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Does Your Toddler Have A Problem With Stuttering?

Dr. Howard Bennett
Author Dr. Howard Bennett
Submitted 24-10-2007

As children learn to speak, pauses and repetitions of syllables or words are normal. Parents typically notice episodes of stuttering interspersed with periods of normal speech. The stuttering that is seen in this age group is developmental in nature due to the acquisition of new language. In essence, the child can think of words faster than he can say them. Developmental stuttering occurs in children from 18 months to four years of age. It usually resolves in three to six months. It is different from true stuttering, which is seen in older children and adults.

 

Toddlers who stutter demonstrate some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Repetition of the first sound of a word such as “d-d-d-dog,” “ca-ca-ca-cat,” or “I-I-I-want.”
  • Repetition of a phrase within a sentence such as “I want-I want-I want to go.”
  • Open their mouth to speak and make a throaty sound, but fail to say anything.
  • Express frustration at not being able to get the words out.

If you notice any of these symptoms, consider discussing them with your child’s doctor. The approach that is usually recommended includes the following:

  • Speak slowly and clearly to your child at all times.
  • Do not interrupt or correct your child and do not finish sentences for him.
  • Remain calm while your child is speaking as though you had all the time in the world for him to finish.
  • Do not say anything about the stuttering. If your child expresses frustration about the problem, calmly reassure him that everyone has trouble getting their words out from time to time.

 - Dr. Howard Bennett

10 comments
Sybil
Sybil

My granddaughter just started stuttering a couple of weeks ago. It is getting worse and I am really looking for some help. She is 3 years old and I have tried to get her to just say the word slower but it is not working. I was wondering by her mother not really being in her life, would that play a part with her stuttering.

Otieno
Otieno

My son is 4yrs 4 mnths he started stammering when he was 3 and he is getting worse. But with the posts that i have read i have hope that it will dissappear.

carrie
carrie

My son is 2 1/2 now and has been stuttering for a couple of weeks. At first we thought it was just normal. Concerned we decided to just take him in for testing yesterday and he does have mild stuttering. If you think your child is not speaking correctly at least have the test to tell you if it's normal or not. We were told since it's just mild that to wait 4-6 weeks and if it gets any worse to look into therapy then. Alot of time they can grow out of this.

nancy
nancy

my son will be 3 years old in 2 months and he started stuttering a couple of months ago. Sometimes he's ok but other times it's really bad. As a child I did not stutter but my cousin was and it was very bad and then as I got older I caught it but I can control it most of the times. A couple people have told me to take him to speech therapy but it's so expensive, I can't afford it right now. What should I do? Please help me!

Diane
Diane

My first child went through a stuttering phase around age 2 1/2 and now my youngest child is doing it. It can be really frustrating but it does pass. I had forgotten my first child even did it until my youngest started. Just be patient!

Kristy
Kristy

My daughter is 2 1/2 and started stuttering about 2 weeks ago. I'm told by a number of people including her Pediatrician that this is normal. I decided to wait it out thinking it was normal dysfluency. Last night she was stuttering while talking in her sleep...is this also part of normal dysfluency or the onset of true stuttering? Please help...I'm not sure what to do!

Nikki
Nikki

My brother just turned 5 and hes still stuttering..im trying to make him read a little but he doesnt really know how yet. and i have no idea what to dooo! HELP!

SANDY
SANDY

My child is 3 years old and he just started to stutter about 1 month ago. It is quite frustrating watching him going through this. I have taken him to a speech therapist and she stated that he has mild stuttering and will outgrow it one day, but he is still stuttering even more than before. Can some one help me? Have you ever experienced this with your child and how do you cope? what was the outcome?

heather
heather

My daughter stuttered for about a week or two 6 months ago. I took her to the docs and they said its a development phase. Sure enough it went away. I realized it was during a time when she was trying to express what she was thinking, which in turn led her tongue to be "slower" than what her head was thinking. She recently started up again a day or two ago This time I am less concerned than last since I now know she is going through another phase of growing and is able to have fairly decent combos! Flow the guidelines of this article and give it some time. If the problem doesn't resolve itself in a few months then maybe trying a speech therapist is the next choice. Hope this helps!

Cheryk
Cheryk

My daughter (almost 3) has in the last couple of weeks started stuttering it seems to be at its worst now hopefully but she has gone from repeating the first syllable to lengthening the sounds instead of repeating it...This seems to be her way of trying to stop it but im not sure if she is actually making it worse...I feel sorry for her but try not to show it and we dont even comment on it and fingers crossed it goes away soon!