Tag Archives: speech

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.