Berkeley Parents Network >
Worries Big & Little >
Toddlers & Preschoolers
My little boy is 2.5 and has been talking for some time. He
speaks in sentances and his vocabulary is pretty good for his
age. My concern is that he stutters. It seems like he
stutters the most when he's excited or when he's trying to say
a particularly long sentance. It's like his brain works faster
than his mouth. I'm just wondering if he's still too young to
be concerned. My husband thinks that it's just a developmental
phase he's going through and that we should enjoy it for now
(it is cute sometimes!) but I, being his mother, am a little
worried. Anybody have any experience with this? Thanks
Our son did the same. It passed after a few weeks, came back,
passed again....Apparently this is pretty normal right before a
big jump in linguistic skill. In our son's case, it was the use
of pronouns that developed quite suddenly right after he stopped
stuttering the first time.
mom of an on-and-off stutterer
You should see a speech specialist as early as possible. The
earlier you intervene with a speech problem the easier it is to
deal with. If you wait until your child is experiencing
frustration and rejection from being unable to speak properly,
you just contribute to the problem. There's a great children's
speech clinic at the Scottish Rite temple in Oakland. It's free-
- it's a Masons' charity.
It might be appropriate to seek out an evaluation by a speech
therapist if your little one becomes frustrated by the
disfluency. That is really the marker for when you need to
seek out help vs. it is just a phase. It is normal at some
stage of language development to be disfluent sometimes, but
not all of the time, and it it is causing undue frustration,
then it is appropriate to seek out an evaluation.
Check out www.stutteringhelp.org The Stuttering Foundation is
a well respected organization that might offer some help. You
may qualify for a free evaluation through the school district
where you live. Otherwise, you can investigate private
therapists. Take a look at my Web site.
www.sfbayspeechtherapy.com I provide speech therapy in the
My son stuttered when he was in his twos. He was thinking faster
than he could speak. We were told that the best thing we could do
for him was to not finish sentences for him. It was really hard
and painful to let him finish his sentences, but we did and he
outgrew the stuttering. He is now 20 and thriving in college.
Hope this helps,
I am the father of a 2.9 yr old son. This is my first post and I
would like to get some advice/opinion on my son's disfluency.
He was talking very well for his age when we has 2. He was pretty
much talking all the time and even visitors were able to
understand what he was trying to say. It all changed one day when
we had some friends at our house and we noticed him struggling on
a few words here and there.
Both my wife and I noticed it but didn't take it serious. In the
next couple of days there was drastic change and he was
struggling to pronounce each and every word. In a day or two
after that he himself realized that he is having difficulties and
started avoiding a lot of words. When it reached a peak within a
week he even felt like plucking words out of his mouth.
Then it started subsiding for a week, stayed like that for a few
days and then it started getting worse again. There was no
definite pattern, but it has been going up and down since then.
Some days are really bad and some days are a lot better. On a
scale of 1-10, he has shown variations from 2 through 9.
We have seen speech therapists @ Stanfords, the children health
council and they observed some level of disfluency. Some times
they say it is mild stuttering and some times they said it is
disfluency. They also observed that he has a very rich vocabulary
and tries to express everything in words which could cause his
We understand that kids could develop stuttering between 2&3 and
most of them outgrow it themselves, but we are concerned that it
has been persisting for 9 months now. On an age adjusted speech
scale his current level is below than his level when he was 2.
We have tried to observe anything that could cause this
variation. We looked at his diet, social events, environment,
mood, days of the month etc and couldn't establish any pattern as
to what makes it worse for him.
Has anyone gone through this who knows how to get him out of
this. We are doing all that is recommended by the therapists in
terms of talking to him and giving attention to him.
We are looking for someone to share their experience in this issue.
My oldest developed a terrible (to me) stuttering problem when
he was just over 2. He had always been very verbal and had a
great vocabulary. Then, it was as if his mouth couldn't keep up
with his thoughts and he started stuttering. It was most
concerning when I saw him start to shut down and just not even
try to talk because it was too difficult.
I talked to everybody, read what I could find, and even
scheduled a review at the East Bay Regional Center (they will
provide free speech therapy if the child is far enough behind).
In the meantime, I tried not to make a big deal of it and
intentionally slowed down my speech.
By the time our appointment time arrived a couple of months
later, he had stopped stuttering! Really, it just went away.
He still has a bit of a lazy tongue, but I had him evaluated
again when it was time for Kindergarten. Again, they said he
just needed to work on a few sounds, but that he was just fine.
He's in first grade now and speaks very clearly.
So - relax, slow down, and try not to stress (you or him). If
it's still happening in 6 months, have him evaluated for speech
I really feel for you. My daughter started doing this overnight
and really had trouble finishing a sentence. Some of the best
advice I got is not to say anything to your child or in front of
your child about it, not to act like it's a big deal at all.
What's a normal developmental stage can become more emphasized
and ingrained if the parents freak out. Even if you freaked out
before, just move forward. This is similar to anything that gets
a rise out of the parents like bad behavior. And believe me,
it's hard, because i was freaked out too! My second thought is
rather than saying, it's been going on continuously for nine
months, is it possible to look for patterns within that time, the
ebbs and flows. You did say that it comes and goes a bit? This
is key, my pediatrician said, because if it's not constant, than
it's usually that a child is reordering information and learning
to process and communicate in a more sophisticated way and to do
that they stutter and placehold. It's seems basic to our ears
but what's going on for them is not simple, as they are
integrating all the new words and rules (and sometimes multiple
languages). I hope this helps. You are certainly in the realm
of normal development. you may want to get a second opinion if
this is persists consistently, but in the meantime look for
patterns. Also, stress can bring about stuttering among other
things. Our daughter had one of her worst bouts when she began
preschool. If it's possible to remove some stressors this issue
may taper off.
It's a fact that speech dysfluencies are more common in boys. My
now 5.5 year old experienced dysfluencies at preschool when he
was about 3. Fortunately, we were in preschool in El Sobrante at
the time and our preschool teacher referred us to Cameron School
in El Cerrito. Because we were in the district (West Contra Costa
County) we began receiving services there 2 days per week. My son
attended ''speech class'' with a wonderful teacher who really got
him to understand when he was using ''bumpy'' speech. She taught
him how to use ''slow speech'' and to stop and think about what he
was going to say before opening his mouth. Magnificent program!
Thank God for the services available to us through public
schools! Now we're in Kindergarten in a new school district and
we've continued with the ''speech therapy'' 2 times per month.
Again, all part of the public school system. Obviously this is a
very shortened version of the situation, but I definitely
recommend a speech therapists at the preschool and elementary
level public schools. Your preschool teacher should be able to
refer you. At any rate, phone Cameron School in El Cerrito and
get some advice from people working with kids in the schools. I
can't thank them enough for their help. Now we have tools with
which we can help our son to slow down his speeking. I always
felt that his thoughts were coming so fast, he couldn't make his
mouth form the words quickly enough. My son also, very high
vocabulary at age 3 and great comprehension.
While I understand that parents do not want their children to
grow up to be stutterers, the fact is that many of us are.
Believe me it is not the end of the world. I have stuttered my
whole life and am a successful happy well-rounded individual!
Did you know that Joe Biden has battled with stuttering his whole
life? It is good that you are so concerned to help your child
NOT be a stutterer, but please keep in mind that perhaps the best
thing you can do is to let your child see that he is OK whether
he stutters or not. Yes, it does present unique challenges in
life, but tell me what doesn't present challenges? It is a rather
annoying behavior for one to deal with, but it is not a handicap,
an illness, nor is it the end of the world. We stutterers DO go
on and live normal happy lives!
Thanks for all those who shared your experience with us. Though
we cannot take comfort in the feeling that others have
experienced it too, it gives us hope that he will outgrow it.
We have learned to not make a big deal out of his situation and
take it as a glitch in his developmental process but we just dont
want to be in the situation where we should have done something
but did not do it.
My daughter is 2-1/2 and starting stuttering about a month ago. She
doesn't seem distressed about it, but it concerns us. Our doctor and the
books I have read have said that this is common in 2-3 year olds and it
may last a few months. We are doing our best to ignore it and not help
her finish her sentences. Anyone had experience with this?
My son stuttered from around age 2.5 to around age 3.5. Everyone
kept telling me it was OK and not to worry, but I did anyway.
They were right. He did grow out of it on his own. It was pretty
scary for me though. I had a hard time accepting that I had to
let him develop on his own.
I am a teacher and consulted with the school speech therapist
because I didn't believe the pediatrician. Her advice was to
slow down my own speech. She said that probably the reason our
son was stuttering was that our family's speed of speech was too
fast for him. I guess it is pretty common for kids' brains to
work faster than their mouths, and if they are rushing to get it
all out they end up stuttering. She suggested that I slow myself
down. I did notice that if I spoke more deliberately (slow
enough that there was a space between words, but not so slow I
sounded fake) and maintained eye contact with him while talking,
then he had an easier time getting his words out. It also helped
for us to institute ''my turn, your turn'' talking periods (a few
minutes each) at dinner. When it was our turn he couldn't
interrupt, and when it was his turn we couldn't interrupt. The
speech therapist said that it was better to wait to determine if
it was a problem until after he was in pre-school and was
interacting with more small children on a regular basis. She
thought that would help him, and would also give me a more
reliable measure of what ''normal'' is... she was right. He
started preschool around 3.5 and I noticed that his speech
wasn't as bad as I had feared. There are defintiely some kids
who speak more clearly(usually girls,) but he is about in the
middle. His vocabulary is fine, and the stuttering is gone.
Looking back, the stuttering seemed to go through phases...
sometimes he didn't stutter for days, then all of a sudden it
was aweful again. Eventually, it did just go away. Doing
research on the web can be scary. Some sites recommend waiting,
but others want you to just jump right on it and get therapy...
The rhetoric reminds me a lot of the ''What to Expect...''
series... ''it could be perfectly normal, but can also be the
sign of something serious...'' not exactly the kind of reassuring
message a parent wants to hear. Give you kid some time... it
probably is perfectly normal.
mother of a former stutterer
Our son began some serious stuttering at about 2.25 yrs, and we
worried, talked to friends, family and doctors, read books - pretty much
the same actiions every parent takes when confronted with this issue.
Almost all of the advice was in agreement: kids this age have a fast-
moving brain that just can't wait for the words. Ignore the stutter so that
the kid doesn't feel bad about it [or feel like there's something abnormal]
and eventually most kids will catch their words up to their thoughts. Our
son stopped stuttering about 9 months later. He's amazingly verbal and
quite clear for a 3 year old. It's a difficult few months when you're just
not sure, but 9 times out of 10, it will pass.
I would not worry about the stuttering. My now 3-year-old son
began stuttering at just that age. For awhile it was quite
extreme, sometimes we had to wait up to a minute for him to get
a word out. Our pediatrician gave us the good advice to not
make a big deal out of it, be impatient, or try to finish his
sentences, etc. And sure enough, it is gone now. Occasionally
it will re-occur in a minor way, but I do think it is true that
they just have stages where their speech has not caught up with
how fast their little brains are going. Also, it may make you
feel better to know that our pediatrician said this often
happens with especially intelligent children!
This is very common for kids of this age. She is much too young to even notice that
she's stuttering. She's just trying to get all her big ideas out at once.
Just listen to her patiently, as long as it takes, and she'll very likely get over
it quite soon. If she doesn't, then count it as good training for the future, because
listening patiently is always the right thing to do.
mom of older stutterer
Our two year old started stuttering all of a sudden about 5 days ago. It's hard to
tell if he's doing it for fun or if he's really having trouble speaking. He seems to
get stuck on a whole word rather than a single consonant. He repeats the word
10 or even 20 times before getting on with the rest of the sentence. So far the
strategy has been not to comment on it and see if he'll just stop. Has this
happened with anyone else? Did your child grow out of it or stop? Do we need to
look into speech therapy?
Our two and a half year old son has had periods of stuttering on and off
for many months, of a very similar nature, getting stuck on one word over
and over before he can move onto the rest of the sentence. Our
pediatrician told us not to worry and gave us some very helpful medical
literature (which I can unfortunately not cite) about the difference
between developmentally normal stuttering and speech impediments. This is
apparently quite common and is the result, essentially, of being able to
think faster than one can produce words; in the mismatch, some language
gets "stuck". We've noticed that it seems to come in waves, often right
as he's having a linguistic growth spurt and his sentences are moving to a
new level of complexity. Then it will cool off for a while. The advice
we got was just to wait it out, to not draw attention to it (which would
foster self-consciousness) and to not finish his sentences for him or
offer the next word; we just wait patiently for the 10 or 20 repetitions
until he can move on and finish his sentence, and then respond just as we
would had he not stuttered. Things seem to be going fine. Good luck!
I have been told by people in the field that it is not uncommon for children to pass through a
brief phase of stuttering around age 2. It may be a result of a rapid development in conceptual
knowledge and a need to communicate that knowledge without the requisite vocabulary skills.
I think your approach of not making a big deal out of it is a good one. Incidentally, I just read
an article about a study conducted several decades ago ("The Monster Study") which sought to
prove that stuttering could be environmentally induced by calling attention to and repeatedly
correcting children's speech errors. Indeed, the researchers created enduring stutters by doing
this with a group of orphans. So I'd say this is more evidence that you should just be patient
with your child and let him work through this on his own.
Our now 4-year old daughter went through a period of
stuttering around 2. It lasted for a while with
various degrees of severity. Our wonderful
pediatrician at the time assured us that it is a
normal developmental stage. Essentially, the child's
cognitive development is slightly ahead of his/her
speech development. In other words, they can't get the
words out fast enough!
She also told us to be patient, try not to finish her
words and not to comment on the stuttering.
I don't know how long the experts would tell you to
wait before assuming there is a problem, but I do
remember that it went on for a while (off and on for
several months?)She outgrew it and has never stuttered
since. Hope that helps, good luck.
I am not a medical professional, so of course I don't know if your child's behavior might indicate
an actual problem. But my son started repeating words in sentences around that age as well.
He has a fantastic vocabulary and no speech problems (other than pronouncing "th" as "f"). But
he does LOVE attention, and one of the best ways to get your parents to hang on every word is
to add that element of suspense that comes with dragging out your sentences. He's three and a
half now and still occasionally repeats words when he feels people aren't listening to him.
Another thing I noticed with my son was that a lot of times, when the "stuttering" happened, it
was because he was talking just to be talking and had not actually planned his sentence out
ahead of time. My guess would be that your child's "problem" is not a stuttering issue, but an
attention-getting device normal to very vocal children.
When my son was about your child's age he also began to stutter. I too
wondered if this was normal. I talked with his preschool teacher and she
assured me that this was quite normal. My son is now 4 years old and he has out grown
Our daughter had the exact same pattern of speech about the same time. It lasted for about
four months and then disappeared for the most part (she is now 3 yrs 3 mo). I don't know
whether it is common, but I didn't worry because it seemed to have less to do with difficulty
getting the word out, and more to do with thinking about the next thing she wanted to say.
For example, she would say "Mama, the the the the the the the the the . . . . " and eventually
the noun she was looking for would come out, or she would say "I can't think of what I'm trying
to say" or "I can't talk!". Often this happened when she was distracted by activity in the house
or just conflicting emotions. Usually sitting down at her level
helped. I think it may have helped relieve any anxiety she had that I might walk away if she
couldn't get the word out right away. Sometimes if she was particularly distressed that she
couldn't think of the word, I would try to help her figure it out by having her point to the
object or guess what she was trying to say from context. Hope this helps. Cheers.
I am not an expert on this, but my mother in law is a speech therapist for
preschoolers, and tells me that it is common for young kids to stutter or
have trouble getting words out when they are making cognitive leaps.
Basically the idea is that they are focusing so hard on expressing a more
complex thought than they have before, that in doing so, they regress on
skills they already had, like articulating clearly or getting a whole
sentence out smoothly. I've seen my son do this, and he eventually gets
back up to where he was until the next cognitive leap comes along. Maybe
this is what your child is going through too.
Both my sons went through a similar phase. They would seem to go into a loop, repeating the
last word spoken (or last syllable in a multi-syllabic word) endlessly before moving on.
Sometimes they would instead start the sentence over and get hung up again (though not
always at the same place). We tried to ignore the repetition and to listen as patiently as we
could without supplying words -- a hard thing to do when you are in a hurry. In both cases, the
phase passed fairly quickly. My unprofessional theory (I'm a lawyer, not a doctor or a speech
pathologist) is that some children (especially kids who are articulate and have big vocabularies)
have brains that work ahead of their mouths. Their thoughts are so far ahead of them that
they have to repeat words as their brain resupplies words already passed by. The problem stops
when their mouths catch up with their brains. Good luck.
My son started stuttering when he was around 3 years old. At the time, his peditrician said
that many children also go through this and eventually grow out of it. Without going into a
bunch of details, my son has indeed grown out of it. He does see a speech therapist, but not for
stuttering. His stuttering stopped when my husband and I stopped putting so much emphasis
on how he said things or how he pronounced his words. For speech, as in all things, children
learn best by example. Perhaps you should slow down your own speech, just a tad, not so much
that it no longer sounds normal but just a little. Essentially keeping on doing what you're
doing. Be patient. He'll grow out of it.
Reading the other advice about stuttering, I just wanted to mention that
although you should not harass a two year old about their speech, you should
keep an eye (or ear) on it. My son stuttered a lot as a two year old. One piece of
advice we had was to take him to a developmentally based gym program that
would help him with general coordination - so that he could speak as fast as he
thought. I also noticed that he was addicted to oversized gumboots and being
carried about - just pulling off the boots and making him walk more reduced the
stuttering a lot in a few weeks. He did continue to do it occasionally,
particularly when he was excited, and would get frustrated, so at the age of five
I took him to a speech therapist who checked him out for any other possible
learning problems, as well as giving strategies for helping him slow down and
speak more clearly. It was interesting to hear him turn on the beautifully clear
speech as soon as he slowed down - he's still often in a hurry though! Once you
get your ear tuned you realise that a lot of adults repeat words too. The speech
therapist said that they are happy to see any children who stutter, because it's
so curable at the 4-6 age and a more difficult habit to break later.
She found no learning difficulties, but he did later have problems with reading
and he ended up having sensory motor exercises which helped coordinate his
eye movements for reading and upper body strength for balancing pencils and
so forth. I have to believe that all these things were related.
Just another note - now that the kids are older we play a game in the car where
each person has a turn at talking for one minute on a given topic without
saying um, er, or repeating words. It's really hard, for all the kids and adults
who try it! We have a little hand held tape recorder and they find it hilarious
to play it back, while I find it gives them great practice at good speech.
Our 3 yr old recently seems to be stuttering when talking.
Repeating the same word several times. We never noticed this
before. It seemed to happen just a couple of days ago. What
causes this? We are concerned.
Both of our boys went through a "stuttering" phase. Our first boy was
around 30 months old or so when he started and it went on for 3 or 4
months. We asked the doctor about it and he said it was very common
for boys between the ages of 2 and 4 to go through this phase. He said
for many, the cause is pretty simple. Their vocabulary has grown, they
are learning to express themselves but their tongues cannot keep up
with their brains. He suggested we just be patient, not try to hurry
his speech, and not focus any attention on the stuttering. This seemed
to work well. By the time he was 3, there was no trace of the stutter
Our second son started stuttering just before we moved. He was about
32 months when it started. After the move it got much worse. Not only
did we move cities but he went from in house daycare to outside group
daycare. His stuttering lasted about 6 months and although he still
stutters occasionally, it is getting rare. Now it seems to be when he
is trying to express a new thought or talking with new people.
Coincidentally, I was reading last night "Your 3 Yr-Old" by Ames & Ilg. I
don't love all their solutions, but often find them right on re
development. It can be very reassuring. The intro discusses some of the
"insecurities" often suddenly faced by previously quite secure 3 1/2
yr-olds (or thereabouts), and some of the forms this can take. Stuttering
for a while is apparently one of them: "stuttering...causes many parents
undue anxiety. We ourselves tend to label stuttering at this age as mere
'preschool nonfluency' [whatever that is] and unless it prolongs itself for
several months, let it go at that."
Please don't worry about this phenomenon! It's completely normal for a
three year old to "stutter." Our child briefly went through this phase;
she'd repeat the first word of a sentence over and over, and several of
her friends did too. It didn't last long, and she's now a four year old
with extremely fluent speech. I would strongly recommend that you read
the (short) book "Your Three-Year-Old", from the excellent series on
child development by Ames and Ilg. Here's what they say:
"Stuttering, which in many comes in at this age...causes many parents
undue anxiety. We ourselves tend to label stuttering at this age as mere
"preschool non-fluency", and unless it prolongs itself for several
months, let it go at that...
It may be calming to parents to know that it is a customary, usually
quite normal stage that some children go through...Most speech
specialists advise strongly not only that parents not worry about
preschool stuttering, but that they not DO anything about it.
The old-fashioned notion of telling the child to "slow down and say it
over," or other similar admonition, is definitely not recommended. As a
rule, the less attention you pay to early stuttering, the sooner it drops
out. The thing you CAN do is to be sure that you give full and good
attention to whatever it may be that your child is saying. This will
reduce his need to talk fast and will reduce the likelihood that he will
We just looked at this time as one in which her thoughts were running
faster than her tongue!
Thanks to all of you who replied back. Your comments strengthen what his
Dr. told me. His doctor gave me a 2 page copy from the book - Your Child's
Health, - Does your child have a stuttering problem? Written by Barton D
Schmitt, MD, it shows the problem and the solution and it does state that
this occurs in about 90% of children because the child's mind is able to
form words faster than the tongue can produce them.(Wheww)And it is four
times more common in boys than girls. The name given to the stuttering is
called " Dsyfluency or Pseduostuttering".
Hi, I have a 5 year old son who on occasion sounds like he
is stuttering. When he starts to speak there is a certain
slur, as in: ''I-I-I want you to read with me.'' Or,
''P-P-P-Please let me do that.''
This occurs about 50-70% of the time and is more pronounced
when he is tired and is trying to get our attention.
As for my son, he is like a typical 5 yr old -- likes Legos,
gets along well (most times) with younger sister, speaks 3
languages, does well in school. He is on the shy side with
others (esp. Adults) but at home, he talks a lot.
His mother exhibits some stuttering now and did stutter some
bit as a child.
I was wondering if other parents have experienced this with
their child and what you'd recommend. Should I take him to
see a speech therapist?
Appreciate any help/guidance you can provide.
Thankful for your help
We had something similar happen and he outgrew it. In our
case it seemed to be seasonal. At the beginning of the
school year (preschool and K) he would stutter quite a
bit. You could tell he wanted to say a lot quickly and it
would all get bogged up in his brain and confuse him.
Every year i thought about going to see a speech
therapist. I am not against it at all, but i tend to think
so many things get outgrown naturally. Sure enough, every
year it stopped around Christmas. Every year that's when
he would mature a little and that would help.
With 1st grade it did not happen at all! His vocabulary is
better, he is a little calmer and it's all good.
In our case it was compounded by me, because i speak a
different language to him and wanted him to speak to me in
that language. Now that he has them both completely down,
he is just fine.
I would think about phases..has this happened before? And
also your attitude. Do you tend to be busy and moving
around a lot? See if changing anything will help and if it
doesn't take him!
best of luck
Both my kids went through a stuttering stage. It was
particularly pronounced in our younger son: he repeated
the last word or syllable until the next word came, and it
took him FOREVER to complete a thought. We worried, of
course, as parents do. But it passed. The older one is
now in college and teaches and records lectures. The
younger one is a high school debater and thespian. So
relax and let the thoughts come, however tortured the
process may be. It will pass.
Mom of Big Guys (Used to be ''Mom of Teenagers'' But One Just Turned 20!)
Totally NORMAL. Both my sons went through a stuttering stage. I have been
told that it happens to most for a period of time, esp when they suddenly have
way more ideas than words...and their brains are like a HUGE funnel full to the
brim of ideas with a little tiny hole (their mouths) through which they all need
I know it is frustrating and worrisome (esp the first time...with son #2, we just
looked at each other and said...ahhh, here we are again).
I am trying to remember how long the phase was...3-6 months??
According to California Education Law your child would be
qualified to recieve FREE AND APPROPRIATE PUBLIC EDUCATION
(FAPE) Services. This includes FREE assessments in order
to determine the most appropriate program(s) available
either at his/ her school site. Should your child not be
currently enrolled in a California public school he/ she
would continue to qualify for FREE assessments under the
CHILD FIND ACT.
At the school site level you can place a ''Request for
Evaluation'' Form from the school site's Main Office. From
the time that you complete and sign this form the school
district has 60 CALENDAR DAYS to complete the evaluation
and conduct a formal meeting notifying you of the findings
and citing their recommendations.
My daughter just turned 2 last month, and I've noticed
that she's started stuttering. She is very verbal with a
big vocabulary, good memory for words, and speaks in
sentences. At first it seemed like she just couldn't
speak as fast as she was thinking, but now it seems more
like it's just something she does. I've looked it up a
little and talked to a friend who is a speech therapist,
and it sounds pretty typical, but you know when it's your
own kids you just worry more? I guess I was just
wondering if anyone else's kids did this, then just grew
out of it and stopped? Everything I've read said to just
be patient, but that's not really my style! Any ideas?
My son was stuttering between the age of 2.2 and 2.5. He
will be 3 in January. I was very concerned too. He started
talking very early, has a great memory and is very engaged
in the world around him. He just gradually stopped stuttering.
I made myself stop being concerned about it and did the best
I could to not let him know when I was concerned. I allowed
him to finish the words he was stuttering over himself and
encouraged others to do the same. I noticed sometimes he did
get frustrated and would try to change words. If he couldn't
get the word out and couldn't find another way to say what
he was trying to say, it was very difficult for him.
I wondered if maybe some people who stutter got stuck in a
stuttering stage, because people around them were not
patient or made a big deal about.
It will be ok. It is just a brain development thing. Be as
patient as possible.
Yes, when it's your child, you always worry more even if
everyone else tells you to just be patient for them to grow
out of it!
Our daughter is also very verbal and there was maybe a month
or two when she stuttered because she just couldn't get her
thoughts out fast enough. I worried a bit, but she since
she wasn't stuttering with every single sentence, I didn't
worry too much. And she did just grow out of it.
I have a friend whose daughter wasn't verbal and only
started speaking after 2.5. And her daughter also went
through a period of stuttering. So it sounds like it's
You know, my daughter started stuttering around the same age
(she's now almost 4). I didn't even realize that it had
stopped until I read your post!
mom of former stutterer
I recently took a language development class at BANANAS and learned that there
is a phase around this age (2-3?) where some kids do this and its completely
normal. I don't remember the percentage of kids that do this but I remember it
was high. I would recommend calling a speech therapist and asking them about
this before you worry too much. good luck.
. . . .
Both my kids, also early (and contant) talkers, went
through this stage. It was particularly pronounced in
our younger son: he repeated the last word or syllable
until the next word came, and it took him FOREVER to
complete a thought. We worried, of course, as parents
do. But it passed. The older one is now in college and
teaches and records lectures. The younger one is a high
school debater. So relax and let the thoughts come,
however tortured the process may be. It will pass.
Mom of Teenagers
Our now 4-year old went through this as a 2-year old. He
was a very early talker, easily saying 10 word sentences by
the time he turned 2. At 2 years and 4 months, he started
stuttering on a Monday afternoon. By that Wednesday, he was
nearly incomprehensible. It lasted about 9 months, which is
kind of bad -- anything more than 6 months people start to
worry that it will be permanent. We talked to 3 different
speech pathologists and they all told us basically the same
things, like never finish words or sentences for him, don't
call attention to it, slow our lives down, don't rush. It
is supposed to be like a problem with fine motor skills but
with the tongue and our child had more thoughts than he
could express and he got tripped up trying to spit it all out.
We got two moderately helpful books called ''Stuttering and
Your Child: Questions and Answers'' and ''If Your Child
Stutters: A Guide for Parents'' from the Stuttering
Foundation. Particularly the 2nd book gave us some more
tips to help him.
Our son still stutters a bit when tired and stressed, but
now he just trips over a few words instead of every word he
utters. We recently had him evaluated again, in part
because of the occasional stuttering and in part because his
diction still isn't as clear as before, and we were told not
Our 5-year old son started kindergarten this fall and has been
stuttering for almost a year. His stuttering comes in phases,
sometimes it's really bad and the words just don't come out,
other periods it works ok, just slightly repeating single
words. Recently it's been getting worse and we considered a
speech evaluation to determine whether its just speech
development or real stuttering. But its not covered by our
insurance, so we were wondering if there's anyone out there who
had some experience with speech therapy at this age. Did it
work out well? Did the child enjoy it? Does it get worse once
we talk to him about it (we haven't done it yet, just being
really patient and talking slowly)? When will he feel self-
conscious about it or when does the teasing start?
Any experience or advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks
Contact your local school district for an evaluation. He may be
eligible for speech therapy through the district, and if he is
not, you might be able to take the evaluation to a private
therapist, who can work off of that plan, thereby avoiding the
expensive initial evaluation.
Your child can be evaluated by a speech pathologist at school
(assuming he's in public school). A great resource about
stuttering, including how to respond to his speech, details about
assessment and therapy is The Stuttering Foundation of America:
Their advice about whether your child should get therapy or not
is very good:
A speech language pathologist
Hi. I'm a Speech Therapist in the public schools in San Leandro
and also the mom of a daughter who stuttered between ages three
and four. The first thing to know is that your son can get a
speech evaluation through your school district. Stuttering
typically goes in cycles, and can be associated with periods of
rapid language growth. An SLP can also help you track your son's
stuttering patterns to see what may be exacerbating his
dysfluency, and help you (and his classroom teacher) create a
supportive speech environment. Speech therapy at this age can be
very successful, especially when it's supplemented by a regular
home program. Not all children become 'fluent,' but all can
become more confident about their speech. Typically, SLPs use
stories and games that kindergarteners enjoy as the basis for
speech groups. You can look forward to learning about your son's
and your family's speech patterns, and having fun with speech
You can get a free speech evaluation at the Scottish Rite Childhood Language Center in
Oakland 839-1513. It's painless
Does anyone have experience with the sudden onset of stuttering
in a 16 year old? Our son began stuttering approx. two months
ago. We've met with his doctor and talked quite indepth about
stressors (drugs/alcohol, relationships, sex and sexuality,
school pressure). We've done internet research with various
stuttering organizations and can find minimal information on
sudden onset. He reports that he is aware of stuttering, has not
been teased, nor does it bother him a great deal (but he would
like to do something about it), and that he doesn't feel under
much stress, is ''relaxed'' and ''happy'' with his life, does not use
substances as he is an athlete. Though we don't expect a 16 year
old to tell us everything, we truly do not see signs of trauma.
We will be taking him to a speech therapist soon for a consult
(any recommendations?) and any insight/experience from parents
and/or professionals would be appreciated.
When I was youngish, maybe 10 (?) I began to stutter
occasionally, and then it became a full blown stutter about a
year later. My parents sent me to a speech therapist, which did
help. I no longer stutter, except when I'm tired or sometimes
when I'm nervous. But, I do speak very quickly now, and I think
it's because I knew, subconsiously, that it was the only way to
not stutter. So, I don't have any advice, just sympathy for your
son. My parents never made it seem like big problem, and it
sounds like you aren't either, which is great!
If it is true stuttering the onset is suppose to have occurred at
age 5 or younger (when the child's language first became fluent).
Sudden onset of stuttering as a teen is not considered true
stuttering, but only secondary to a traumatic event, stressors,
medications etc., or other brain ailments (stroke, seizures,
brain injury. I know you mentioned these things do not apply to
your son. It could be he's getting used to new vocabulary/slang
(talking a different way i.e. cooler or more sophisticated), more
aware and self conscious of what others think, and how they view
him, which is very common as a teenager. Also the conversations
become deeper, and require more thought or knowledge possibly
making the speaker less competent or comfortable. This is the age
when public speaking becomes more difficult. There is usually a
rate of speech you can slow a stutterer down to and the
stuttering behavior diminishes. It wouldn't hurt to see a speech
therapist who specializes in stuttering to rate the severity, if
it is stuttering, and to give your teenager some tools to improve
his speaking. I beleive SF State Univ. and Hayward State Univ.
will give you a free evaluation from students under experts
supervision with a referral. A self referral may be okay. Contact
the Special Ed./Speech & Language Pathology Departments.
this page was last updated: Nov 9, 2011
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website: BerkeleyParentsNetwork.org
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network