My little boy (aged six, born with lyme disease that he got from me :-((((( ) has suddenly developed a stutter.
I have read that lyme can cause stutters so I was wondering if anyone else has had this?
(I read up about stutters and apparently the old idea that they are caused by trauma is now discredited. He hasn't had any trauma lately anyway. The only accepted cause of stutter that's not congenital is head injury or infection, apparently.)
I have to say it is worrying me as he has been making such good progress and not had any setbacks since starting on antibiotics. His latest blood results all indicated his body is under increased inflammatory stress (increased cortisol, high serum iron, raised liver values) compared with last November.
Oh I don't know what my question is really! I am just very upset about this.
I am resigned to the fact that I am ill myself, but seeing my gorgeous little boy ill is something I just cannot handle any more. We have had so many hospitalisations and so much awfulness, it feels like one part of me has had a nervous breakdown and will never get better - I just bricked it in and never go there.
I went to the ILADS website and searched for 'stutter'. This 2007 article popped up, and it lists stuttering as a sign/symptom in Table 1.
This is the title for the article, and its introduction:
Psychological Sequelae, and Educational Impact
By R. A. Hamlen & D. S. Kliman
School psychology publications contain few articles on the impact of Lyme disease on the capacity of school-aged children to function successfully within an educational program. This oversight is of considerable concern, as the school psychologist can be a
front-line consultant for assistance with a child or adolescent presenting with sequelae of vague behavioral, cognitive, learning and/or psychological problems. The focus of this article is to highlight the importance of the school psychologist to recognize impaired school performance due to undiagnosed Lyme disease, act as the child’s advocate within
the medical and school community, and assist in the design of a supportive educational environment for the ill child. ...
=============end of quote================
It's not a long article, but really do check it out -- it covers the waterfront.
So if the stutter is associated with Lyme (likely, it seems, given history), then the question is finding a knowledgeable doc to counsel on how best to deal with it, get through it, and carry on back into real life.
I have a long time friend whose kid got Lyme in utero, and the kid is FINE, now about 25 years old. Had some issues growing up, as your child seems to be having, but now FINE. In fact, extra fine.
I certainly understand your concern, but don't beat yourself up. Not your fault! Now time to do homework to figure out how to deal with the stutter so it doesn't cause issues beyond the stutter itself -- which may be a passing thing? The important thing is for your child not to *feel* damaged. I'd consider getting expert help like from the people who wrote the article clip above.
Let us know how it goes, ok? You can do this! Sending you all good thoughts and wishes --
Thank you Jackie. I really appreciate your answer and encouragement.
The article was very good. I am going to ask a friend to help me translate it into Italian so I can give it to his teacher- she's very caring and I think it would help her be extra supportive to my son.
You've helped me start thinking straight about this. I realised a good person to talk to would be his old speech therapist. He had too many cognitive problems and could not speak at all till he was 3. If she could get him out of that one, I bet she'll know how best to deal with this one.
Feeling much more constructive now.
Thank you again Jackie.
I have a five year old and I have an inkling of how you must worry about your son. I am so sorry to hear he is sick. Is he on antibiotics? When I was well, I was very talkative and articulate. I never had the word finding hesitations that my dad and sister both have. However, with Lyme, I started forgetting what word I wanted to say, saying the wrong word (humorous at times), and I found myself stuttering about 3-4 times at my lowest point. The good news is that I haven't done it since.
I definitely notice my Lyme symptoms are worse when I don't get enough sleep or get over tired.
I developed some new symptoms after I started treatment, even as my overall condition was improving. Just the other night, my left hand and fingers were twitching, mostly the pinky and ring finger. That's new!
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