My Daughter's Stuttering Isn't Worrying Me Anymore

This Just In 21

child mouthWithin the last few months, my daughter has begun stuttering. She talks a lot and is very expressive (even puts her hand on her hip all sassy like) and it tends to happen when she is very excited about something and wants to tell someone all about it. Sometimes it's just a word she gets stuck on; other times it's a phrase repeated. Of course I'm worried. Is this an issue that we need some speech therapy to fix? 

I spoke to one of my friends about it who has a daughter with a different speech challenge and she told me that her doctor assured her not to worry and that's it's something most kids grow out of. That made me feel a little better, but then a study came out suggesting there is a link between children who stutter and verbal and non-verbal scores.

Stuttering is not only common but it rarely has a negative effect on kids when it comes to their social and emotional well-being. Lead author of the study Sheena Reilly said it was a "very positive finding" to learn children who stutter are not withdrawn. This study also revealed that kids who stutter had higher verbal and non-verbal scores than the kids who did not. Wow! I am relieved to know that a little stammering may not effect my daughter at all.

More from The Stir: 6 Cool Games That Will Boost Your Toddler's Language Skills

I have noticed that my 3 1/2 year old stutters the most when she's around her grandmother. The only thing different there is she is the most chatty when she's around my mother -- I think "Me-ma" is her favorite person in the world. They are so cute together and even have the same haircut. So my daughter gets more excited and expressive and tends to stammer when talking to her. My mom doesn't stutter so it's not that she mimics her. And thankfully my daughter isn't talking in a Queens, Nu Yawk, accent like my mom has either. (Love you and your voice, Mom!)

I was a little worried about it, but mostly wanted to know if there was something I should do about it now before it got worse ... or if it even had the ability to get worse. I'm not as concerned now, but we'll still keep an ear out for any changes.

Does your child stutter? What have you learned about stuttering that you can share?


Image via Salma Rashad/Flickr

language, toddler development

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SuzyB... SuzyBarno

My kids don't stutter, but I had a horrible stutter problem when I was younger. Up till about 3rd grade I would stutter in normal conversation on an everyday/all day basis and up till about 5th grade I would stutter when I read aloud in class. It totally affected me socially. When I was in kindergarten and 1st grade I would put myself on time out during recess because all the kids made fun of me, I did not want to venture out and play. Ugh, it was horrible! My dad would have me read aloud to him at night while he would clean his motorcycles. That helped me get thru my problem. But I think kids with a more severe stutter problem do have social problems.

nonmember avatar Shannon A

When I was a kid I stuttered. I had to go to speech classes and eventually I stopped stuttering.

katyq katyq

I stuttered a bit as a child and i have a nieve who does as well. I always felt that my mind was moving to fast for my mouth and it always tripped me up.

claud... claudiaj1218

i used to stutter as a kid. i used to talk really fast and that's why it would happen.  it was like my mouth was working faster than my brain and my brain couldn't keep up to tell me the words that i wanted to say.  as i got older, i slowed down and i haven't been stuttering for years.  it will sometimes happen when i am nervous, though, or excited.

mompam mompam

2 of my kids stuttered when they were 3-ish. It went away on it's own. I wouldn't worry yet.

Todd Vrancic

For now I would suggest you keep an eye on it.  Resist the urge to finish her sentences for her and maybe break eye contact so she doesn't feel pressured and relax.  It will probably go away by itself.  If it doesn't, then consult with a speech therapist.

Tressa Fancher

My son developed the most awful stutter when he was about to turn five, just in time for starting kindergarten. It was very pronounced and I lost a lot of sleep agonizing over it. He totally grew out of it after a few months and started K without the stutter. He is nine now and he doesn't stutter at all now. His doctor said he would most probably grow out of it and that it was his mouth working to catch up with his brain. One does feel a need to help the stutterer by finishing his/her sentences, but please don't. It makes them feel like a failure and gets them more anxious about it. Good luck.

gabe05 gabe05

I have three stutterers. The stuttering is pretty bad at three and four, improves significantly by six, and is nearly gone at eight. My ten year old only stutters now when he gets overly excited. The speech therapist I checked with said they will outgrow it and drawing no attention at all to the issue is of utmost importance. She said therapy often makes the problem worse.

nekoy... nekoyukidoll

I stuttered and still do. My parents are the main ones who get frustrated at me because of it and I have had the occasional idiot make fun if me for it as well as treat me like I'm mentally handicap. I try to not let it bug me for the most part but it does get hard at times.

nonmember avatar Nina

As an SLP and parent of a child who is in the maintanace part of their stuttering journey, I'd like to give some resources to help guide choices. The American Speech Language Hearing Association www.asha.org, the Stuttering Foundation www.stutteringhelp.org, and the Montreal Fluency Center's website are all helpful. If you do choose therapy, ASHA's website can help you find highly qualifed and specialty board recognized Speech Language Pathologists. Best to you and your child! Focus on what she is saying, not how she is saying it!

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