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Stutter in 2.5yo DS - ok to 'ignore'

(10 Posts)
wheresmypaddle Mon 12-Oct-09 15:05:43

My 2.5yo son has a stutter. He has had it for about 2 months now and it seems to be getting worse. It can take him about 20 sec or longer to get a word or sylabble (sp?!)out. More recently his stutter has a machine gun like sound to it particularly when he gets stuck on an 'a' sound, and he seems to get really stuck on 'h' saying an increasingly high pitched ha,ha,ha,ha over and over. 'O' also causes a problem and he often gets stuck with no sound coming out at all with this one.

Other than this his speech is developing well and I think he is doing well advanced for his age in terms of talking.

It doesn't seem to bother him much except when it gets really bad he gets disheartened and gives up on that word. Sometimes it can sound quite comical and although DP and I would never ever make fun of him, some people have done this without realising that its quite an unkind thing to do.

I don't want to make an unnecessary issue of this and realise that lots of small children have a stutter which they grow out of. Equally, I don't want to ignore this if he might benefit from some assistance- and feel a bit put out when he is trying to 'push' a word out and someone makes fun of his 'stuck' noises.

Anyone with a DC who had / has a bad stutter at this age (2.5)- would you ignore it or discuss with HV / doc?

thatsnotmymonster Mon 12-Oct-09 15:11:02

Not quite the same thing but a lot of children this age can struggle to get a word out- like they reach a point where their brain is working faster than their mouth and because they are thinking ahead they get stuck and can't get it out.

It passes in a few months or less. Hopefully it is just this type of thing. I would do as you are- keep an eye on it but ignore it when it is happening.

maybebaby23 Tue 13-Oct-09 10:50:03

My DD has had a stammer for over a year now. She was exactly as you describe at 2.5. I remember her trying to tell me something in asda and it just wouldn't come out. She started to cry and said "mummy my mouth is poorly" and it broke my heart It was at that point i took her to our GP who referred her for speech therapy straight away. Without even hearing my DD talk. She said if we have any concerns about children's speech we should refer them straight away, the sooner the better. What harm can it do?

Also, if i were you i would not be happy at people laughing at or making fun of your DS! We had this too, it got me really really cross because i knew the frustration my DD was feeling. I had to keep telling people (out of DD's earshot) that she is really struggling at the moment and i would appreciate it if you didn't laugh at my toddler! It worked It is really important that they don't start feeling self conscious. Really important.

We started off following an indirect approach with the speech therapist where we had to make changes like speaking slowly to DD, making sure she is not rushed, coming down to her level when she talks, taking turns to talk instead of all at once etc. This didn't help us much because DD didn't know what she had to change. So now we are following the lidcom (sp?) technique where we are able to make DD aware of her stammering and get her to correct any "bumpy" words. We can give praise and rewards for smooth talking. This is really good and is helping DD. She still stammers but doesn't get stuck any more and if she hears herself stammer she can now self-correct which is great. This approach isn't best for some children though so i would really recommend getting referred and assessed. You have to really work at it each day and follow the technique step by step. It can be hard work day in day out but we are starting to see the results and we feel much better, as does DD. She is now 3.7 and hopefully we can be signed off from therapy soon and just keep going with this technique until the problem is fixed (hopefully!)

They tell us all the time at clinic that there is no guarentee that children will grow out of stammering, but most will. It is important to get this assesed and sorted before the child is 5 as it has been proved more effective before that age.

Hope this helps, hope i haven't repeated myself too much im in a rush! Good luck

GooseyLoosey Tue 13-Oct-09 10:53:42

ds had a speech problem (still does a little). Spoke to dr and he was no help at all. Looked in Yellow pages and rang a private speech therapist and talked through the issues with her. She came and saw ds, reassured us and offered practical solutions.

Best £48 pounds ever spent. She still sees him about once very 6 months.

Ring a speech therapist and ask them.

wheresmypaddle Wed 14-Oct-09 10:07:16

Thanks for the advice- took DS to GP yesterday who was rather dismissive and said he will probably grow out of it but its far too early to do anything about it. She actually said "well listening to him it sounds like he just has far too much to say". Not much help!! It wasn't until I got home that I realised I should maybe have been a little firmer.

Plan B is to speak to my Health Visitor who I have found very helpful in the past. If she doesn't help I will call a private speech therapist as GooseyLoosey suggested.

Having done a bit of internet research I can see that current thinking is that its not something that should be left alone, and that early intervention is best. Shame I didn't read this before I went to see my GP.

maybebaby23 Wed 14-Oct-09 10:39:33

Oh no im sorry your GP wasn't much help. Im suprised she seems so dismissive about it. DD started therapy at 2.5. It's so annoying when you get fobbed off then get home and start beating yourself up about not being firmer isn't it. But if she said it's far too early then i don't suppose theres much you could have said to change her mind.

Our therapist specialises in the lidcom therapy, and she told me last week that she has SO many referrals that she can't deal with them all, there is just not enough time. So that explains why we had to go through a year of the indirect approach first which didn't help us. I have a feeling that this is the reason some GP's are a bit reluctant to refer early.

Good luck with the health visitor, you really shouldn't have to pay for this it's not fair. Let us know how you get on if you can.

maybebaby23 Wed 14-Oct-09 10:49:39

Also perhaps you could start doing the things i mentioned from the indirect approach to see if it helps your DS, while you are waiting to be assessed? Simple things that sometimes you don't think of (well i didn't!) like coming down to his level when he is talking to you. Practicing taking turns to talk and getting rid of any distractions like background noise when possible. When you sit and play with him make sure you are both relaxed and calm, look him in the eye while he is struggling to get his words out to let him know you are listening and there is no rush. I think the eye contact is important. Don't try to correct him or even acknowledge the stammering (i don't want to suggest anything that might hinder his progress as im obv not a therapist!) He won't know you are doing all this because of his speech but it may help him to slow down and get his words out easier.

I don't know, i just wish someone had told me all this when we were really struggling! I wish you the best of luck, i know how stressful it is thinking that they may not grow out of it Im sure both your DS and my DD will though

wheresmypaddle Wed 14-Oct-09 11:59:31

Thank you for your advice maybebaby I plan to do what you have suggested and to explain to all other people who care for him (he sees both sets of grandparents on a regular basis)how they can help.

I had a discussion with DP about it yesterday and he said he had heard his father (ie DS's grandpa) say "slow down" in a sort of telling off voice when DS was stuttering at the weekend. I am beginning to realise that its this type of comment that could cause it to escalate into a more upsetting issue for DS- grandpa didn't mean to be telling him off but it could easily have felt that way to DS.

I do wish I had done my research before seeing the GP as I could have at least said to her that I have found sources which suggest that early intervention is important. Unfortunately she is one of the more 'old school' GPs at our practise maybe one of the pthers would have been more help.....

maybebaby23 Wed 14-Oct-09 12:37:26

Oh right..don't beat yourself up about it, maybe you could make an appointment with one of the others then?

We also had people telling DD to slow down. We were told to tell them not to do this. (in the nicest possible way of course ) I think it is because we were heading down the lidcom route and it is best for just one person to do the therapy with the child so as not to cause confusion or further problems. Makes sense really as you are not supposed to be on at the child all the time about their speech but if other people start saying things too then he could well be hearing comments about it all day. I just told people we had rules to follow in order to help DD and have been told to ask others not to comment to DD incase it makes her self-conscious of it.

LilyGirl Thu 15-Oct-09 20:32:07

We had the same situation with our 2.5 year old girl. She suddenly developed a really bad stammer, sometimes stumbling on every word in a sentence. She had always been an excellent speaker so we were really worried. I mentioned to HV and looked on internet and they suggested letting it take its course, and sure enough it stopped as quickly as it started about 8 week later.
Looking back, it coincided with my son being born, developing about 2 weeks after the birth so it must have been related to that - maybe a demand for attention? Absolutely no sign of a stammer now at 3 years old.

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