Speech impediments are common during toddlerhood, and even common during childhood stages. Your child may not know how to pronounce certain words or stutter their words, which we’ll be talking about today.
When your child is two, they’re still learning how to talk, and you may notice some stuttering in the beginning of their sentence. You may wonder if there’s something to worry about. Severe stuttering can happen, and when it does, it can be hard for someone to communicate.
If your child is stuttering the beginning of their sentence, you may wonder if it’s common disfluency or a sign they have something bigger like the beginning of a stuttering problem. It’s hard to say, but we’ll try to help.
Disfluency Is Common
No toddler has mastered the art of talking; it’s even common for 7-year-olds to have a bit of trouble talking. Stuttering the beginning of their sentences is common between ages 18 months to 3 years. If it’s happening every ten sentences or so, it’s common.
The stuttering begins with stuttering sounds or syllables. They may say “M-m-m-mommy.” However, after the age of 3, a child may begin stuttering words. “Mom-mom-mom-mom, I need to go potty.”
You may notice other odd patterns of speech, like changing the subject and using filler sounds like “um” more than adults do.
These speech patterns may increase when the child is emotional, tired, or feeling rushed or questioned. Also, the speech patterns may happen in odd spurts. They may stutter, stop doing it for weeks, then do it again.
This is quite common, and many parents need not worry. This is just the sign of a growing boy or girl. However, there are a few parents who may wonder, “Is it more?” How can you tell if the child has a stutter and not just a developmental quirk?
If a child has a mile stutter, it may happen around the toddler age, but in most cases, you may start seeing it between 3-5. This is because a child is rapidly developing their language. Stuttering can occur because of a circumstance. For example, if there’s a big change in the family, stuttering may occur.
Stuttering usually means repeating the syllable more times than your average person. They may repeat the syllable more than five times, and they may extend the sounds. “Mmmmmmmom” is quite common at this age.
Stuttering happens more often, too. With a normal disfluency, it can happen in spurts, but stuttering is usually more occurring.
Also, kids who stutter may feel embarrassed about it and end up asking the parents why it happens.
As a parent, you may wonder if they will grow out of mild stuttering, or if it will develop into something worse. It’s hard to say, and seeking the help of a speech therapist may be your best move.
Kids who have a severe stutter develop it at an older age, but a younger age happens as well. It can sometimes come from a mild stutter, but sometimes, severe stuttering can happen without anything before it.
When a child is severely stuttering, they may prolounge sounds, have moments where they are silent, and every sentence and phrase they say has stuttering. It can last one second, or take many, many seconds for them to get their point across.
There are behaviors found in severe stuttering that you can also find in mild stuttering. They may blink too much, look away from you, and you may notice tension in the face and mouth. Also, more syllables are more common.
So you may wonder if a severe stutter is anything to worry about, or if the child will grow out of it. After all, if they got the severe stutter suddenly, maybe it will go away suddenly too.
With severe stuttering, it’s more likely to stick. If your child has been stuttering for over 18 months, that may be a problem. With that said, even the most severe cases have had moments where the stuttering goes away suddenly.
However, with a severe stutter, it’s something you may want to treat. Children with a severe stutter may feel embarrassed and scared to talk. They may get overly anxious and feel like nothing can make them talk. You may feel upset and sorry for your child, and may wonder what you can do.
It’s Not Your Fault
If you have a child with a mild or severe stutter, you may think you did something. Maybe you have an occasional stutter and you think your child got it from you. However, stuttering almost never comes from the parents. You may have other kids who don’t stutter, which can intensify the fact that it isn’t your fault.
So What Does Cause It?
If you’re wondering what causes stuttering, here’s what may cause it.
Genetics. There is a chance stuttering simply runs in the family.
Emotional trauma. If your child has experienced that, they may stutter.
The way their brain develops. There may be an abnormality in the part that develops language.
A brain injury or stroke may cause stuttering.
There are many causes, and sometimes, you just don’t know what caused it if you don’t think it’s any of the above.
So, what can you do about your stuttering child?
What To Do?
Like we said, if your two-year-old is stuttering at the beginning of their sentence, this is common. You shouldn’t worry, especially if it comes and goes. However, if your child has a case of mild or severe stuttering, or you suspect you do, the best method is to go to a speech therapist.
A therapist has studied childhood speaking development and can help empathize with your child. They can teach the child ways to keep cool and plan their words out. There are many therapy techniques that help with stuttering, and the earlier a child has it, the better.
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