What causes stuttering?

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what causes stutteringWhen speech-language pathologists meet someone new, especially if they identify themselves as a specialist who provides stuttering help, most ask, “What causes stuttering?” The exact cause of stuttering is still not officially known internationally, but the communication disorder develops based on four likely contributing factors or stuttering causes, which include genetics, child development, neurophysiology, and family dynamics.

Is stuttering genetic?
The first contributing factor for the development of stuttering is genetics. Around 60% of individuals who stutter have a family history of stuttering, but not all know who in their family also stuttered since this communication disorder can skip multiple generations.

Is stuttering hereditary?
Since approximately 60% of individuals who stutter have a family history, many believe there is a genetic predisposition for stuttering that runs in some families and provides the hereditary link.

Does child development play a role in the cause of stuttering?
The second contributing factor for the development of stuttering is child development. If a child has a speech or language problem or other developmental delays, they are more likely to stutter.

Does the brain of a person who stutters process differently?
Neurophysiology is the third contributing factor for the development of stuttering. Recent neurological research has demonstrated how the brains of individuals who stutter process speech and language slightly differently than those who do not stutter.

Does our hectic lifestyle cause stuttering?
The fourth contributing factor for the development of stuttering is family dynamics. High expectations and fast-paced daily schedules can contribute to stuttering.

In summary, the causes of stuttering are not known internationally, but most agree genetics, child development, neurophysiology, and family dynamics play a critical role in the development of this communication disorder.

To learn more about stuttering, read the types of stuttering or FAQ page.