My Son is Stuttering

 My precious two-year-old, who spoke in sentences at 18 months, has started stuttering. For months, his teachers have commented on how he’s leaps and bounds ahead of his peers in his verbal abilities. He may not name all of his colors or count to 20, but he can hold a reasonable conversation and convey what he wants and how he feels.

Until now.  
I didn’t pay attention at first to the slight stutter. I figured he was mimicking one of his friends . Then he progressed seemingly overnight. Now, he scrunches his face, tightens his eyes, even pauses his breathing, and then gags on a letter sound until he forcefully juts out a word – “W –w-w-w-w-w-where is my car?”

It’s painful to watch – and hear- and it breaks my heart.

I’m visualizing his future. How will he react to the cruel teasing from classmates?
Will he be ostracized from peer groups, discounted by teachers, unable to access certain opportunities? Will he suffer from low self-esteem?
Will we have to pay for speech therapy – and if so, from where, how much, how often, for how long?

Every time I hear him talk to his brother  – “P-p-p-p-p-p-put that down!”  – I shutter, I overreact, I almost hyperventilate. I just want to envelope him in my arms and rock him until this mean old stutter goes away.This is my baby! And yet, he still bounces around as if nothing has changed. And I know he doesn’t need me to coddle him or somehow favor him differently.

The advice nurse told me that this is common for his age and even more so for boys. She told me to
+ Speak slower and breathe deeper when talking to him 
+ Don’t ask him to do more than one thing at a time
+ Don’t tell him not to talk or to slow down
+ Spend more time talking to him one-on-one

This could be temporary, but I’m also going to consult see his pediatrician. Has anyone else had any experience with a child that stutters?

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5 thoughts on “My Son is Stuttering

  1. I haven’t experienced anything like this, just a face tic thing that my 3 year old had for awhile, but it went away. I was imagining all these too, like is he going to be made fun of, is it something serious, will it be forever, will it make his life difficult….etc… For some reason that his doctor can’t answer, it just went away. I have a friend who is about to graduate in school to become a speech pathologist. I can ask her if she has any suggesstions or anything that might be helpful. I know, you just want the best for your kids and wish they wouldn’t suffer any pain or extra challenges, but I’m sure he will be just fine. It is the parents that worry too much at times. Good luck and I’ll let you know what my friend says.

  2. First of all, I’m sorry that you’re tormented and I know how you feel. My five year old still stutters and he started at around 3, but it’s a lot better. Sometimes he doesn’t stutter at all, other times, it’s worse, especially when he’s excited. I quit letting it bother me because it doesn’t seem to bother him at all. But he’s homeschooled and there’s no other kids that pick on him or say anything at all about it.

    When he does it, I watch him, and sometimes I think it’s a form of eyes going faster than the brain, but with the mouth? Like, his mouth and his brain are working at different speeds and he’s sort of thinking out loud and it comes out in stuttering. Like when they pronounce words while reading? They have to really look at the letters when sounding it out and it almost sounds like stuttering. I think maybe it might work the same way with figuring out the words you want to use to communicate. Trying to think of the right words to say. I don’t know why one day they don’t seem to have an issue then one day boom, they’re constantly having it. Like when they began to consciously use the “contemplative” part of their brain, it sort of switched gears to manual rather than automatic? Like when we begin to really think of how to explain things, we have to slow down and think about what we want to say and how to best say it so that people understand. Maybe he’s realizing that communication is a tool that he can use and is becoming more aware that he’s using it? Like his brain is at that stage where the training wheels come off and he’s a little wobbly?

    I’m just speculating a books worth here. LOL. Sorry. I wouldn’t worry, just do your best to make him feel normal and it’ll pass. The more attention you give the stuttering itself, it might make him worry and cause more stumbling blocks on his way out of it.

    • That’s very good — I like that training wheels analogy. I think it is like that, he’s contemplating more… which is good. I thank you for this comment. Honestly, I think I am better with it than a few days ago. When I speak more intentionally to him – a little slower – I think he’s picking up on it and trying to slow down. And he’ll talk normally for a while – and then get worked up and stutter a bit. I’m hoping he’ll grow out of it but it’s not the end of the world. Did you take your son to a speech therapist? I’ll talk to his pediatrician but I’m wondering at what stage should I consider that?
      Thanks for your response!!!!

  3. You seem to be getting good advice and you are doing the right thing by seeking assistance from professionals…Just remember to breathe along the way…instead of imaging him being teased…image TD Jakes, Winston Churchill, Samuel Jackson, James Earl Jones, these are all people who had and over came speech challenges. Remember pearls are made from the facing of life’s challenges and don’t give them more power then that…LOVE U and the Boys

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