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Old 05-29-2013, 09:45 AM
Willow Willow is offline
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Default Stuttering

One of my new kiddos started last week. She just turned 5 and is incredibly sweet, kind and polite, but unfortunately I'm struggling to communicate with her.

She definitely struggles with articulation and pronunciation (super delayed in that area for her age), add to that she has a severe stuttering problem. At interview time when I met her she was very shy and hardly spoke so I didn't grasp the magnitude of the issue when mom described it. Now that she's warmed up and is talking a lot more it's great, but I can't understand hardly a word she says!

Yesterday for example she was trying to explain something about a "piwwor." Over and over she said the word -"Pi..Pi..Pi..Pi..Pi..Piwwor" "M..M..m..m...me got's a..a..a...a...a..a a Pi..Pi..Pi..Pi..Pi..Pi...Piwwor" sometimes so hard she'd squint her eyes with emphasis on the "M" "a" and "P" sound. When I couldn't sort it out she tried to describe it and gesture to express the shape and size....eventually got so frustrated, the stuttering worsening the longer she was unable to sort it out (literally 5-10 repeats for every single word) that she gave up and went back to playing. Come to find out she was trying to tell me about her special pillow at home, mom described it as her lovey and she was trying to share that with me. Broke my heart I couldn't figure it out and it caused her so much stress

Mom sounds like she's on top of the issue so no worries there. Kiddo is receiving services through school on top of pre-k and it sounds like she will be in a special ed type class year round to continually address the issue, but it's definitely one I haven't encountered before.

I have a lot of experience with much of what speech therapy entails as far as annunciation, articulation and pronunciation goes but not specifically in regards to stuttering. Anyone have any insight as to what causes it? Anything I can do here to help her? My instincts lead me to believe I should prompt her to slooooow down, but I'm not sure if that could make it worse. Do I ignore it and muddle through the best I can? Address it and see if I can help her work through the word letter by letter? Ask her to just keep repeat?


I know some of this falls on a learning curve and will come in time but on a scale of 1-10 I'd call her language a solid 9 as far as severity goes and I definitely feel out of my league.

Any insight would be much appreciated!
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:53 AM
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ABCDaycareMN ABCDaycareMN is offline
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You really should have mom contact the school on your behalf and have them contact you with what you are suppose to be doing. You don't want to make it worse by doing the wrong thing and you are unsure what is right.

Will she be getting therapy over the summer?

My son has/had speech and my mom can get him to say some letters but incorrectly. Now we have to go back and reteach him how to say them correctly.

I think it's best to just contact them yourself with moms permission to find out what you can do to help and not set her back.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:10 AM
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Cradle2crayons Cradle2crayons is offline
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My experience with children who stutter, both professionally and personally, has been this:

The more you ask them to clarify, the worse it is. If you can't understand after the first try, ask them to draw you a picture, show you, point to something etc. the more you ask them to repeat, the more self conscious it makes them. Ten the more they stutter.

If they speak in too much of a hurry, instead of asking them to slow down, try modeling what you want by slowing your own speech down. This helped a lot with my own son.

Eye contact, stay at their level ( which I'm sure you do just listing what I know helps)

Encourage conversations. I know this sounds crazy because they are already stuttering and it seems they already can't get their thoughts out. But children that aren't in school yet sometimes stutter because they have a huge burst in vocabulary during this time frame.

Sometimes stuttering is caused by social peer anxiety. Not saying this is the case but it could make it worse since the child is in a new environment. That being said, see if it gets better in a quiet environment one on one.

Does the child stutter when they sing?? Ask them what sings they know and sing with them. See if there is a difference.

Try singing the abc song as a group, while watching the dck. Start slow. Then up the tempo. See what happens.

Personally just showing patience and compassion goes a long way and it sounds like you are doing just that and the kiddo knows that.

I agree with pp and see if the speech people can call you and speak with you.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:59 AM
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stephisme stephisme is offline
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I had a very bad speech problem as a child and began speech therapy in pre-k. I would become very frustrated when teachers would not understand me, plus I was in catholic schools and the nuns were not the most understanding... I remember specifically a time I was trying to say something about walking, but I had issues with the L sound. My first grade teacher (nun) got very frustrated and yelled at me to talk right. My speech problems for the most part cleared up around 4th-5th grade, but when I was anxious I would have speech issues again.

One thing that really worked with me was watching the news, with how the news anchors moved their lips when they talked. We recorded a few episodes and I would spend some time trying to copy them (speech therapist idea). Of course, the guy I liked most had a mustash so it didn't look like he was moving his lips

In regards as to what causes stuttering, their is really many reasons. It could be genetics or neurological issues. Sometimes it is just a developmental thing that kids outgrow, but at her age this does not seem to be the case.

What I have been learning in school about speech problems and stuttering is pretty much what has been mentioned hear already. When you talk, pause before talking and that talk slowly with pronounced lip movements. Avoid asking too many direct questions because she has a better chance of talking correctly when she is expressing her own thoughts. Also ensure that you look like you are paying complete attention to what she is saying.

This might be helpful, it is meant for parents, but some of the tips you can use as well. http://www.stutteringhelp.org/7-tips-talking-your-child

Also, the singing idea is a really good idea and might prove beneficial, as long as the child is comfortable singing.

Good Luck!
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:33 PM
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AmyKidsCo AmyKidsCo is offline
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I agree to contact the school to see what you can do to help her. I'll also bet that there are resources online if you Google "stuttering help" or something similar.
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Old 05-30-2013, 05:51 PM
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Candy Candy is offline
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Most kids stop when they get older. But some never do. My friend who is in his 20's still stutters and i have no idea why. He took speech in middle school but he still does it. As for what to do to help her you could try telling her to slow down when she's talking. I have noticed that my friend sttuters worse when he is trying to talk fast or if he is really excited about something.
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