My daughter just turned 3 nov. 30th. we have noticed that in the last couple months she has really started to stutter :\ i have a dr apt with her pediatrician on tuesday but i was wondering if anyone has ideas of what may be causing this or help! Thanks
It's very normal at this age. My oldest child was always pretty advanced in language development- began talking early, has always had excellent enunciation for his age, as well as a very large vocabulary for his age, formed sentences very well at an early age, etc. But soon after he turned two he started stuttering. It got worse before it got better, then tapered off slowly over about three or four months. As Michelle suspected with her son, I also think my son just hit a stage where he had TOO much he wanted to say, like his mouth couldn't keep up with his brain. Or his thoughts were moving faster than he could even process them verbally. My son is very intense, excited, emotional etc, so this theory made perfect sense for him! I did mention it to his pediatrician at the time and she verified that theory as well, saying a LOT of kids go through a stuttering stage sometime between the ages of 2 and 5, some longer than others, because there is just soooo much mental and verbal development all going on that sometimes they just can't keep up with themselves. Hope that helps put your mind at ease a little, however, if I were you I would still mention it to her pediatrician to cover your bases, just to make sure it's just the normal phase so many kids go through.
When my son went through that I googled it to find ways to help him, because I have read that if you respond in the wrong ways you can actually encourage it to become a pattern that will last. There is lots of info out there to help you know the best ways to respond to stuttering. For example, when she stutters you, of course, don't want to say or do anything that puts stress on her to hurry up and get the words out. My son would get so frustrated and impatient with himself, which would make it worse, so I did whatever I could to show him that *I* was not impatient or frustrated when he couldn't get the words out. If he was trying to tell me something and stuttered, I'd stop whatever I was doing, physically get down to his level, look him in the eye and just listen. I wouldn't raise my eyebrows expectantly or tell him to "slow down" or anything, I'd just listen and act natural. When he was getting frustrated with himself, I'd just smile and casually say "It's ok", then go on listening, never breaking direct eye contact. Stay calm and relaxed and show her through your body language that you are really listening. This will help her a lot to feel like she can take her time, which will give her mouth a chance to catch up to her brain.
Michelle - posted on 12/08/2012
My oldest son was like that and it was because he had so much to that his mouth couldn't keep up with his brain :-)
We would just get him to stop and think about what he wanted to say first. Slow down and concentrate on each word. It really helped and we didn't need to go to speech therapy.
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