He must have been about 3 or 4 when I could no longer ignore that fact that DS1 was stuttering. He would often seem to get stuck on the first letter of a word or he would repeat the first few words of a sentence over and over.
I admit that I was guilty initially of committing the cardinal sin of speaking for him. I would guess at the word, or phrase, I would finish his sentences for him – sometimes with impatience.
I mentioned it to my Health Visitor and remember being really upset when she immediately referred him to a speech therapist.
My brain was flooded with worries of whether there was something wrong with him, he’d had quite a traumatic birth – had that caused a problem, would he have a stammer forever, would that affect his whole life, would it get progressively worse?
The speech therapist was amazingly reassuring.
She told me that stammering in a child of that age was often an indication of intelligence. Apparently some children stutter because their brain actually works faster than their mouth can!
She gave us some verbal exercises to do, and we saw her 2 or 3 more times. To be honest I think the stammer would have gone by itself just as mysteriously as it arrived, but I don’t doubt that the exercises sped the process up.
DS1 is now 11. He is a very bright articulate boy – looks like she was right!