Tuesday, March 23, 2010


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stutter: (verb) to speak in such a way that the rhythm is interrupted by repetitions, blocks or spasms, or prolongations of sounds or syllables, sometimes accompanied by contortions of the face and body.

A few months ago, I noticed that Aaron Jr. was starting to stutter a little bit. I have tried not to worry about it because so many people have told me that kids usually grow out of it. When Aaron is struggling to get his words out, I have waited patiently for him to get his word out. I have pretended not to notice so that he doesn't feel like there is something wrong.

His stuttering seems to be getting worse. Only recently has he began to have the slight contortions of his face while he tries so hard to get a word out. But last night, for the first time that I have seen... he finally began to give up when he just couldn't find his word.

He was getting caught on the word 'can' when he was trying to ask me something last night. After trying to say it for about 30 seconds or so... he seemed disappointed and he finally said, "I can't tell you."

I told him to try again and I got his attention looking straight at me and he tried again.

So he did try again... and after trying again to get the word 'can' out... he finally gave up on that word and in a frustrated voice he said, "Tell me I can ride my dark blue bike tomorrow."

A few minutes later, he started trying to ask me something again and was getting caught on the word 'can' again... so this time he switched words and tried getting the beyond the word 'I' and said 'I' over and over and finally got frustrated and asked me, "Can you tell me something?" trying to get me to finish his sentence and tell him what he was trying to say.

So I told him to think about it and to try again.

That's when he started to cry and said, "I can't tell you."

This exchange broke my heart. I am still trying not to worry too much about it... since people have told me that he will grow out of it, but when it is my own child... I do worry about it. I don't ever want him to be in a position where he feels different than other kids... different in the negative ways... where he feels like something is wrong with him. I do have a nephew who is doing awesome with his speech after struggling with stuttering... so I do have hope.

But, its okay to worry and be concerned as a mother, right? We all want the best for our kids.

Anyone have any experience with stuttering and their kids? I would love to hear success stories or anything you would like to share about it.

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LL said...

I don't have personal experience with this. I can understand though how it would break your heart. Seeing your child struggle with anything is always so hard.
I have a good friend who would have a lot of info on this. I'll talk to her and let you know.
I've always heard that this can happen around birthdays or Christmas (big exciting times or changes for kids) they're brains just go faster than their mouths.
I'm sure he will grow out of it, but as his mom...of course you're worry. And you worry because you love him!
You're so good with him!!!

Christine said...

One of my twins started stuttering or getting hung up on words more in about the first grade. I think when kids grow, along with their vocabulary, they tend to have a little trouble sometimes computing their thougths. My son did grow out of it. When it happened I told him to stop, think about what he wanted to say and then try again. Most of the stuttering came when he was thinking about too many things so when he slowed down he was better able to communicate. I also noticed distractions would add to it- if there was a lot going on around him at the time. It sounds like your doing everything right. I think patience is the key. Good luck.

cynphil6 said...

Talk to your pediatrician. My son was able to get into a speech therapy program before kindergarten started. (I didn't want him pulled out of class for speech. I feard other kids would tease him.)
Anyway, he qualified for a speech therapy program at one of the local elementary schools, and I didn't have to pay anything for it. Good luck!

Kate, Alek, Hank, and Cash (RIP RED) said...

Hey hun,
My nephew started stuttering right around Aaron Jr. age my brother and parents wanted to just let it go because he was so young and it is common. I brought him in for an evaluation and he did not meet criteria for intervention however 6months later when I brought him for a follow up he did. They started the intervention at his home one day a week and at his nursury school one day a week. He still talks about how much he loved his speech therapist. By the time he entered kindergarten he had stopped stuttering completely. It was amazing. He has never needed speech therapy again and is top of his class! I think being proactive is the best way to address things. EARLY INTERVENTION is the best intervention!!
I can chat more with you about this if you would like on FB just let me know hun!!
Sending my love
Kate and Alek

Head Nurse or Patient- you be the judge said...

I agree with getting him evaluated- better to head it off and get help before it becomes an even harder thing- I haven't had any kids nor any that I knew personally have problemes with stuttering, but I have overheard a lot of kids in speach therapy at school, and if you get some tips on how to help him, it couldn't hurt.

My OB stutters. During any relatively standard exam he does fine- but if you ask something off track a little, he struggles more-

Jennifer Bowman said...

My daughter started stuttering around 2 1/2 - 3 years of age. I never made a issue of it with her and just watched it closely.
It went away on it's own and she is 4 1/2 now and speaks really well. So it really could just be a stage he is going through.

You as his Mother know best so I would say, watch him and if you think it is becoming a bigger issue than just a stage take him in to get evaluated, couldn't hurt.

Good luck, thoughts & prayers with you and your sweet boy.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear this - things like this are scary for moms but I'm sure he'll be fine. He is the coolest ever kid!

One thought I had was to have him sing it when he can't say it. I've heard that works and if it does, it would be a fun way to solve it and hopefully not draw too much attention to it which may cause it to snowball. I think you're smart to downplay it. Bringing too much attention to it could cause it to become his identity of sorts - but then on the other hand, some early intervention by professionals might be helpful also. Although some of them do tend to sensationalize.

In the end, my answer is all over the board and others' comments are also - but there is one who nkows exactly what is needed. Heavenly Father knows what you should do for your little Aaron Jr. Fast and pray until you get an answer from He who knows your son the best.

Kristi said...

He sound like Luke. It was so heart breaking to see him struggle with it. I cried over it and struggled more with it than he probably did. I understand your concern.
It definitely couldn't hurt to take him to be evaluated. I bet if you called the school and asked to talk to their special education or speech specialist they would let you know how to get him seen by a speech therapist. We went through some program up here that made it so it was all free. We have never had to pay a dime for his speech sessions. I don't know what the equivalent would be down there though.
It sounds like you are doing all the things that Luke's therapist tells him to do, slow down your speech, wait and tell him you can wait, and don't draw attention to it.
I think she said not to have him start over. It was so hard because I could see how it was draining him emotionally.
I even have a book about if you have a stuttering child. I will send it to you.
We love him so much. Give him a big hug from us.

Joann said...

Marianne stuttered for a little while when she was about Aaron's age. Jeri (Justin's sister that teaches preschool) said not to worry about it. She grew out ofit and all is well now. I can't keep her from talking ;) Good luck! I miss you!!!

Lisa said...

i agree with anonymous. pray and your answer will come somehow. careful what 'professional' you go to cause he might want you to put him on anti-depressants or anti-anxiety meds. sweet boy.

partypatt said...

Leslie, I am a preschool teacher and teach four year olds. (I'm Haak's teacher). I've taught for 20 years now, both in NJ and Utah. Stuttering is not common at all (at least among my students). I would have your pediatrician make an evaluation. Mostly likely Aaron, Jr. will grow out of it but it will put your mind at peace if you ask the doctor. Good luck and please keep us posted! I hope you're doing well otherwise! You are such a good mom. You take care now.

amanda said...

Tobe stutters too. I've taken him to speech evaluations but of course he doesn't stutter in front of them so he doesn't qualify for help.

When I lived in Utah, Tobe went to the "Kids on the Move" preschool in Orem and there was a boy Owen, in his class who stuttered (Tobe didn't stutter back then). Anyway Owen did the same thing. He'd replace words with something else when he couldn't get it out.

I've been worried about Tobe ever since he developed a stutter too but I am hoping he'll grow out of it. I think you are doing the best thing for Aaron by being patient and helping him get his words out.

Emily said...

I have stuttered my whole life. My mom is a speech pathologist so she worked on me and my stuttering. When I was in 4th grade she sent me to a speech class that she did not teach. Now I hardly ever stutter, only when I am nervous or excited. It is a good thing that you are being patient with Aaron and helping him. :)