The short answer is no.
There is no known cure for stuttering, and like any other speech disorder, it requires therapy and practice to treat or manage it, and while some people report that their stutter suddenly “disappears”, for most adults who stutter they will continue to do so for their entire lives.
The long answer is, however, a little more complex than that.
While there is no magic pill or cure that will stop a person stuttering, there are effective tools you can use to manage your stutter. Working with a speech language therapist who specialises in stuttering can be beneficial for people who stutter, for both their communication skills and their confidence.
Young children who stutter
Stuttering among children is far more common than among adults with approx 10% of children developing a stutter at some stage in the preschool years. However, for unknown reasons, likely linked to the still developing brain, many pre-school children naturally stop stuttering and don’t require therapy.
Stuttering is best treated during the preschool years so the best advice we can give parents is to please give us a call if your child begins to stutter. This way, we can determine whether your child needs to come in for an initial assessment (children under 6 years get their initial appointment free!), or whether parents are better to monitor their child’s stuttering for a period before we decide together if therapy is required.
Contact the START team to receive specialist advice and peace of mind knowing you’ve spoken to the experts first.
Pre-teens and teens who stutter
Generally speaking, pre-teens and teens who stutter are likely to have been stuttering since they were a child. If they have yet to speak to a Speech Language Therapist, we highly recommend you set up an appointment with one of our team so they can discuss the options available to them for help and support.
At this age, young people may have developed communication related anxiety and confidence issues as a result of their stutter. Because stuttering only affects 1% of the population, often young people have not met anyone else who stutters, and this can make them feel isolated. Meeting other people their age who also stutter is a great way to meet others who face the same challenges and therefore helps to increase confidence.
We offer courses that teach tools to manage stuttering and meet others who stutter in a supportive environment. The video below features a young teen attending one of our courses.
Adults who stutter
Adults who stutter are likely to have been living with their stuttering since childhood. Adults who stutter are likely to have had treatment in the past (which may or may not have been helpful). However often at significant transition points such as finishing study and applying for jobs it can be helpful to review techniques and receive support from a Speech Language Therapist.
If you are looking at re-engaging with speech language therapy, please make an appointment with one of our team so that we can discuss your options; whether your needs are around confidence, speech techniques, or meeting others who stutter. We have a range of options available such as individual therapy, intensive week long courses, a mentoring program and social opportunities.
The truth is, while many people are looking for a “cure” for their stutter, there simply isn’t a quick fix available. A more helpful way of handling or living with stuttering can be having confidence in yourself and seeing your stutter as a part of who you are rather than something you should try and ‘get rid of’ or ‘hide’. However, we recognise that it can also be very beneficial to learn techniques and tools to manage your stutter.