells, Programme Lead at the British Stammering Association trading as Stamma, asks if you need to be worried or not.

Is it my fault that my child has started stammering? – Many parents worry that they are to blame when their child starts stammering. In this video, Kirsten Howells, Programme Lead at Stamma, explains it isn’t your fault.

Using neutral language with children who stammer – In this video, Kirsten talks about using neutral language when talking to your child around stammering, instead of using words like ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

A series of videos:

How To Help Your Preschool Child Who Stammers Part 1

How To Help Your Preschool Child Who Stammers Part 2: Talking to A Child Who Stammers

How To Help Your Preschool Child Who Stammers Part 3:  Becoming More Comfortable With Your Child’s Stammer

How To Help Your Preschool Child Who Stammers Part 4: One To One Time With a Child Who Stammers

How To Help Your Preschool Child Who Stammers Part 5: How to Talk About Stammering

Referral to the team

After you are referred to the Speech and Language Therapy team, parents of under eight year olds will be invited to a parent advice group. Next steps, depending on need, will be discussed at the group.

Parents of children older than eight will be offered a specialist assessment appointment.

For more information please contact

Skip to content