Semin Speech Lang 2018; 39(04): 324-332
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1667161
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Assessing Bilingual Children: Are Their Disfluencies Indicative of Stuttering or the By-product of Navigating Two Languages?

Courtney T. Byrd
1  Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
24 August 2018 (online)


Clinicians commonly report difficulty determining whether the disfluencies produced by their clients are indicative of stuttering or suggestive of something else, such as cluttering, autism, language impairment, or second language learning. In our clinical decision-making process, we identify features unique to specific speech and/or language disorders. This identification enables differential diagnosis in most cases. But what happens when features appear to overlap and, as a result, compromise our clinical decision making? This article provides information to assist in the differential diagnosis of stuttering, particularly as it pertains to the assessment of children who speak more than one language. It explores similarities in the speech behaviors produced by these speakers, contrasting them with stuttering behaviors in monolingual English speakers.