The prevalence of stuttering, voice and speech-sound disorders in primary school students in Australia

David H. McKinnon, Sharynne McLeod, Sheena Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Citations (Scopus)


The aims were threefold: to report teachers' estimates of the prevalence of speech disorders (specifically, stuttering, voice, and speech-sound disorders); to consider correspondence between the prevalence of speech disorders and gender, grade level, and socioeconomic status; and, to describe the level of support provided to school children with speech disorders.Method: Students with speech disorders were identified from 10,425 students in Australia using a four-stage process: training in the data collection process, teacher identification, confirmation by a speech-language pathologist, and consultation with the district special needs advisors.Results: The prevalence of students with speech disorders was estimated; specifically 0.33% were identified as stuttering, 0.12% as having a voice disorder, and 1.06% as having a speech-sound disorder. There was a higher prevalence in males compared to females. There was decreasing prevalence of identified speech disorders with increasing grade level. There was no significant difference in the pattern of prevalence across the three speech disorders and four socio-economic groups; however, students identified with a speech disorder were more likely to be in the higher SES groups. Finally, a difference between the actual and perceived level of support for these students was revealed.Conclusions: These prevalence figures are lower than those using initial identification by speech-language pathologists and similar to data using parental report
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-15
Number of pages11
JournalLanguage, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007

Grant Number

  • DP0773978


Dive into the research topics of 'The prevalence of stuttering, voice and speech-sound disorders in primary school students in Australia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this