A Survey by the National Stuttering Association- May 2009

The National Stuttering Association (NSA) conducted a survey in May, 2009 to gather information about stuttering from the perspective of people who stutter about: how stuttering affects their lives, and their experience with stuttering treatment and support activities. 1,235 people responded to the survey, including 686 adults and 31 teens who stutter, 164 parents of children who stutter and 354 speech-language pathologists.

Click here to download the full survey report.

Key findings:

Stuttering interferes with work, school, and family life. Children and adults who stutter often avoid speaking situations, feel embarrassed when people find out they stutter, and do not discuss their stuttering with family, friends, and co-workers.

Eight out of ten children who stutter have been bullied or teased. 40% of adults have been denied a job or promotion because of their stuttering.

While there is no cure for stuttering, speech therapy helps the majority of children and adults who stutter.

  • Therapies that change attitudes toward speaking and stuttering were considered more successful than therapies that focus on speech mechanics.
  • People who had speech therapy from a Board Recognized Specialist in Fluency Disorders had a more successful therapy experience than those who did not.
  • Overall, however, 84% experienced a relapse after improving their fluency in therapy.

Stuttering support makes a difference. People who participate in the NSA’s local chapters or national conference report fewer negative effects of stuttering and more successful speech therapy than those who do not. Support groups help people improve their self-confidence and develop positive attitudes about speaking and stuttering.

Alternative treatments for stuttering, such as psychological counseling, prescription medication and assistive devices were generally less successful than speech therapy in helping people manage their stuttering.

Although most experts agree that early therapy helps preschool children overcome stuttering, 30% of parents were advised by a pediatrician or speech therapist to defer speech therapy until the child was older.

14% of parents say their children have been denied speech therapy in school.