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32 month old son sudden disfluency
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32 month old son sudden disfluency

My son, almost 3, just started to stutter or show disfluency over the past week.  He is repeating syllables and words, and is getting very tense and losing breath when he tries to get the word out.  Our pediatrician hasn't seen or heard him yet, but is trying to reassue us that it will go away on its own in time.  He wants to see us in 5 weeks to check the fluid behind his right hear, and at that time, he will also be reviewing tapes I have made of his speech.  I am so scared, and am hoping someone can give me some advice?  I'm not sure how normal this is, as it's more than just whole-word repitition.
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Our younger son and both his children stuttered a bit when they reached three years of age.  It can be a sign of nervousness or anxiousness or even the fact that the brain is working faster than the mouth.  Our son and granddaughter stopped stuttering after about six months; it was almost a year before our grandson stopped this behaviour (he is a bit more anxious than his sister or father).

So, I suspect your son might be similar in his behaviour.  The best thing you can do is not to acknowledge that he is stuttering - don't have him repeat, don't speak for him, don't try to rush him, don't act impatient - just try and relax and be patient and listen as though stuttering is a very common thing for a child.  Your doctor is probably correct - I suspect this will "go away on its own time".  One more thing - make sure your son has lots and lots of opportunities for social interaction - he probably will be fine this time next year (if not, then deal with the issue then).  All the best ...
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Thank you for your response.  What "kind" of stuttering was your son's/grandchildren's?  I'm told full-word repition is normal, but first-syllable is not.  My son has the latter, and a lot of tension with some words.  He's not showing emotional frustration at this point, but he's definitely straining with some words.  Any detail you can provide would be so helpful...I am so upset about this, I can't seem to focus on anything else.
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The kind of stuttering - to be honest, I'm not sure - but I if I remember correctly, I would say both .  But I do know that your reaction and response to his speech will affect his stuttering.  It's very hard but do try to relax and have faith - if time does not "cure" this problem, then trust your medical professionals to help "solve" this issue in a year or two. This problem is solvable; perhaps not as quickly as you would prefer, but it is a solvable problem.  Some parents are not as lucky as we are.

Our daughter-in-law was so upset when she first spoke to me about our granddaughter's speech.  I said "her father stuttered a bit at that age and his speech turned out fine".  Her reply was "you don't know how relieved that statement has made me".  My point - our granddaughter's stuttering started to improve after the "pressure" and "tension" about her talking was removed.  So, for your son's sake (and yours), devise a plan.  Speak to your doctor and speech pathologist if you deem necessary.  Then follow their instructions.  Do all of the activities suggested by the speech pathologist.  If the plan is to "wait" for a while, then do so, but with calmness and "faith" and patience that things will get better.  And they will.  And be sure to shower that little guy with lots and lots of love - All the best and sleep well tonight ...
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I did a quick google of the internet and found the article listed below this paragraph.  If you google the title, you should be able to find it - just copy the title and paste it in the google search engine.  By the way, you might also wish to google phrases/words as "stuttering in children" or "stuttering in children age 3" to find more articles.  Three years of age is very common for children to begin stuttering and a large percentage of young children do stutter.  Hope this helps ....

Stuttering Therapy for Children: Frequently Asked Questions



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Thank you so much for your thoughful response and kind words.  I have been doing my best to keep our home environment calm and relaxed, to maintain eye contact, and to decrease my speed when talking.  When he and I are home alone, or just playing alone, the stuttering is lessened.  last night, when my parents watched him for a little while, his stuttering increased a lot.  Worse than I have seen it, because he was so excited.  They play with him so much, and make him so happy, that he gets excited.  I have tried to tell them to slow down a little bit, but I'm not sure they have.  So, it's hard for me to see him after a couple of hours spent with them, and it makes me feel bad all-around.  It's no one's fault, but I just feel very protective of him right now.

He is especially vocal for his age, and speaks constantly.  I've even noticed completion of some larger, newer, words this week.  It's like you can see his mind working but his vocabulary is not (to the extent he wants it to).  We were at the park with a little boy exactly his age, and my son is speaking WAY more than he is.  So, it just makes me wonder (and hope) that this could be more closely related to growth in linguistic skill, and age.

I suppose my biggest worry is that he will be a lifelong stutterer, and that therapy will need to maintine forever.  I would hate this to be a lifelong struggle for him.

lastly, my husband is worried it's a medical problem, as it came out of the blue before/during a terrible ear infection.  So, I think he/we are scared that perhaps all of the medicine (cough medicine too) might have contributed?  Scary.

Thanks so much for being so kind to offer support and advice.  It means so much.

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