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Stuttering, also sometimes called stammering, is a complex developmental speech disorder. It is characterized by repetition of sounds or words, sound prolongations, and freezing or blocking when attempting to speak. It typically has an onset between 2 and 4 years of age, making it the only major developmental speech disorder with an identifiable onset after a child has started to talk. Thus, the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) now uses the term fluency disorder with onset in childhood to describe the condition.
Four percent of children stutter at some point during childhood. However, about 80 percent recover spontaneously, most within 2 years of onset, according to Ehud Yairi and colleagues, who conducted the largest longitudinal study of children who stutter. After ...