Hiya again, everyone. Dd is about 3.5. This has been an issue for at least a year. She is extremely intelligent and ahead of her peers,however I am really starting to get a bit worried about the stammering.
I believe it is stress-related because of when it gets better and when it worsens.
How long should I allow this to go on before I maybe give EI a ring? I have mentioned it to her teachers and there are still a few other kiddos with the same issue and they don't seem concerned. They say she is, over all, far ahead of her peers. The main thing that concerns me is how long it's gone on.
My brother stuttered, I know, but he is older than me, and I'm not sure how old he was when he stopped.
I feel that the important thing to be said her is that it is IMPERATIVE that a child be brought to a speech therapist the moment the stuttering begins; while speech experts argue over many theories, they all are in agreement that early intervention with a speech therapist is a must. 75% of stuttering children stop stuttering. Bringing the child to a speech therapist definitely increases the chances that the child will be among the 75%.
The Stuttering Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization. Their website (www.stutteringhelp.org) provides many free resources for both the child and the parents, in the forms of streaming videos, downloadable books and brochures, etc. that are used by people all over the world. For those in the U.S., there is a brochure on the site called "Special Education Law and Children Who Stutter", which explains that every child in the U.S. with a speech problem has the right to FREE speech therapy from pre-school through high school. All kids are eligible for this AMAZING benefit. Also, the Stuttering Foundation has a toll-free helpline at 1-800-992-9392 for U.S. and Canada. Please not that this organization also sells many books and DVDs related to childhood stuttering.
There is a Spanish-language version of the Stuttering Foundation site at www.tartamudez.org for both the Hispanic community in the U.S. and for people who stutter in Latin America.
I am a speech pathologist, and I disagree with George. If everyone brought every child who stutters the moment stuttering begins, it would be a mess. The fact is, most kids stutter at some point. The general rule of thumb is that if they are stuttering consistently for 6 months, then you could consider taking them to an SLP. That said, the most recent literature review I read said up to 18 months could be normal and it is completely OK to take a "wait and see" approach for 18 months. The reason 75% of kids who stutter recover is because often it is a temporary thing. The fact that she is a girl is also in her favor.
When she stutters, what does it sound like? Whole words being repeated? Sounds being repeated? Phrases being repeated? Sounds being prolonged? Silent blocks or periods of being stuck?
True stuttering is one of three things: part word repetitions (ba-ba- ball), prolongations ( I ssssssssssssaw you yesterday), and blocks (silent block where no air is coming out and child appears stuck or frozen). Word repetitions and phrase repetitions are not stuttering.
Also, I will say that both me and my husband are practicing speech language pathologists and our son really threw us for a loop. He began stuttering so severely that we were both just floored. He stuttered so much that when he got stuck in a part word rep, his jaw would keep moving saying the sound over and over until he actually raised his hand up to his jaw and physically stopped the movement. It made me panic inside, but we stayed as cool as we could about it. One major thing a family can do to help is decrease time pressure. Try not to make your child feel hurried, and if they talk to you, stop what you are doing if possible and make eye contact to show you are listening. Don't tell them to slow down or "think about what they are saying." Just give them time and show you are listening. This helps decrease the issue a lot. It is a passive intervention you can try without labeling your child as a stutterer and directly addressing it. We included our 6 yr old daughter in this as well. She did not directly mention it to him, but when cued, she would back off, not interrupt and let him finish his thought.
In my son's case, he became fluent and we breathed a sigh of relief. He was fluent for many months, and then it started again. It freaked me out, but not as much the second time around. I have noticed that there tends to be a language explosion right around the time of these episodes. When he becomes fluent, it is striking to me how his sentences have become longer, more complex, more "big boy" sounding.
Please feel free to PM me if you have questions or additional info you want to share. I am happy to help.
Both of my twins stuttered at some point, and for months at a time. One boy stuttered from aroundn 4, the other at 3 and again more recently. They would repeat the beginning sound. I did no intervention, never even mentioned the stuttering to them. I don't think it was named in their presence. I think for many kids, it's a developmental thing, but it can become a big hairy deal if you make it one.
My DD outgrew stuttering on her own. We also didn't mention it and after about a year it went away. It was around age 3.
Good luck, Mama!
Married Mama to two girls, A (4/06) and I (9/09).
not just about stuttering, but perhaps helpful.