Therapy Services

Stammering, stuttering and dysfluency

This page provides information about stammering and describes the Speech and Language Therapy services available to adults in Newcastle who stammer.

What are stammering, stuttering and dysfluency?Show [+]Hide [-]

These words all mean the same thing. On this page we will use the word “stammering”.

Stammering is repeating words, repeating sounds, stretching sounds or getting stuck on a word. Sometimes there may be other things that happen at the same time, such as eye-blinking. Some people may find that they avoid certain words or situations so that their stammer is not easily noticeable by other people (this is sometimes called “covert” or “interiorized” stammering).

Who does stammering affect?

Stammering can affect children and adults. About one in 100 people have a stammer. In older children and adults, more males stammer than females – the ratio is about 4:1. It will often begin between the ages of two and five years. Sometimes children grow out of it, either with or without speech therapy input. In other cases, it continues into adulthood.

What causes stammering?Show [+]Hide [-]

We are not sure what causes stammering.

Recent research suggests it may result from the way people's brains process speech. Stammering is not caused by anxiety or nervousness, though these may cause it to get worse sometimes. There could be a genetic factor because stammering sometimes – but not always – runs in families. To find out more about latest research, go to The British Stammering Association website.

How can Speech and Language Therapy help?Show [+]Hide [-]

There is no guaranteed 'cure' for stammering. However, speech and language therapy can help you communicate more effectively by helping you to:

  • develop strategies to deal with stammering, e.g. slowed speech, easy onset, block modification
  • become less sensitive and anxious about your stammering
  • address the way you feel about stammering.



Contacting Speech and Language TherapyShow [+]Hide [-]

For any queries, or to self-refer and arrange an appointment, please contact James Faraday, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist:

  • Tel: 0191 282 4324 (answerphone available)
  • Text: 07852 902602 (answerphone available)  

Appointments will generally take place in the Speech and Language Therapy Department, Level 2, New Victoria Wing, Royal Victoria Infirmary. Appointments will last approximately 45 minutes. At the initial appointment we will decide together what to do next; this may mean a series of regular appointments, and then a review. Currently there is no waiting time for appointments.

Please note: for children’s appointments, please contact: 0191 282 3085 (answerphone available).

Stammering Support GroupShow [+]Hide [-]

We have recently started a support group in Newcastle for adults who stammer. The group meets monthly, and is a friendly, supportive atmosphere, where people can come together to share ideas, strategies and experiences.

Here are some of the things our group members like about the group:

  • We can discuss stammering with people who understand
  • There is no pressure to hide the stammering
  • It’s reassuring to be reminded that “it’s not just me”
  • We can learn from things that we have in common and things that are different
  • We can share successes to encourage each other

For more information about the group, please phone us on tel: 0191 282 4324 (answerphone available), or send a text to 07852 902602.

Further information

The British Stammering Association is a very good source of information on stammering.

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can offer on-the-spot advice and information about the NHS.

If you would like further information about health conditions and treatment options, visit the NHS Choices website.

Leaflet to download

You can download the information on this page as a PDF leaflet.pdf

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