Stuttering is diagnosed clinically and there is no specific test that can confirm the diagnosis. The healthcare professional or a speech-language pathologist will take a detailed history of your child's speech irregularities and assess his or her risk factors for stuttering to diagnose the disorder.
While diagnosing stuttering, the healthcare professional will also assess the following:
Apart from the tests for stuttering, the doctor will do physical exam to find out whether some other condition is causing or occurring along with stuttering. The evaluation can help the doctor to determine if the speech problem is a type of normal disfluency, which usually resolves on its own or the kind of stuttering that should be treated. Most children with stuttering are referred to a speech-language pathologist for detailed assessment of his or her speech.
If your child has speech problems that are not normal for his or her age, it may be diagnosed as developmental stuttering. Some indicators of developmental stuttering include:
Stuttering in adulthood
If stuttering starts in an adult, consulting a health professional is essential. It can be due to some injury in the brain such as an accident, stroke or some other disorder of the brain such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis etc. If there is a possibility that it is caused due to brain trauma or disease, you may be referred to a neurologist. If stuttering causes emotional trauma or other mental health problems (such as anxiety) that may be affecting your speech, you may be referred to a psychiatrist for evaluation.