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Stuttering on the Web: Incipient Stuttering & Pastoral Feedback

Really interesting stuttering day on the intewebs…  I ran across a post by a mom who’s son appears to have incipient-stage stuttering, and she’s wondering what to do about it.  Not necessarily noteworthy, as we know that approximately 5% of kids will show stuttering-like dysfluencies at some point in their development–but I find the “in the moment” aspect of life really captivating. She further reflects on how important communication is in her next post, so clearly this parent is beginning to get it…

I also ran across the blog of a youth paster who had to give a sermon in front of church.  Someone in the congreation felt “led” to offer up a harsh critique, where a potential cause of stuttering was mentioned.  (If you would just slow down, you wouldn’t stutter!…or something to that extent.)  If you’re a person who stutters stuttterer, you’re probably laughing right now!  Yes, thank you for your input; gee, I would have never guessed; no, I have never tried that before; yes, you are a genius, and smarter than all of stutterers for the past 4,000 or so years…  Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule and solving this little speech thing that we’ve got going on…

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  1. March 24th, 2009 at 19:59 | #1

    Thanks so much for posting a comment on my blog post. We have sort of struggled with what to do about my son’s stuttering for a few months now. He see a specialist for his asthma and that specialist actually stutters. He is an asthma specialist/immunologist and a pediatrician. He suggested when he last saw D that his stuttering will just get better on its own. When we saw our regular pediatrician a bit later when he was diagnosed with a hernia, he really felt we needed to get him assessed. We had put that off until after his surgery. That has happened and now we’re wondering whether or not to get him assessed again, as he goes through periods of good speech interspersed with stuttering and getting “stuck.” I don’t know if there are specialized speech pathologists anywhere near where we are. Could you give advice about how to locate someone with specialized training for stuttering?


  2. Greg @ Stuttering.me
    March 24th, 2009 at 21:15 | #2

    Well, it’s always tough to know what to do when a kid has started stuttering. First off-I want you (and all parents) to know that it’s not your fault. There’s nothing a parent can do to cause or make their kid start stuttering. (Believe it or not, they actually tried this back in 1939–and failed miserably.)

    If he’s 4, I’d take him to get evaluated. Since approximately 80% of kids who show stuttering-like dysfluencies spontaneously recover, it’s pretty safe for an MD to say “It’ll go away.” But if a child continues to stutter for 6 to 12 months, I think it’s worth an eval.

    I think the thing I would suggest is to start w/ the SFA referral list. Call those that are in or around your area, and feel free to ask them hard questions. [ http://www.stutteringhelp.org/Default.aspx?tabid=206 ] Ask them about their experience, education, how they keep up with the latest research. If you really want to find out what they know, ask them how they’ve integrated the Yairi data in their pediatric stuttering assessments and treatment. [ http://www.stutteringhelp.org/Default.aspx?tabid=169 ] Use your mom intuition for a BS detector.

    I also am a big believer in the self-help movement; and even if recovery may still be possible at this point, I always suggest that parents hope for the best but educate themselves re: how to best raise a child who stutters. And there is no better resource than the self-help movement (such as Friends and the NSA).

    I’ll catch you on Twitter, but feel free to reply or email if I can be of more help.

    And from my Stuttering Peoples–feel free to reply and share your thoughts!


  3. Pam
    March 26th, 2009 at 06:44 | #3

    I agree with Greg’s great advice. Self help and support is wonderful. I am an adult who stutters, and I co-lead a support group for parents of kids who stutter. The kids range in 8-18. Both momns and dads come, and everyone draws strength from each other. They share school issues, triumphs, setbacks, parent issues, and current therapy goals. There is a SLP with us at group, but the parents and the stutterer (me) do most of the discussing. It works! Quite simply, parents feel they are not alone.


  4. stutterbox
    April 1st, 2009 at 03:08 | #4

    Hi, my name is stutterbox and I am supposed to say hi and introduce myself. Listen, I really did get cured from stammering but it wasn’t through ignoring it. What caused me to get worse was the fact that teachers made me aware of it. Stammerers are very perceptive even though it doesn’t require a genius to intuit he is being judged when everyone in the room comes up with jerky advice like “you need to slow down.” When I read Benjamin Bogue’s book on stammering I marked BENJAMIN BOGUE MUST DIE all over the front of it, not knowing that he already DID die about a hundred years ago. That book really takes the prize for stupid advice (he practically advises stammerers to go out and shoot themselves since (if they hang around) they may afflict others with the “disease” of stammering.


    Greg @ Stuttering.me Reply:

    Thanks for posting! Every opinion and life experience counts… Now, for complete disclosure, I’m always a little wondrous when I hear the “I got cured” statement–because I’ve just never seen it in real life. Heard people say it, but never seen it. This isn’t to say that I don’t believe you (or that it’s possible)…I just have a hard time wrapping my mind around how it would work. So by “cure”, do you mean that the sense of loss of control has been 100% eradicated? Or that stuttering now has 0% impact on your life.

    Anyway–thanks for the comment, and I hope to see you online!


  5. nancy
    January 13th, 2012 at 21:25 | #5

    Hi there,
    I am 65 years old and woke up one day stuttering. I have had a negative MRI and CT scans. My question: have you ever heard of sudden adult onset stuttering as a side effect of medication? and if so, which medications?


    Greg @ Stuttering.me Reply:

    Varenicline (trade name Chantix in the USA and Champix in Canada, Europe and other countries) may mess up the dopaminergic system, thus creating stuttering. It’s likely reversible, but one never knows about all drug reactions on all people all the time.


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