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My DS has suddenly started stammering!

(16 Posts)
fluffymindy Sun 28-Apr-13 13:53:04

My DS is 32 months and over the last week or so has gone from a very occasionally stuttering at the beginning of sentences to really struggling to start sentences with a vowel etc. I wonder if any of you have had any experiences with your DCs like this? I know he is the prime age for this to happen and he has also very recently hugely expanded his vocab. We are not pointing it out to him at all and he seems to carry on as normal (I feel this is the right thing to do or he will think something is wrong)

It is very severe very suddenly and to be honest DH and I are freaking out a bit as he is barely able to make himself understood at times - he was a brilliant talker with big vocab for his age and now he is struggling sad

fluffymindy Sun 28-Apr-13 13:59:14


coffeewineandchocolate Sun 28-Apr-13 14:12:30

When does he do it? I think its normal at that age if they are excited or keen to express themselves to stammer and struggle with words. Try encouraging him to take a few deep breaths to calm down and then repeat slowly. If its all the time i would suggest speaking to your hv. Ours run clinics locally that a speech therapist comes to and does an initial assessment.If needed they refer for one to one work.

Don't worry too much-it sounds like you have caught it early.

forgossake Sun 28-Apr-13 14:13:06

My DS developed a stutter at the age of 3. Like your DS, it seemed to progress from mild to severe overnight and it could take him a couple of minutes to say a short sentence.
We have tried to ignore it ( a lot harder than it sounds) but it is heartbreaking to hear him struggle to communicate. This started back in January ( coinciding with him starting nursery) and we are now waiting for an appointment with a S&L therapist. We asked nursery to refer him.

BUT....during the last week or so, the stammer/ stutter has almost completely disappeared! Trying not to get our hopes up, but it has improved so incredibly quicklysmile It is hardly noticeable now.

So try not to worry too much and carry on 'ignoring' the stutter in front of your DS. Maybe see if you can get him referred and with any luck it will just disappear on its own.

TheCrackFox Sun 28-Apr-13 14:19:41

This happened to DS2 at a similar age. It got quite severe at one point but it disappeared as mysteriously as it came. The whole cycle seemed to last about 6 months.

We did ask the GP about it and he said it tends to effect boys of that age who started to speak early.

Try to remain patient with his stutter, don't speak for him or rush him and he will grow out of it.

DS2 is now 8 and can't remember at all that he used to stutter.

fluffymindy Sun 28-Apr-13 14:20:55

Yes it has been very sudden and obviously worse when he is excited/tired. I am not going to ask him to take a breath and repeat, I really feel drawing any attention to it is a bad idea. He is onr of 5 children (he is number 4) everyone here is very chatty and he talks remarkably well for his age, just before this happened he had a huge increase in vocab and part of me feels like his brain is working quicker than his mouth iyswim.

I will speak to my GP about it and get a referral in a few weeks, we have private health care which is nice but I am keen not to overreact. I have to say I find it absolutely heartbreaking to hear him but he seems to just carry on regardless and being breezy about it seems to me to be the beat way of dealing with it.

I am praying it is developmental and will go away on its own. I cannot believe I am so upset about it

TheCrackFox Sun 28-Apr-13 14:32:21

It will probably go away of its own accord.

fluffymindy Sun 28-Apr-13 14:40:37

Oh I really hope so. He is such a bright little chap and I am so worried that he will realise something is wrong iyswim. I am not one to pathologise every little thing - i am quite 'relaxed' slummy with my children to be honest but I just worry how it will affect him as a person. It came on so quickly I am hopeful it will go away as quickly. We are just about to up and move a long way away so a bit worried that all that unsettled time will adversely affect him too. It should all be over in 8 weeks and if it is still like it is now I will get him to a SLT.

TheCrackFox Sun 28-Apr-13 14:44:37

It is hard not to worry about it. Xx

Queenofknickers Sun 28-Apr-13 14:49:41

Hi fluffy my DS1 started to stammer overnight when he was 2. I was very alarmed and it was so unexpected as we don't have any other people with stammer in the family and it is often hereditary.

As a parent i have found that information is power - the Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children has a fab website and so does the British Stammering Association - they will send you an info pack and have a helpline.

For some children it is "just a phase" and the number of children who go on to live with stammer in adulthood is a small percentage. Early speech therapy is thought to help - but this is one of the areas that has been massively cut in recent years. There is also loads you can do as a parent from slowing g your own speech to encouraging turn taking in chats and having 121 time. (All in the leaflets/website)

My DS1 is 9 now and yes, he stammers. It comes and goes, he can be perfectly fluent and then get tired and its back. However we taught him from an early age that WHAT he has to say is so important that a stammer doesn't matter. We have used the examples of Winston Churchill, Ed Balls, King George etc. We have given info packs to his teachers, cub scouts, rugby coaches and helped him practice responses to (often totally innocent ) enquiries from other children. We have <<firmly>>educated grandparents on what is/isn't helpful.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't wish he didn't stammer. Coming to terms with it myself and the fear of the future (will he be able to cope with a job interview? Is it my fault?) has been hard. However its all about attitude - My son stood in from of the whole school and read a passage at Christmas and every single teacher had a tear in their eye. He read it perfectly but that wasn't the point - he read it knowing he might stammer, caring very much if he did, but being brave enough

Please feel free to PM me if you want. The organisations above are really good in my experience and should be able to give you lots of info. Lots of love to you and your DS

forgossake Sun 28-Apr-13 16:59:56

I know exactly what you mean fluffy It is so hard listening to them struggling with their words, especially when they have used the same words fluently in the past. The urge to help them is unbearable sometimes. My DS is one of 4 and I have had to educate his big brothers as they also have a natural instinct to help him finish his sentences. But we have persisted with it and patiently sit there and let him finish words in his own time.

I believe the usual advice is to see someone if the stammer lasts more than 6 months and it has been nearly 5 months since DS started with this so fingers crossed that this phase is coming to an end.

I agree with you that their mouths can take a while to catch up with their brains. Please don't worry too much, you sound as if you are doing all the right things to support

Thingymajigs Sun 28-Apr-13 17:32:03

My very chatty son suddenly began stuttering with each word when he was around 3-4 years old. I told his nursery so that they could help him and curb any teasing that might result. Anyway, a week later a member of staff cornered me asking if he'd experienced severe trauma because he was stuttering. hmm That pretty much ruined my day. You'd think a nursery would be used to speech difficulties and not jump to such ridiculous conclusions.
Everyone worried about the stuttering but me and within 8 months it had stopped completely. He's nearly 10 and can't recall any of that time so I really wouldnt worry, it's very common.

BNmum Sun 28-Apr-13 17:57:47

Watching this with interest as DS is 2 an he developed a stammer a couple of months ago, we're not drawing attention to it but I try to make sure I stop what I'm doing, get down to his eye level and patiently wait for him to finish. I have noticed it gets worse when he's tired or overexcited.

I mentioned it to the HV during his 2yr check and she said it was totally normal and it was just that his brain is working a lot faster than his mouth at the moment. She said he had a large vocab for his age and its often the more intelligent children that develop a stammer, she probably only said this to make me feel better

Springforward Sun 28-Apr-13 18:08:39

DS stammered, overnight, at roughly that age. I was really worried (my lovely uncle has a pronounced stammer and it doesn't look like much fun) so I asked his nursery what they thought, and what I should do. The nursery nurse specialising in speech and language/ special needs spent an afternoon with him and she felt it was just a developmental stage he would work through. She thought his brain was working faster than his speech could keep up with. We went with it and didn't speak to GP/ HV, and it did stop within a few months, I'm glad to say.

maresedotes Sun 28-Apr-13 18:10:13

Once you've settled into your new home go and see the GP for a referral to a speech therapist. It may take weeks to get an appointment so don't wait weeks before seeing the GP.

DD2 (5) has a stammer and has been seeing a ST for 2 years (off and on). One technique I would recommend is to try and slow your speech down (easier said than done) and repeat the sentence back. Not in a 'this is how you say it way'. Don't tell him to either take a deep breath or repeat it.

Best of luck.

fluffymindy Sun 28-Apr-13 20:01:11

Thank you all so much for your support and advice. I seriously cannot believe how upset we are about it. We have a DD with Diabetes and another DD with ASD so we face out share of child worry. Because of these things I think I am pretty slummy about everything else. I know that sounds awful but we face big things I don't sweat the small stuff usually.

In a sense I am pleased it happened before we moved as I am sure HCP might think it is about that. We do have private health care and when we move I shall get a referral at least to take some advice - fortunately there will not be the wait and palming off I had when my DD with ASD did not speak at at all until she was 4 (apparently it was a 'phase...'. As I have said, I am not a believer in making everything into a problem but it is so sudden and pronounced it seems so serious.

I really appreciate you all sharing your experiences, it really has helped me get my head out of my bum get some perspective . Good to know we are doing the right thing ignoring it, he is a clever little thing and will pick up on it if we show how incredibly freaked out we are by it.

<slaps self and gets a grip>

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