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to ask of anyone else has/had a child who stammers?

(38 Posts)

DS is 3 next month. Has been talking since he 14/15 months old. His vocabulary is vast although his pronunciation isn't often clear and sometimes only myself or DP understands what he says.

For the last 6 weeks, he started to struggle getting the first couple of words out when speaking sentences. So, a lot of 'I I IIIII want do painting' for example. But over the last few days, it has become progressively worse. He will stammer on one worded answers, can start a sentence and stammer half way through or words come out in bits so helicopter becomes 'he he hel iii copt ttter'.

We haven't discussed it in front of him and if he gets really stuck to the point of silence, I say to slow down and try again. Not even sure if this is correct. confused

If anyone has been in this position before, how do you handle it? Did you see a GP about referral to a SALT? Unsure of what to do sad

ladymariner Thu 20-Feb-14 00:15:17

worra stammering affects 800,000 people in the UK and 80% of those are boys, nobody seems to know why it affects boys more than girls yet but it does.

My ds stammers, he started about the age of three, and despite our hope that he would grow out of it he didn't and it got progressively worse. We exhausted what bit of speech therapy we have (small Northern town) and we were eventually discharged when ds was nine, having been told he was 'severe' but would learn to deal with it in his own way, have a nice life!

We tried everything we could to help him deal with it and he was amazing, he was lucky in that he had incredibly supportive friends, and he has always been pretty confident so when he was younger it wasn't an issue. I used to lie awake at night though, worrying how it would affect him when he hit teenager years, going for interviews, going out to pubs and clubs, chatting girls up etc.

When ds was nearly 13 we watched a program called 'Beat It' about a boy who stammered who went on a speech therapy course with The Starfish Project. Our phone rang hot with all the calls from friends and family asking us if they had seen it and after the show I e-mailed them. Thank god I did. My ds went on a Starfish course in 2008 and hasn't looked back. I can honestly say it has changed his life, and I am eternally grateful.

We go back usually twice a year as refreshers to help new people on the course who stammer, and it is absolutely miraculous to see the change that happens. It is a lifetime thing, of course, a stammer is not curable but you learn to control it as opposed to the stammer controlling you. My son is 18 now and you would honestly never know he has a stammer, he has become so good with the technique. I am in awe of him and his fellow stammerers, and so incredibly proud.

Before anyone asks, I am affiliated to Starfish only through what they have done for my son. I speak so highly of them because I can never thank them enough, not because I work for them which has been suggested before when I have spoken about them! I will shout from the rooftops about them though, because if one person can be helped like my son has been helped then it will be worthwhile.

Sorry if this has gone slightly off track, but where stammering is mentioned I just want to try to help.

Supercosy Wed 19-Feb-14 23:36:50

Yes Hedgehog I know 2 children who stammer at the end of words so your dc is not alone. I have sone intermittent neurological problems left from a serious virus a few years back. This includes a stammer that comes and goes as well as occassional loss of speech. When I am stammering the things that help me are people being relaxed about it (ie not staring at me in a pityful way) and talking in a rhythm. ...and just like in The Kings Speech I am able to sing or talk to music completely normally even when my stammer is at it's worst! I try not to stress about it aa that only makes it worse.

WorraLiberty Wed 19-Feb-14 22:36:43

Might not be of any help but I have 3 boys and they all stammered from the ages of about 3 to 4 and a half and then it just disappeared.

Strangely enough, my 2 brothers and my nephew stammered for exactly the same amount of time.

I have no idea whether it's a 'boy' thing or if it's pure coincidence.

Either way I was told by a speech therapist (who I just happened to know socially) that the kids who grow out of it tend to do so because their minds and their vocabulary, eventually even out or 'catch up' with each other.

Waltonswatcher1 Wed 19-Feb-14 22:32:01

Ds stammered .The speech therapist had a 2 year waiting list ...
My son sorted it out by himself with his 'magic hand';he used to beat/tap it to get a rhythm before he attempted to talk. I couldn't believe the difference it made .
He is 11 now but still remembers it.

kennyp Wed 19-Feb-14 21:55:27

hiya op - (i always thinks that OP stands for Ocean Pacific) - anyway - glad no stress for your son smile.

i'd definitely be pro the salt referral if you can get one. hope you get some help if you need it smile

GinGirl Wed 19-Feb-14 21:48:43

DD2 had developmental stammer at 2 1/2, she was getting frustrated with herself so we got a SALT referral. They were brilliant, gave us techniques, told us to call it 'bumpy' words/language.

Don't interrupt, don't finish words or sentences.
Show that you are listening and wait patiently.
Slow your own speech down.
Make sure that in the family, people are 'turntaking' during conversation and not talking over/interrupting.
Try to ensure siblings don't answer for them.

With DD2 it was partly her brain racing ahead and partly a 'proper' stammer. It resolved itself with in 9 months of starting (6 months after referral).

MaeBea Wed 19-Feb-14 21:32:53

Both mine stammered for short periods. My daughter for a few months before and after her second birthday and my son around his 3rd.

Try not to worry, easier said than done I know, it is really, really common and they usually grow out of it very quickly. Apparently it often occurs around a period of speech development.

My daughters was very pronounced and she used to go red and seem almost distressed whereas my son hardly seemed to notice he was doing it.

In both cases it had gone in around six months.

I saw a SALT at a children's centre (drop in service) about my DD - mainly because I wanted to know whether waiting lists were long in the area in which case I would have pushed for a referral.

My DD is now almost 6 and has no trace of a stammer and my DS 3.5 and only stammers when very tired. They have both have friends who have experienced the same thing. They also both never stop talking!!

Thank you rosierubies I had a feeling I had heard/read somewhere that stammers can't be 'stopped' after a certain age. Glad your DS is much better now smile

BeeInYourBonnet Wed 19-Feb-14 21:10:59

OP I have agonised over the reasons my DSs stammer comes and goes, but I really can't see a pattern (is no clear relation between stress, tiredness etc).

kennyp No, no stresses at all, no sudden changes to routine or daily life. He is going through a bit of a clingy stage with me. I am the WOHP and DP is the SAHP and DS has been frequently saying he just wants to see me whenever DP gives him the options of activities. But I think that's normal for a child his age?

Rosierubies Wed 19-Feb-14 21:01:24

However I have not learnt to type on my iPhone so apologises for all the silly errors!

Rosierubies Wed 19-Feb-14 21:00:13

Sorry posted too soon.
* moving onto structure and pronounciation focused speech therapy.

He stuttered at two and had an assessment at which I was (rather patronisingly) told that we were obviously a 'nice ' family who spoke to him a lot and as he had two highly articulate older siblings he would be fine. I felt like I had been silly asking for the referral and don't take it any further even when the report and with a spelling mistake in the first line. By three it was a desperate problem and had resulted in him avoiding eye contact and making funny sounds to avoid talking...we thought he was on the autistic spectrum. It has been three years of assessments and we have had fantastic support to get to te bottom of this.

I would say always investigate if you are concerned. A lot of children stutter and grow out of it but some do not. We were told that before seven you 'get rid' of a stutter but after that you can only develop coping strategies - seven is when the synaptic connections are firmly formed - ultimately there is a time pressure and normally (unless you are going privately a wait for treatment).

I would get GP and health visitor to refer. I would also get a report from nursery to show SALT (and GP/HV if they are unwilling to refer).

Best of luck.

SugarPlumpFairy3 Wed 19-Feb-14 20:59:09

I think it's quite common in children of this age. My dd suffered around the ages of 2-4 and then it got better around 5. It's totally gone now she's almost 7. By all means monitor it and mention it to your Hv but try not to worry too much.

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Wed 19-Feb-14 20:57:05

DS developed a stammer aged 3, seemingly overnight. I asked for advice at nursery, and the nursery nurse with extra speech and language training spent an afternoon one to one with him. She told me that she thought he was thinking faster than he could speak, and that it would resolve, but that nursery could refer to SALT if they felt he wasn't improving. I agreed, and - nursery were right, it was resolved 6 months later. They strongly advised us not to interrupt him or to finish his sentences for him.

When he started Reception I thought it might be returning as he began to repeat the first few words of his sentences, but again we resisted the urge to correct him and again it passed within a few months.

Bloodyteenagers Wed 19-Feb-14 20:55:54

This is a really good site.
Although based in London, take referrals from all over the country, including for under 5's.

Thank you all. I looked up my local Trust and it says it will see a child of his age if the stammer has been on going for 2 months. I might pop across to our health centre tomorrow to chat to a HV and see what they recommend as most of your referrals have been through that channel instead of GP.

I'm hoping it will disappear and I'm sure it will by the time he starts school, I would just like some advice and tips on how to handle it. I've never finished his sentence but if he doesn't complete his sentence, I will prompt him to finish it and I've never showed any irritation or lack of patience towards it.

Hopefully it will get better.

Rosierubies Wed 19-Feb-14 20:52:47

One of my DS's has a profound stutter. He is now six and after a year with SALT using the liddcombe process we have had a breakthrough. His pronounciation is still very poor as is his sentence structure and once we have graduated from liddcombe we will be moving

Aboyandabunny Wed 19-Feb-14 20:50:16

My Ds (10) has stammered since age 2.5.
It comes and goes depending on stress and tiredness. We self referred to SALT which has given him coping strategies.
It was awful in P2 and this year again (P5) as teachers seem to have focussed on it.
Children in his class are mostly supportive but odd one will tease him about his 'bumpy' words which he finds hurtful.
SALT say he will have stammer for life but will learn his own coping strategies as well as their tried and tested.

NewtRipley Wed 19-Feb-14 20:49:14


On a general note - I know it's hard when they are this age and you think they'll be teased at school but IME, infant children are remarkably accepting and not prone to teasing - think of all the friendships that form between children who can't speak the same language

CrohnicallyFarting Wed 19-Feb-14 20:47:30

In my area, they have drop in sessions with SALT at the children's centres/sure starts. If anyone has concerns, it's worth checking if you have similar in your area.

kennyp Wed 19-Feb-14 20:47:09

to cut a long story short - could there be some stress anywhere in your child's life that is contributing to his speech?

to cut a longer story even shorter - i'd always recommend pursuing SALT if you think it's needed. after a referral the issue might have resolved itself but if it hasn't it's always worth seeing a salt if you can, to put your mind at rest.

HadABadDay2014 Wed 19-Feb-14 20:47:04

I have a stammer, nothing has worked for me.

It's worse when I am nervous or talking on the phone.

Edenviolet Wed 19-Feb-14 20:44:24

Does anyone have dc that stammers at the end of words? Dd2 does this and I don't know whether to be concerned or not, she says things like mummy e e e e e.

poopadoop Wed 19-Feb-14 20:42:21

One thing you can make sure to do is speak a little more slowly and clearly yourself so they 'mirror' you. And don't finish sentences, just be as calm and patient as you can

BeeInYourBonnet Wed 19-Feb-14 20:41:44

Yy to always letting him finish what he's saying in his own time, not interrupting or drawing attention.

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