A child is most likely stuttering if they are experiencing interruptions to the flow of their speech.

Stuttering can be characterised by the following:

Repetitions: Examples

  • Sound: 'c-c-can I go outside?'
  • Syllable: 'can I go out-out-out-outside?'
  • Word: 'can-can-can-can I go outside?'
  • Phrase: 'Can I – can I – can I go outside?'
  • Sentence: "Can I go outside? Can I go outside?"


  • Occurs when there is a stoppage of airflow and therefore no sound comes out.
  • The child may attempt to speak, but appears to struggle to get the words out.
  • Usually occurs at the start of the word.


  • The child seems to 'stretch' the sound out.
  • It can occur on sounds in any position in the word or sentence and can vary in length.
  • Example: 'aeeeeeeeeroplane'


  • Also known as 'fillers'
  • Interjections are the frequent insertion of words like 'um' and 'ah'.

Other behaviours may also occur, such as:

  • Tension and struggle in the face
  • Lack of eye contact
  • Body movements
  • Avoiding particular words
  • Avoiding particular situations

A Speech Pathology assessment is recommended if you feel your child is displaying any of these characteristics when speaking.