These findings from a community-ascertained cohort refute long-held views suggesting that developmental stuttering is associated with a range of poorer outcomes. If anything, the reverse was true, with stuttering predicting subsequently better language,nonverbal skills, and psychosocial health-related quality of life at 4 years of age.
Future research with this cohort will support a more complete longitudinal understanding of when and in whom recovery occurs. Current best practice recommends waiting for 12 monthsbefore commencing treatment, unlessthe 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 even longer. Treatment is efficacious15 but is both intensive (median of 15.4o ne-hour clinical sessions followedby 10 one-hour clinical maintenance sessions) and expensive; this "watchful waiting" recommendation would therefore help target allocation of scarce resources to the small number of children who do not resolve and experience adverse outcomes, secure in the knowledge that delaying treatment by a year or more has been shown not to compromise treatment efficacy