Tag Archives: mom

Believing It’s OK to Stutter

Several weeks ago I blogged about my concerns on whether my son had a stuttering problem. He was really struggling to get out the words, especially ones that started with W. He’d ball up his fists and his face would turn red as he tried to force the words through. It broke my heart a bit.

After that post, I got numerous responses from people about their child going through a stuttering phase. Thanks for everyone’s input, you know you’re never alone in this parenting gig, but it’s great to have concrete reminders. It makes the phrase: “It’s just a phase” seem real instead of just something people say.

I talked to the pediatrician’s office about it and the nurse asked me a few questions. How often does he do it? (Whenever he’s excited, sometimes when he’s not.) Is it mostly with the letters L, T, S and N? (No, it’s mostly Ws.) She told me that his stuttering appeared to be what they normally see in kids this age, especially boys. Sometimes it’ll last for a few weeks or a few months, then slowly disappear. It’s just their mouths trying to catch up with their brains. Since we have an appointment for the end of August, she said the doctor was fine with evaluating him at that time.

That response was fine by me. I was worried, but not to the point of being obsessively concerned. Also, my school district (as do, I believe, most districts in the U.S.) offers an early childhood intervention program. Ours is pretty good in that it screens kids for all special needs, speech, cognitive, motor skills and youngsters considered “at-risk.”

If it’s determined that your child needs a little extra support, he or she can attend a class twice a week to work on those skills. I’m really impressed with how it’s set up and recommend anyone with questions about their child to contact their school district to find what’s available.

It’s interesting to see where Logan is now. A week after my post, I noticed he tried to stop using W words _ the most popular being “why?” And switched to “how.” It was like he figured out a workaround. After a few weeks of “How we going to do this?” (Translation: Why are we doing this?) his stuttering dramatically decreased.

We have a day or two where he stutters a lot, but now we’re generally stutter-free. I have no disillusions. I know it’ll return, I’ll wait for it to waft away, not make a big deal out of it and we‘ll just see what the doctor says. 

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Does My Kid Have a Stuttering Problem?

My little guy, Logan, has always been a talker. His parents are talkers so he had no choice in the matter really. He has a great vocabulary and we chit chat about everything, which sometimes feels odd considering he’ll be 3 in August.

In the past few months hubby and I have noticed that he’s starting to stutter, but we didn’t think too much of it figuring it for just a phase. Now in the past few days it’s gotten a lot worse. Yesterday in driving home from daycare he asked me if we were going to drive on the bridge, which he often does but it took him a good 15 seconds to get the W in the “we” out. I wasn’t sure what was happening all I heard was an increasingly loud “wuh wuh wuh wuh wuh” so I turned to look at him and saw his face was red. My heart broke a bit. He was fighting to get the words out.

Later that evening hubby and I talked again about the stuttering. It only happens when he’s excited, you can see the wheels turning in his head and he is getting frustrated he can’t get the words out. Sometimes he gets so worked up and starts to jump as if to shake the words loose. It’s always the first word of the sentence once he’s over that hump, the words tumble out rapid fire.

I Googled stuttering toddlers and found that sometimes it’s the kids looking for the right word to use. That’s not my Logan, he knows what he wants to say he just can’t say it. Most of the websites said to respond with patience, maintain eye contact while they’re stuttering and not to make them feel self conscious. Then you are to repeat the sentence in your response so they know how it’s supposed to sound.

I also found that stuttering runs in families and we’ve got stutterers in ours, plus it’s more common in boys than girls.

We have a friend that is a speech therapist and I’ll give her a ring as well as see what his doctor thinks. I know there’s tons of great resources out there, why not try them? But I have to admit it’s a bit scary. Though it’s not anything near like a terminal disease or even a curable disease, you just don’t want your kid to have any issues. I think of the little boy in school who was teased for his stutter and had to leave class to meet with the speech therapist. I don’t want my little boy to be that little boy. But inhale. Exhale. It’s just a stutter and I’m sure it’ll be fine.

Daycare Woes: When Your Teacher Is Not Making the Grade

Finding the right daycare reminded me of the research I did to find the right college. Student-to-teacher ratios, class curriculum, location, amenities. Cost. We finally found one that we have been generally happy with for the past two years, but the relationship is starting to sour as a couple teachers have left and my son’s current teacher keeps making missteps.

It’s not that we’re worried he’s being mistreated, it’s more about quality of care, such as the lack of follow through, forgetfulness and overall disorganization. I feel like he’s getting enough mental stimulation as their curriculum has their days filled with crafts, music, reading, etc. I just wonder if after all that the teacher is frazzled too. I find out more about Logan’s day from the teacher next door than my son’s teacher.

But I do have to say I feel like his teacher knows him and loves him. At his Christmas performance, when his confidence began to falter before the big smiling crowd, she nodded him over so he could finish the song nuzzled in her bosom. That meant a lot to me, but bosoms can only go so far.

My husband and I are going to talk with the daycare director to see if our expectations are unreasonable. (By daily report cards, do they really mean weekly?) We’ll see what can be done so that our expectations and what’s required of her are the same. We’re also going to talk with the teacher to find out if there’s more we can be doing on our end to help.

Then if she doesn’t shape up after some time, we can always leave. There’s a couple of other really good daycares on the list that we can attend. Although I don’t want to take him away from his friends, I know as a kid, he’s flexible and can always make new ones. That’s something he’ll be doing for the rest of his life.

Work Evaluations vs. Mom Evaluations

 

Work evaluations, we’ve all had them. Each year (or about that) managers reach out to discuss our performance. There’s often an e-mail that gives you a heads up that a review is coming, which is sometimes followed by a self-appraisal. There’s forms with words like “Exceeds Expectations, Meets Expectations, Needs Improvement.” Also eventually comes the conversations where “stretch goals,” “development” and even “career paths” are discussed.

It’s all very structured, very tidy.

Very different from mom evaluations. Those come with no warning, no forms, no regular timing and certainly no structure. And when you get a bad one, it can cut. Deep.

The review on how good of a mom you are can come from anywhere. This morning my little guy turned to me, unprompted, and said “Mommy you’re my best friend.” Or it can be a teacher who brags to you about the thoughtfulness of your 16-year-old.

Then there’s the disapproving looks at the store when your child is screaming, thrashing and essentially frothing at the mouth. Your mommy friends who are surprised your toddler is *still* using a pacifier. The tween who screams she hates you, and the fire in her eyes lets you know she means it. Then there’s the jarring heart-to-heart with the 30-year-old who tells you all of the pain you’ve caused.

And we can’t forget the harshest critic of all: Ourselves. How many times have we flogged ourselves for misdeeds minor, major or imagined?

Momevals are hard to receive constructively because it’s a judgment on something we hold dear, our life’s passion. But all evaluations are hard and no one wants a bad one.

The thing to do is to put them into the proper perspective. (He’s not going to take his pacifier to college and she won’t hate you forever) If you’ve made mistakes, admit them, learn from them and move on. After all you’re trying your best.

An iTouch for a Toddler? ARE YOU CRAZY?!?!?!?

That’s what I said to my husband when he told me he wanted to get Logan an iTouch for his 3rd birthday. I repeat THIRD birthday.

Hubby and I are gadget geeks and we ooo and ahhhh over the latest iPods,iPhones, iTouch, iPads and iWonderWhatThey’llThinkOfNexts. And I believe we try to be somewhat sensible when it comes to getting stuff for Logan.

Which is why when hubby asked me if I thought we could get Logan an iTouch I was shocked. A 3-year-old? Really? What’s the point? There’s educational apps, he tells me. What’s wrong with books? (I has a half-a-second from pulling out the ol’ “Back in my day….”) I began to suspect we’re going to buy this iTouch “for Logan,” but it’ll really be for hubby. But he insists, nope, it’s for the half-pint.

So, a $300 toy for a 3 year old? Not sure I can get over that. I mean, I can still hear the sound of his portable DVD player bouncing down the stairs when he chucked it mid-tantrum. (Surprisingly, it survived the nearly fatal fall.)

A few days later, I asked a woman who’s been an educator for years what she thinks of these devices for little ones. To my surprise she says it’s great. In fact she just got back from a conference in Chicago where the iPad was being touted as a wonderful education tool, especially for special needs kids. They’re already in some schools. You can do speech therapy, cover your ABCs and 123s, colors, animals and sounds. Apparently its bright colors and sleek design are ideal for capturing kids’ attention and as far as the iTouch, they’re perfectly sized for little hands. Though she recommended the  youngest of the iGeneration be 5 years old.

Who knew? Even though it’s been almost three years, I’m still adjusting to looking through the world with parental lenses.

iPods, iPads, iTouch for kids… iDon’tKnow, but maybe my hubby isn’t as crazy as I thought. What would you do?