Is stuttering genetic?

Is stuttering genetic?

The short answer is NO!

Stuttering is thought to have genetic roots which explains why so many people fail to overcome it. “Why try if it cannot loose it, cure it? I was born this way, this way I die!”

Wait! No.


Contrary to conventional views, stuttering is not hereditary. It cannot be inherited the way physical features are. Shape and eyes color, complexion, bone structure, and so on.

Stuttering is the conditioned [learned] fixed reaction, it is learned. Learned reactions are acquired as we go through the process of socialization. Nobody is born with a stutter.

What you inherit is the anxious disposition, the type of nervous system. It predetermines how intensely you react to various external stimuli. You are probably a very sensitive and emotional person.

Am I right?

For instance, I am a natural worrier and often overreact. I invent problems where there is none. Other people facing an identical situation might not bat an eyelid. I can learn coping strategies but will always remain an extra sensitive person because such is my inherited, genetic nature. The psychological makeup I was born with.


“Many people are sensitive, but why they don’t stutter?“.

I anticipated this question.

Having the sensitive nervous system only predisposes you to develop stuttering but does not guarantee you will have it. It largely depends on external factors present within the immediate environment in which you live.

Environmental factors entail a parenting style, social and emotional stress, stigmatizing a child as less intelligent or capable, showing negative attitudes and emotions towards their ability to communicate, drawing attention to speech errors, stuttering parents, and watching their reactions to speaking situations.

Anything that draws and fixates attention firmly on speaking.

It makes you hesitant and fearful of social situations. A simple act of communication turns into performance. Speaking well becomes an obsessive fixation taking over all attentional resources. You can hardly focus on anything else. Only speech matters.

We are all unique. Other sensitives might not develop stuttering, but they are just as at risk. In fact, they might, and probably will develop other mental other psycho-emotional disorders and fixations such as hair pulling, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, body dysmorphia, skin picking, bruxism, and a wide array of other mental health-related conditions.

I hope you understand these conditions are not inherited. Imagine an infant with a body dysmorphia? Nonsense!

Passed in genes is ONLY the predisposition to developing psycho-emotional conditions. Stuttering is one of them.


Look at your parents. What are they like? How do they react to events? Especially, trivial events? Do they overact?

Many PWS’s I had an immense joy to speak to whilst working on this project share explicit details on their life with parents and parenting styles used. The informants noted the volatile nature of their parent’s temperaments, high sensitively and anxiety, fearfulness, and a tendency for exaggerating and catastrophizing events.

Stuttering is not a congenital conditional and is NOT PASSED DOWN in genes.


Stuttering is not congenital. This is a conditional learned reaction and it is reversible. Read what is stuttering here.

I stuttered for over 15 years. By the age of 30, I was totally stuttering free. Freedom entails the absence of obsessive thoughts, mental rehearsals before situations, blocking, choosing words, avoiding sounds, or/and situations.

Speech just happens without conscious attempts to control or monitor it in any way. During the research, I learned I was not alone. There were many former PWS’s that eliminated stuttering too. They too were told stuttering was congenital and yet “magically” recovered. These people helped expand my understanding of stuttering even further.

You can achieve this freedom too and become the person you really DREAM TO BECOME!

What this article helpful to you? Please leave a comment.

Olga Bednarskiindependent stuttering expert