5 Myths about stuttering

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Stuttering is a communication disorder in which speech is interrupted by repetitions, prolongations and/or abnormal stoppages. There is no single cause of stuttering, but rather multiple factors that contribute to triggering it. Research indicates that stuttering is probably neurological in origin, may have genetic predisposition and often results in emotional components. External factors such as stress, traumatic events and lifestyle can’t cause stuttering, but could play a role in triggering and worsening it.

Click below to download a document that you can share with family, friends and teachers if you are a parent of a child who stutters. This document is a basic outline of what you should and shouldn’t do when you communicate with a child who stutters.

Here are 5 of the common myths about stuttering:

Myth 1: People who stutter are not intelligent

Stuttering is not a sign of low intelligence and there is no connection between stuttering and intelligence. There are many people who stutter that are highly intelligent and successful.

Myth 2: Stuttering is caused by stress and nervousness

If stuttering was caused by stress or nervousness, we’d all be stutterers. While people who stutter may be nervous because they stutter, nervousness is not the cause of stuttering.

Myth 3: My child started to stutter because he played with a friend who stuttered

Stuttering is not contagious. It can’t be ‘learned’ by imitation and the cause of stuttering is not due to a habit.

Myth 4: Stuttering is caused by bad parenting

Although there are many things parents can do to help their child to overcome and deal with stuttering, stuttering can’t be caused by parents.

Myth 5: I am helping a person who stutters if I’m finishing his/her sentences for him/her

Please don’t interrupt a person who stutters by finishing their sentences for them. It will make them feel like you don’t have time for him/her to finish the sentence on his/her own. It will increase the amount of pressure they feel to speak without any dysfluencies and that pressure will most likely make the stutter worse. More helpful responses include listening patiently, making normal eye contact throughout the conversation and speaking at a slower speech rate yourself.


Admin. (2016, November 29). Myths About Stuttering. Retrieved July 14, 2019, from https://westutter.org/who-we-help/myths-about-stuttering/

5 Myths about Stuttering in Children. (2019, July 11). Retrieved July 14, 2019, from https://www.speechandlanguagekids.com/myths-about-stuttering/

Five Myths About Stuttering. (n.d.). Retrieved July 14, 2019, from https://www.stutteringhelp.org/five-myths-about-stuttering

Gilbert, B. (2018, October 08). Stuttering: Myth vs. Fact. Retrieved July 14, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/lib/stuttering-myth-vs-fact/

Guitar, B. (2006). Stuttering: An Integrated Approach to Its Nature and Treatment (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital stuttering handout