Paediatric fluency

The Paediatric Fluency Clinic at La Trobe University offers a range of evidence-based treatments for children who stutter. The clinic operates on Thursdays only and provides services to children under 12 years of age. Therapy is delivered by students supervised by a qualified speech pathologist.

It is compulsory for parents/carers to attend a parent information session prior to attending an initial assessment at the clinic.

What is stuttering?

Stuttering is a speech disorder where speech production is interrupted by involuntary audible or silent repetitions, prolongations or blocks. Stuttering typically begins unexpectedly when children are 3 or 4 years of age.

Examples of stuttering behaviours:

  • Repeated movements such as repetitions of a sound, syllable, word or phrase, e.g. “W-w-what is that?”, “Can can I have it?”, “We went…we went…we went to Grandma’s house today”.
  • Fixed postures such as prolongations where a sound is produced for a longer time than expected and may sound like it is ‘stretched’, e.g. “Mmmmmmy dog is black”, “Caaaan I come?
  • Fixed postures such as blocks where the speech or lips, jaw etc. appear ‘stuck’.  These blocks may brief and fleeting or last longer, even seconds.  They can be silent or with voice and are often accompanied by signs of struggle or tension.

Natural Recovery

Many children who develop stuttering may recover without formal treatment, however it is not possible to predict which children will recover and which children will require treatment. If your child is stuttering it is advisable to seek the advice of a speech pathologist.

When should I take my child to see a speech pathologist for stuttering?

  • When the child has been stuttering for more than 6 months
  • When there is a family history of stuttering
  • When the child is negatively impacted by their stuttering, e.g. Frustrated, anxious or avoiding communication

Pre-school Children

We specialise in stuttering treatment for pre-school children using The Lidcombe Program of Early Stuttering Intervention.

Young School Aged Children

Treatment for school aged children requires an individualised approach and may combine a number of intervention approaches.