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Semin Speech Lang. 2016 Nov;37(4):291-297. Epub 2016 Oct 4.

Childhood Stuttering: Where Are We and Where Are We Going?

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Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.


Remarkable progress has been made over the past two decades in expanding our understanding of the behavioral, peripheral physiologic, and central neurophysiologic bases of stuttering in early childhood. It is clear that stuttering is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by atypical development of speech motor planning and execution networks. The speech motor system must interact in complex ways with neural systems mediating language and other cognitive and emotional processes. During the time when stuttering typically appears and follows its path to either recovery or persistence, all of these neurobehavioral systems are undergoing rapid and dramatic developmental changes. We summarize our current understanding of the various developmental trajectories relevant for the understanding of stuttering in early childhood. We also present theoretical and experimental approaches that we believe will be optimal for even more rapid progress toward developing better and more targeted treatment for stuttering in the preschool children who are more likely to persist in stuttering.

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