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.
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?