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Thread: Intermittent stuttering

  1. #1

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    Default Intermittent stuttering

    J was 3 in Feb, and is a very good talker. He has been a good talker for a long time now. He has a lot of words and talks in full sentences. He also gets his pronouns correct etc. But sometimes he stutters. Sometimes it is a "letter" stutter, like with the letter s at the start of a word. Other times it is like a word block where he can't get the word out and repeats the words before it until it comes. When it happens, it seems to happen quite a few times for a day or two, then he will go days or weeks without a problem.

    Is this something I should get checked out?


  2. #2

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    MR - hmmm, hard to say, I'd tend to think not, but then again, there's no harm in speaking to someone about it? What about your MCHN? Or if you're not keen (I know a lot of BB'ers aren't) your GP? It doesn't sound like a big deal to me. DD is a month older than J and although she doesn't stutter she does the word block thing often, and the same as J, will keep repeating the sentence until the word pops out! I'd say it was pretty age appropriate.

    One of my friends little boys has a lisp and when she has spoken to her MCHN and GP etc about it, they've told her to wait until he is older and his speech has developed further. She has been told what would probably take months of work at 3 could only take a few sessions of speech pathology a bit later. I'm not sure if this is the same as stuttering though.

    Also - have you noticed it happens more often when he is tired or overexcited? DD often muddles things or has word blocks when she's excited and trying to say something in a hurry.

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    Mason has just started doing this! I know he is quite a bit older but it could be a similar reason behind it.

    I aked him why he is doing it and he said he doesn't know but then he said that when he talks like that the other kids can hear him. Not sure what that means but I think it means he repeats a word or letter till he knows he has someones attention.

    He almost completely stopped while we were on holidays and yesterday afternoon when he came home from school he was doing it again quite badly.

    Do you think he could be mimicking someone? I'm going to have a word with Masons teacher and find out if she thinks it could be a mimicking thing.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for that girls. It's interesting that it seems common enough.

    Sam, that's an interesting thought. I'll have to take notice next time it happens and see if he has just been at day care.

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    I'm not sure I can give much advice on what to do about getting him through it, but can I give you two suggestions on what not to do?? Please please don't tell him to stop & think about what he has to say. As an ex-stutterer I can tell you that this is the most frustrating thing ever & it makes you want to give up telling people things. I vividly recall my dad saying over & over "Stop, think about what you're going to say & then say it." For me it wasn't a case of not knowing what I wanted to say, but more that my brain was moving too fast for my mouth, so was ready for the next thought to come out before I had finished what I was saying IYKWIM. The other one is not to finish his sentences. It makes you (the stutterer) lazy because you know someone will finish the sentence for you, so why bother.

    HTH a little.

  6. #6

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    Oh Sarah thanks for that. I've been telling Mason to slow down and think about what he's trying to say so I'll stop!

  7. #7

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    Hey MR

    How you doing, chickie?

    Yep...you should get this checked out.

    Stuttering is what they call a 'motor programming' difficulty. Basically, the message that is coming from the brain to the larynx (voice box) is a 'bumpy' message...so when the words come out they are 'bumpy' and 'stuttery'.

    Stuttering can come and go...just like you describe. You can often hear the stutter more when 'the system is under stress'...so when a child is really tired, or excited, or angry... It also happens when kids are having 'language spurts'...so when their language is really developing, the brain is 'exploding' with all these new words and structures, that they can't focus on keeping their words as 'smooth'...and the stutter comes out.

    It's much better to get it checked out than not. You may find that it's just a phase and Jack grows out of it...which would be great! But if didn't grow out of it, it's much harder to treat in kids over the age of 5.

    There's fantastic treatment out there now. It's fun and easy! You'll need to see a Speechie.

    You can either go private or public. If you go private, try and get someone who SPECIALISES in stuttering, not just a generalist Speechie. Just ask them. Or...you can ring your local child health centre (one that has speechies attached to it) and get Jack's name down on the waiting list.

    If you want to know who's a good private Speechie who specialises in stuttering, ask your local child health centre Speechie for a list of recommendations of stuttering specialists for pre-school aged kids. Also...you could try ringing the Speech Pathology department at University of Queensland and ask who they may recommend.

    Overall...it's not a huge thing to worry about. If Jack is stuttering (only an assessment will determine that), then he can access some great treatment. Australia is one of the leading countries in stuttering treatment!

    So, it will all be okay!

    Hope that helps chickie!
    Last edited by monnie; June 13th, 2008 at 03:30 PM.

  8. #8

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    Hello Monnie!!

    Thanks for that information, very helpful.

    It also happens when kids are having 'language spurts'...so when their language is really developing, the brain is 'exploding' with all these new words and structures, that they can't focus on keeping their words as 'smooth'...and the stutter comes out.
    Funnily enough, this seems to be the case with DD actually. We noticed after she started preschool her language and vocabulary really took off.

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    Hamish seems to stutter every now and then as well, its not all the time, but he gets quite frustrated when the words wont come out.
    It seems to be he has a great idea in his head and he is trying to think of the right words to use to explain it so we will understand him. He has a great vocab and can hold a great conversation .
    Its like a light bulb comes on in his head and he has this great idea he has to tell us but hes not sure how to say it.

  10. #10

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    Thanks so much for that info Monnie. I'll check that out.

    And Sam, I have to say I say the same thing , so thanks for letting us know that Sarah.

  11. #11
    Ellibam Guest

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    this is exactly what is going on with makon ATM!
    i noticed it was getting worse so i asked about and all the advice i got was to tell him to slow down and think about what he needs to say! well 3 days of doing thjat he started whispering!! not what i wanted my beautiful chatty boy to do!
    so i booked in to see a speechie( we saw her on monday) and she has diagnosed it as a definate stutter so we will be starting the lidcombe programme...(google it).
    im sooo glad i took him i knew it wasnt just developmental
    also she said there isnt any thing wrong with saying stop slow down and think about it except for the frustration it might cause.....
    Last edited by Ellibam; June 13th, 2008 at 10:28 PM.

  12. #12

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    No, definitely nothing wrong with saying it, but it is exceedingly frustrating when you are the one being told to think about it before you speak, because most of the time you know what you want to say, it just won't come out.

  13. #13
    Ellibam Guest

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    i get that! i have stopped saying cos it was making M whisper..... i dont want to silence my boy!! i want him to woo the world with his word!!

  14. #14
    paradise lost Guest

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    Sarah, does "take a breath" have the same effect. We had a boy in toddler group who was stuttering and the playleader got down next to him and said "Take a breath...?" As if, "Here i am, i'm listening, you don't need to rush, take a breath first and then you can tell me" and it seemed to work great. Like instead of telling HIM to slow down she made sure SHE slowed down and without the rush/with the wee pause his words found him again. The focus of the phrase was on the expectative pause after "breath" like that was the beginning of her listening and not the exasperation of her wanting him to calm down. She told me after she'd been told about it by a speechie about 25 years ago and didn't know how current it was, but that it was always useful in her experience. Just wondering if that'd have made it worse for you or better?

    Bx

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    I think it might be a little better Bx cos it would get you to pause & calm your mind somewhat which is where my problem was, slowing down to get it all out.

  16. #16

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    Also, slowing your own speech down when talking to a child that stutters can help a great deal as children tend to model an adults speech pattern somewhat, so MR while waiting to see a specialist you could focus on slowing your own speech rate a bit as this may assist Jack. He won't even know you're doing it and it tends to have a better effect that actually telling him to slow down. Stuttering at Jack's age, unlike the lisp mentioned above, should be dealt with swifty rather that waiting as it should be easier to rectify at 3yrs than if you wait until 5yrs of age.

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