Did anyone's child outgrow a stuttering phase? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 36 Old 10-14-2012, 11:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I phrase my topic in this way because I am SO hoping this will be the case with my son.  He has been stuttering off and on for a year or so. Luckily, he isn't self conscious or stressed about it himself, we've been really careful not to appear to notice or worry about it because I read that could make it lots worse.  Seems like he gets excited about his big ideas and his little lips can keep up. Interestingly to me, he never does it in certain moods, like when he is making his voice sound silly during pretend play, ony when describing big thoughts.  My gut says I don't want to start speech therapy, because that could make him realize this is a "problem," and make him stressed. So for now I am just speaking slowly, clearly, and gently, and making sure no one hurries anyone up or interrupts anyone, and making him feel heard and secure.  I watched The King's Speech last week, which scared me some--like, holy cow, what if this turned into a life-long struggle for him...? So I'd love to hear your comforting tales of how your child outgrew or overcame stuttering...thanks!

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#2 of 36 Old 10-15-2012, 01:14 AM
 
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Sorry maybe not comforting but my 4.5 year old is a terrible stutterer, and it's not getting better. He's  not in specific therapy for stuttering at the moment, but he is in speech therapy (needs it for general speech delay, also he's a bilingual child so that affected his speech in the native language).

 

I was told by the speech therapist to do what I am doing, talk slowly, etc., and he still may outgrow it. If it doesn't get better in the next few months, I think I will pursue treatment because I don't want it to turn into a life long problem.


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#3 of 36 Old 10-15-2012, 03:30 AM
 
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OP how old is your son? Temporary stuttering is very common in toddlers.

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#4 of 36 Old 10-15-2012, 06:30 AM
 
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Years ago my son was in the hospital with Pnemonia and when he was released he was on all kinds of meds...Shortly after(within days)he started stuttering..He was 3..Just out of the blue..I talked with  his doctor and she went on a hunt..turned out one of the meds he was taking for his asthma/pnemonia had the side affect of stuttering..We removed it immedietly but the stuttering didn't stop unfortunatley..I never really made a big deal about it..Just when he froze with his words I would tell him to relax,think about what he wanted to say and start slowly...He was in hospital in Janurary and didn't start preschool till the following September and he did recieve Speech therapy to help because he was still stuttering at that point..It helped..By the time Spring came he was no longer stuttering on a word/daily basis..If he did try to talk to fast it would start up again...But within a year or two that was gone also....Sometimes speech can help...

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#5 of 36 Old 10-15-2012, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone...He's getting close to 5 years old...Does anyone have any ideas on what sort of excercises they would do in speech therapy...?

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#6 of 36 Old 10-15-2012, 08:01 AM
 
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Two of my kids were/are stutters, both needed speech therapy. Stuttering can be a common developmental event in toddlerhood. The onset for both my kids was age 3. Their mind was just going faster then what their mouth could keep up with. DD2 stuttered horribly for about 6 months, it was every sentence. It almost seemed to disappear over night. She did go on to have pronunciation issues and is currently in private speech therapy at almost age 6. Right now DS1 is stuttering, age 3.5, he has been in speech therapy for 2 years now (ASD). His speech therapists are watching the stuttering very closely because of his existing delays and issues. Right now, all the opinions are that it is developmental with him. One SLP (we have many speech therapists), told me that if the stuttering occurring in the first 1-2 words of a sentence only then it is more likely to be developmental, if it occurs later in the sentence or multiple times in the same sentence, then she'd be more concerned about it being a larger issue. 


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#7 of 36 Old 10-15-2012, 11:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mylie View Post

Years ago my son was in the hospital with Pnemonia and when he was released he was on all kinds of meds...Shortly after(within days)he started stuttering..He was 3..Just out of the blue..I talked with  his doctor and she went on a hunt..turned out one of the meds he was taking for his asthma/pnemonia had the side affect of stuttering..We removed it immedietly but the stuttering didn't stop unfortunatley..I never really made a big deal about it..Just when he froze with his words I would tell him to relax,think about what he wanted to say and start slowly...He was in hospital in Janurary and didn't start preschool till the following September and he did recieve Speech therapy to help because he was still stuttering at that point..It helped..By the time Spring came he was no longer stuttering on a word/daily basis..If he did try to talk to fast it would start up again...But within a year or two that was gone also....Sometimes speech can help...

 

Wow I never even thought to look into this. My ds who stutters (he's 4.5) is asthmatic. He hasn't been on meds since last winter (before the stuttering started, but not right before, it started last spring). I wonder if it could have had anything to do with it.


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#8 of 36 Old 10-15-2012, 12:05 PM
 
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My brother stuttered when he was young. He's older than me, so I don't remember it, but I heard my mother talking about it. She said she was told to speak slowly and carefully, and get down on his level when talking and listening. And make sure she looked at him when he was talking, so he wouldn't feel he had to rush. It took about 3 months, but he then started talking without stuttering.
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#9 of 36 Old 10-15-2012, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I am famous for my fast talking, so I am working HARD on it.  The whole famiy is...hope it helps!

 

Another issue for us is that we live very rurally, there is one speech therapist a good hour away, but there's no way we can afford her right now, especially with the price of gas. That's why I'm searching around for DIY tricks, excercises, ideas...Iknow you can get help through schooldistricts, but we homeschool, and he's too young for kindy, anyway...

 

I am interested in the alternative health type remedies.  He did have some big antibiotics as a 2 year old after a dog bite, and again this year for an ear infection.  He's had a few vaxes (we didn't wowant to vax but they pushed the dtap after the dog bite).  I know there are homeopathic remedies that talk about stuttering, we tried one a few months ago (stramonium?) but I didn't notice any improvement.  If only there was a certain vitamin, or...?  He does still breastfeed, so, I don't think I can blame anything like poor jaw alignment or dis-attachment, ha ha. ;)

 

Thanks all....

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#10 of 36 Old 10-15-2012, 01:30 PM
 
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My son has been in speech therapy for years and just recently started stuttering. He's seen by one of the leading speech clinicians in the country and even though she sees several risk factors with him, she's not terribly concerned as so many children outgrow this. Things that might make you more concerned are...family history of stuttering, onset after 3.5 years, being aware of/concerned he's doing it, tension in his face, blinking etc.

What has been suggested to us is that we get down at his level to speak with him, make good eye contact, speak quite slowly, and give him the impression we have all day to wait for him to say something. In therapy, they play games that naturally slow his speech down and improve his fluency.

Please consider speech therapy. He will probably grow out of it, but if he started later, that is a big risk factor. A therapist who is trained well in fluency will know how to make him feel comfortable. Interview people until you find someone you're comfortable with. Earlier help is definitely better and can help this from becoming a pattern that follows him into adulthood.
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#11 of 36 Old 10-15-2012, 01:35 PM
 
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Just wanted to add...universities often have programs where you pay very little (or nothing!) for a grad student to work with your child. My son sees a school therapist, private therapist, and we do this, and honestly, I am most comfortable with the grad student because she is being supervised (entire therapy session) and mentored by this woman who is so highly regarded and has published a ton on speech/fluency. I also then get to work with her too and hear her feedback.
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#12 of 36 Old 10-15-2012, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He does have the one risk factor I'd say, because I think it started between 3.5 and 4. I will make some calls about cheaper speech therapy options, I'm sure they would understand very well my concern of not making him aware that its "a problem."  I'm going to start kneeling down at his level too, hadn't heard that one yet, and slooooowing myself and life down even more (a good mediation for me in any case, even is this disappears tomorrow, I still need to practice slowing down...).  Thanks again.  I'd love to hear any more excercises/games for slow speaking anyone might know about?  Thanks....

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#13 of 36 Old 10-15-2012, 07:45 PM
 
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One way to slow things down is to play any sort of game where you're taking turns and slowly say something like "now it's my turn.". And then your child says the same for his turn and you do this back and forth while finishing the game. The slower pace can carry over (hopefully) once you finish the game. Hubby and I are naturally very fast talkers so I know how hard this is. We constantly remind each other, have a SLOW DOWN note on our fridge, etc.
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#14 of 36 Old 10-15-2012, 08:30 PM
 
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My son did it off and on around age 3. It stopped within a year, even with a big sibling who would tease about it.


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#15 of 36 Old 10-16-2012, 12:25 AM
 
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My friend who is a speech therapist gave me tips, and the best was speak slowly, unnaturally slowly. It really does help him slow down his thought processes.

 

She also said not to tell him to speak slowly or think, not to draw attention to it all, just that I should speak slowly and clearly and that will help him slow down his speech. It really does work. I spoke to his teacher today and she told me he does it very little, last year it was a much bigger problem so here's hoping he will outgrow it...


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Both of my boys went through phases with stuttering. One was bad enough that my dad asked me if it should be evaluated. I think he was about 4 or 5 at the time. He outgrew it completely. I think it's fairly common to happen.  I don't know at what point it is something that needs speech therapy.  I'd probably consider the child's ability to communicate his thoughts. If it's just an annoyance to the listener, and not a barrier to communication, and the child is not frustrated, I'd probably leave it alone.


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#17 of 36 Old 10-16-2012, 03:38 PM
 
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Thanks everyone...He's getting close to 5 years old...Does anyone have any ideas on what sort of excercises they would do in speech therapy...?

I just read an article from baby center about 5 year old's talking milestone and see this, hope this helps.

http://www.babycenter.com/0_developmental-milestone-talking_66695.bc

My DD used to be like this for 1.5 years but she outgrew naturally. Being patient listening to her and letting her finish sentences was the only thing I did.

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#18 of 36 Old 10-17-2012, 10:25 AM
 
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My son, now five, had a terrible stutter for about a year when he was three. I know my husband and mother in law also had a stutter as children, so it could be hereditary. We brought him to an amazing doctor who recommended Nourish Life Speak and protocol b12 liquid vials, along with a quality multivitamin and probiotic. Within a month we noticed a huge difference! I can't even begin to tell you the improvement we saw every week with the supplements. After about six months the stutter was almost gone. Our doctor says a lot of times speech issues can be caused/exacerbated by an imbalance of fatty acids in the brain. I would HIGHLY recommend trying this. A friend of ours whose son has a speech delay, not a stutter has also been helped by the Speak supplement ( by nourishlifespeak) Good luck and God bless!

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My daughter stuttered so badly I videotapped her for the school to see if I could get services. I spoke with a therapist who said her child had the same issues along with feeding delays and food intolerances. My daughter also had feeding delays and was intolerant to soy but I was allow it back in her diet because she was no longer having stomach issues from it. Any way turns out the soy was making it worse. She was bad and was aware she had a problem because she would stop and reworded her sentences. She was only 3 or so. And she had even if she playing or calm...it was not out of talking fast or excitement. Is your child in school and have they noticed anything? If he is not aware of it then he will probably outgrow but you could look into food intolerance. Even if your child is not in school some areas have free services through the state. Childfind or something? Anyway she outgrew it and her food intolerances.

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#20 of 36 Old 10-17-2012, 12:42 PM
 
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Ive gone through stages with both of my children with stuttering.  I researched it and there is a National Stuttering Foundation that I got lots of helpful info from.  I was told that it is common to go through this throughout development as one part of the brain is growing faster than other other side - at that moment. Sure enough, given a month or two, the stuttering stopped. Both of my kids noticed it themselves. My oldest one, daughter, actually asked me why do I talk funny like this all the time Mom? And so it did get to the point of frustrating her- especially at school. However I was told that unless it continues well into middle school, it is considered just a common thing and not to treat it. We chose not to "treat" it in any way. We chose to make NO notice of it and ignore it for both of the kids. We only addressed it when they directly asked us to. Oldest is no longer stuttering at all, and she is 9.5 yrs old now.

Good luck!

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#21 of 36 Old 10-17-2012, 12:50 PM
 
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My experience with stuttering is, admittedly, really unusual.  However, it's worth mentioning because it sounds like your son's issue is relatively new and intermittent?

 

My (presumably identical) twin sons were born extremely premature and have had abnormal brain-wave patterns since birth, which suggest a potential seizure disorder.  However, neither of them actually HAD a seizure until 1st grade.  (The other twin didn't have a seizure until 5th grade.)  The one who had the seizure at the younger age had an intermittent stuttering issue that began several months before the seizure.  In the weeks before the seizure, it grew increasingly worse until he was so bothered by it that he stopped talking altogether.  The twins were already in speech therapy and additional therapies that were tried for the stuttering had no effect whatsoever.  In fact, as you have suggested, the focus on the stuttering almost seemed to make it worse, in the sense that my son was more reluctant to TRY talking because everyone was so aware of the stuttering.  

 

I was under extreme pressure from family members to put him in daily speech therapy, or fly him out of state to a "better" hospital, for some sort of intensive treatment, but I had the strong sense that more intense focus on the issue was not the right answer.  On the flip side, his therapists were not that concerned about it and seemed to think such speech problems can be par for the course, with a kid who already had speech issues.  However, he was being treated for pronunciation issues and I just knew this new development meant something was seriously wrong.

 

Then he had a grand mal seizure and began taking trileptol.  The stuttering improved immediately after the seizure and almost completely vanished after several weeks, as he built up the appropriate level of medication in his system.  His speech therapist refused to believe the two were related, although it was just so obvious to me.  His neurologist doubted me, but suggested that the stuttering could be tiny "absence" seizures.

 

I should clarify that what I'm calling "stuttering" was often actually "blocking".  Instead of "W-w-what's f-f-for dinner?  I h-h-hope it's m-m-m-meatloaf," he might say, "What's for dinner?  Ner.  Ner.  Ner, I hope it's.  I hope it's meatloaf."  Right before the period when he stopped talking, he might only be able to get through "What's for din-" and would repeat that, or the last few syllables, until he got so frustrated he just wouldn't try to finish what he wanted to say.  

 

Eventually, I took him off the trileptol because it just seemed senseless to medicate a kid for the rest of his life, if he was going to average one seizure per decade.  Every few years, he'd go through a period of increasing stuttering or blocking.  I'd put him back on the trileptol for a while (in hopes of heading off a seizure).  The speech issue would clear up.  Eventually, I'd take him back off and he'd be fine for another few years.  He's 17 now and hasn't had a problem with speech or seizures, in several years.  On occasion, he may say, "What's for dinner?  Ner.  I hope it's meatloaf," but he doesn't get hung up on it.

 

His twin also had one grand mal seizure in grade school, but has never stuttered or blocked his speech.

 

In short, if you find no other explanation, or it gets worse, you might consider an EEG.


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#22 of 36 Old 10-17-2012, 01:07 PM
 
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I noticed one poster mentioned a soy allergy, and my brother also had a soy allergy! I'm not sure there's a connection, but if it were me, I'd remove soy to see if it helps.
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#23 of 36 Old 10-17-2012, 01:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Abbeytm View Post

My son, now five, had a terrible stutter for about a year when he was three. I know my husband and mother in law also had a stutter as children, so it could be hereditary. We brought him to an amazing doctor who recommended Nourish Life Speak and protocol b12 liquid vials, along with a quality multivitamin and probiotic. Within a month we noticed a huge difference! I can't even begin to tell you the improvement we saw every week with the supplements. After about six months the stutter was almost gone. Our doctor says a lot of times speech issues can be caused/exacerbated by an imbalance of fatty acids in the brain. I would HIGHLY recommend trying this. A friend of ours whose son has a speech delay, not a stutter has also been helped by the Speak supplement ( by nourishlifespeak) Good luck and God bless!

Something like 97% of kids who start stuttering before 3.5 will spontaneously stop so it's not that surprising that your son did. Speak by Nourish Life has a TOTALLY unacceptable level of vitamin E and is nothing more than a money train for the people who a) published their own "research study and then b) formulated a supplement that matched their research.

OP- fish oil is not a bad idea, but I would not use this brand. It has been linked to seizures due to the high levels of vitamin E and I would not trust the purity of the fish oil either. We use Nordic Naturals. There are some adults who stutter however who find fish oil makes it worse.... We feel the benefits outweigh the risks but it's something to think about. Please note that this endorsement of Speak comes from someone with only 1 post on MDC...
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#24 of 36 Old 10-17-2012, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everybody! So many interesting stories and good tips...

 

I have just cooincidentally decided to keep soy out because of the hormonal side effects, so now I'm even more determined too.

 

I did look at the Nourish Speak Life or whatever link, hmmm!  I will try and get him going on a good multivitamin and some Nordic Naturals, but argh, that gets so pricey!  I did just start making kefir though and I can get that into his system cheaply enough and save up for the rest.

 

Though he does seem to have the risk factor of starting to stutter later (like 3.5 or 4), on the other hand his pronnciation is great, no other speach impediments, and he has an awesome vocabularly for his age, lots of long words perfectly expressed...so it sounds like that bodes well...

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#25 of 36 Old 10-17-2012, 02:23 PM
 
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I noticed one poster mentioned a soy allergy, and my brother also had a soy allergy! I'm not sure there's a connection, but if it were me, I'd remove soy to see if it helps.


I heard when the child is upset, he tends to stutter more.

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#26 of 36 Old 10-17-2012, 05:49 PM
 
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I heard when the child is upset, he tends to stutter more.

You also quoted my remark about my brother and soy. I'm confused by what you are trying to say. Are you saying those who were soy allergic/sensitive were stuttering because they were feeling badly?
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#27 of 36 Old 10-17-2012, 10:13 PM
 
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You also quoted my remark about my brother and soy. I'm confused by what you are trying to say. Are you saying those who were soy allergic/sensitive were stuttering because they were feeling badly?

Yes.

Sorry for the confusion, I sent an article about stuttering in my previous post, it mentions "You may notice your child stutters more when she is tired, excited, or upset"

That's why I think there is a connection between stuttering and having soy allergy (in the case of the OP's child, not your brother).

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#28 of 36 Old 10-18-2012, 07:28 AM
 
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I'm not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but HandinHand Parenting has some wonderful tools for helping children with stuttering when it's related to generalized stress. If you're interested you can start with this article: http://www.handinhandparenting.org/news/185/64/Stutter-Stoppers

 

Best of luck :)

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#29 of 36 Old 10-20-2012, 12:35 AM
 
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Years ago my son was in the hospital with Pnemonia and when he was released he was on all kinds of meds...Shortly after(within days)he started stuttering..He was 3..Just out of the blue..I talked with  his doctor and she went on a hunt..turned out one of the meds he was taking for his asthma/pnemonia had the side affect of stuttering..We removed it immedietly but the stuttering didn't stop unfortunatley..I never really made a big deal about it..Just when he froze with his words I would tell him to relax,think about what he wanted to say and start slowly...He was in hospital in Janurary and didn't start preschool till the following September and he did recieve Speech therapy to help because he was still stuttering at that point..It helped..By the time Spring came he was no longer stuttering on a word/daily basis..If he did try to talk to fast it would start up again...But within a year or two that was gone also....Sometimes speech can help...

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#30 of 36 Old 10-20-2012, 06:08 AM
 
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I really don't remember because it was like 20 years ago but it had to have been either an steroid or some kind of oral med for asthma..It couldn't have been an antibiotic because he was always sick as a child and was on every antibiotic out there and she never mentioned it again..I know it wasn't albuteral or Prednisone because he had that pretty regular growing up...Sorry...You might be able to look it up by punching in asthma meds that can cause stuttering as a side affect..The next time I go to the doctor if I happen to think of it I will ask her(still see the same doc..orngtongue.gif )..

Mylie is offline  
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