When children are learning to talk it is common to repeat sounds,words and phrases, and to hesitate with “um”s and “er”s. They will often do this to give themselves time to think about what they are going to say and how to say it.

Stammering (or stuttering) is when your child:

  • Repeats sounds or syllables – for example “mu-mu-mu-mummy
  • Making sounds longer – for example “mmmmmmummy”
  • A word blocks/ gets stuck or does not come out at all

Other things to look out for are:

  • Holding breath
  • Using body movements to try to get the word out – for example stamping feet or banging the table
  • Withdrawing eye contact
  • Avoiding words that might be difficult to say
  • Tightening jaw or tensing facial muscles

These behaviours vary from child to child and can start quickly or gradually.

Seek help and advice from Speech and language Therapy if you or your child is worried.

Aims of the Speech & Language Therapy Service 

As part of your child’s referral to Walsall Child Development Service he or she may be offered a speech & language therapy appointment if he or she needs:

  • Assessment of their communication skills.
  • Advice and strategies on how to support the child’s dysfluency.

What to expect

Your child will be offered one or more individual appointments to assess his/her communication skills and fluency.

Information will be gathered from you about how your child’s fluency is at home/school or nursery, and how this is impacting on your child. We will also want to find out information around when the dysfluency started, and what you are noticing at home.

What happens next?

We may:

  • Work closely with yourselves to decide on next steps and strategy/ advice.
  • Appointments at regular intervals
  • Provide advice and strategy ideas to help you and staff working with your child to support your child’s fluency.
  • Discharge your child if Speech & Language Therapy is no longer appropriate.

This will always be agreed through discussion with you.


For further information please contact Speech & Language Therapy on 01922 605400.

Walsall Healthcare Speech & Language Therapy Department, Blakenall Village Centre, Thames Road, Blakenall, Walsall, WS3 1LZ

For more information