They found the cumulative incidence of stuttering in Australia by four years old was 11 percent, more than twice what has previously been reported. (Agencies)
However, the study refutes the long held view that suggests developmental stuttering is associated with a range of poorer outcomes in the preschool period.
Interestingly, the study found the reverse was true, with stuttering associated with better language development, non-verbal skills with no identifiable effect on the child's mental health or temperament at four years old.
Researchers found that recovery from stuttering was low, 6.3 percent, 12 months after onset. Rates of recovery were higher in boys than girls, and in those who did not repeat whole words at onset than those who did.
Lead researcher, Professor Sheena Reilly said parents could be happy to know that they can take a 'watch and wait' approach to their child's stuttering and it won't be causing harm to their child's language skills or social and emotional development.
"Current best practice recommends waiting for 12 months before commencing treatment, unless the child is distressed, there is parental concern, or the child becomes reluctant to communicate. It may be that for many children treatment could be deferred slightly further," she said.
They found the cumulative incidence of stuttering in Australia by four years old was 11 percent, more than twice what has previously been reported.