Speech-Language Pathology/Stuttering/Incidence and Prevalence

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About 2.5% of preschool children stutter.[1] This prevalence of preschool stuttering is less important than the incidence figure, which is about 5%. I.e., about 5% of children stutter at some point, and about 2.5% of children stutter now.

Less than 1% of adults stutter. 0.73%, or about one in 135 adults, was the figure found in a recent study.[2] That suggests that about two million Americans stutter. But this seems high. The number of adults who’ve sought treatment is somewhere around 25,000.[3] How many stutterers have you met, outside of speech clinics and support groups? You likely hear 135 people talking every week. Do you hear someone stutter every week?

Extensive publicity for several anti-stuttering devices was seen by over 100 million people, yet only about 2500 devices of each device were sold. The membership figures for the National Stuttering Association are similar.

This suggests that stuttering is either relatively common, but unimportant to 90% to 99% of the people who stutter; or that stuttering is a rarer disorder than the non-profit organizations say in their fundraising letters.

References

  1. ^ Proctor A., Duff, M.. and Yairi, E. (2002). "Early childhood stuttering: African Americans and European Americans." ASHA Leader, 4:15, p.102.
  2. ^ Craig. A, Hancock K, Tran. Y, Craig. M, & Peters, K. (2002). "Epidemiology of stuttering in the communication across the entire life span." Journal of Speech Language Hearing Research, 45:1097-1105.
  3. ^ The National Center for Stuttering and the Hollins Communications Research Institute have each treated around 5,000 stutterers. Most of the other three hundred Fluency Specialists have treated a few dozen stutterers.