Do you know anyone who stutters? I do. He’s my almost 9-year-old son. As soon as he started talking, he stuttered. At first it was alarming to hear him repeat the same word over and over or repeat the same syllable over and over again. We talked to his pediatrician about it and he told us it was normal for someone his age to go through periods of disfluency while his language skills were blossoming.
His stuttering continued on with a few weeks of reprieve here and there. Each time he went a few hours or a day or a week without stuttering I’d almost jump for joy and believe what the doctor told me, “This is just a phase.” But as soon as my fist was in the air pumping with excitement, the stuttering would begin again.
After awhile, Charlie’s stuttering grew to include not only word and syllable repitions and prolongations (lllllllllllllllllllllllook has always been a hard one for him) but he’d also have some blocks (where nothing would come out).
I was not in agreement at all with the doctor about his stuttering being developmental, so I sought out speech therapy for Charlie. He started when he was three. He has been to many SLPs (Speech-Language Pathologists) since then and has been in speech therapy ever since.
Now Charlie has learned some techniques to help with become a more fluent speaker. He works really hard at this. He is a moderate stutterer, and most people would not know he stuttered because he’s pretty quiet around new people.
All this week I will post about different aspects of stuttering in honor of awareness week. Stay tuned!