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Normal Nonfluency in Young Children

Many children between 2 & 6 years of age have difficulty producing smooth & fluent speech. Most often this is ‘normal nonfluency’.
Young children have many new experiences that they want to talk about but are still learning how to put words together smoothly. It is very normal for young children to stumble over words, repeat words, pause when speaking, or stop and start over again as they learn language.
  • A normal nonfluency can be:

      • ‘Putting an extra word or sounds in the sentence
        (“I’ll play with you um um you know like after my snack);
      • ‘Changing the words in a sentence
        (My car…my truck is lost)
      • Saying the same sound or syllable more than once in a word
        (d-d-d-dad or mom-mom-mom-mommy)
      • Saying the same word more than once in a sentence
        (my-my-my cat is black)

  • During these ‘normal nonfluencies’ children are often relaxed, with no signs of struggle or tension

  • Nonfluent speech can vary by type and amount each day, and can increase when a child is:

      • Tired, excited, unsure or when competing with others for a chance to speak.
      • Rushing to talk, or is told to speak “on command” in front of others.
Most kids outgrow this period of development, but some do not.
Learn more about the warning signs of early childhood stuttering.

If you are concerned about your child’s speech or would like more information, please contact the North Words Preschool Speech & Language Program at 1-877-553-7122.

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