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updated: 8/22/2013 6:53 AM

Experts: Wait-and-see could harm stuttering kids

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Associated Press

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue University speech experts say a wait-and-see approach for dealing with preschool children who stutter could harm youngsters who don't grow out of it.

Members of the Purdue Stuttering Project say most preschool children with stuttering problems eventually grow out of it. But they say children who don't stop stuttering can face academic and social setbacks if their problem isn't identified and treated during early childhood.

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Purdue Stuttering Project research scientist Bridget Walsh says the longer a child stutters, the more ingrained that speech pattern becomes and the harder it is to treat. She says stuttering can become a severe lifelong disability for some children.

Walsh says parents worried about their child's stuttering should ask for a referral or contact a speech-language pathologist for an evaluation.

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