Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    At the daycare center where I work we have an adorable little boy who stutters terribly. Does anybody know how to make it easier for him to talk? He often comes up to me, all excited, and wants to tell me something, but sometimes he can and sometimes the words just will not come out. I can tell that he knows what he wants to say, but nothing comes out. Then, after a period of it, it WILL come out and he will be able to talk again. I've been being just really patient and once in a while saying, "Just take your time, G. Don't worry. I'm still listening."

    I never knew a really bad stutterer before so I'm not sure I'm handling it right. I had a child who stuttered, but nothing like this.
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    In difficult child 1's case it was because his brain was going a lot faster than his mouth could. I used to get down to his level and simply in a VERY calm, cheeful, slow voice tell him to sssslllllllooooowwwww dooowwnn buddy.

    Others will probably have ideas that work. This is just what worked for us. Once difficult child 1 was put on adhd medications, the stuttering went away.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Kids can have a phase of developmental stuttering that can seem just as severe as more long term stuttering and there is not a wonderful way to predict if it will continue or not.

    There is some thought that if you point it out in any way you can accidentally increase the worry of it and make them more aware so it can become worse or they can develop secondary characteristics such as eye blinks head shakes try to stop the stuttering.

    The family should seek a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) consultation to make sure that these things have not already happened and because there are some nice child friendly techniques that can be used if there is a thought that this is true stuttering.

    Most of what you are doing is perfect. TeDo is right on...get down to their level, keep eyecontact and show no impatience. Model slow speech in what you say but do not tell them to slow down. There are other ways to slow them down but the key is to make sure you dont pair it to ONLY those times when he is having dysfluencies. Like if he calms by sitting on your lap, put him there every time you have a conversation. or if he likes his hands held to see you are paying attention do it every time you talk to him. You can take a deep breath just for yourself, but it shows how to take a deep breath and use a soft speech style that is not excited and loud.

    It is neurological and as with all neurological things it can be made worse by excitement, stress, being in a hurry, transitions, competition for speaking time, etc. It is not behavioral or to get attention which it seems you know.

    the main thing is, since people who do really develop stuttering suffer with self esteem issues very often , to make it a non issue as much as possible. Never allow other kids to mimik or tease.... at that age they would not likely be doing it to be mean but just because it is different and they copy things so distract the offenders by just getting in the mix and talking about something else or bringing them toa cool toy.

    Hope that helps.

    There are many different theories about how to deal with this but I stay pretty conservative because I would not want to be the one to accidently increase the issue. then allow the parents to decide with a therapist who has evaluated him if there are any other techniques to be used and when. JMHO, oh and that's right, it is what I did before I became stuck at home mom. OH I mean a stay at home mom, lol
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks TaoDo and Buddy. Often he is on the bus with me and he likes me to sit next to him so we can talk. Now I have some ideas of what I can do. In the classroom he is a bit more excited and has a harder time talking, but it is always a problem. Since he seems to like me, I don't want to do anything to make him feel self-conscious.

    I am not sure what services the parents are getting for him as we are not allowed that information (only the teachers and director). His stutter is severe enough that I assume he has some speech services. He does not appear to have any other problems to me, but, then again, I just see him a few hours four days a week. It is so hard to watch him struggle to speak and I so hope it gets better. I know how cruel older kids can be. For now, the kids don't really act like they notice. He has a lot of little friends who include him in their play. But he is only three...
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    We had a stutterer in one of my classes growing up, really bad sometimes, so bad that it was really rough for him to get out what he was trying to say. (seemed like the harder he tried the worse he got, especially on bad days)

    I remember the teacher telling him a few times to "sing" what he wanted to say if it was a bad day. It worked for him, looked a bit strange, but didn't take long to get used to. I've seen some adult stutterers do this on occasion too over the years with a phrase or sentence that they just can't get out. The kid in my class.....ran into him in HS a few times, his stuttering had greatly improved. I don't think back when I was in school they "did" anything to help a child with stuttering per se.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I've heard that too, Lisa - in fact, it also helps if they get really MAD, too - but that is harder to take and harder to fake!
  7. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I have heard singing works amazingly fact there are famous singers who are stutterers in real life. Another famous stutterer Bob Newhart says he doesn't stutter as much when acting. Could you have the little boy make it into a song? Or do a little pantomime with him? I would also teach him sign language - I believe that is one line of protocol used with these kids, but I am unsure. My last thought would be to have him draw out what he trying to tell you. Maybe a combo of all 4 of these at different times - I think the idea is to get the words out of his language center and into other communicative parts of the brain.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I would just really encourage you to ask the parents first because you don't want to go against anything that they may have been told based on his therapy if he has it...
  9. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I stutter when I'm really excited, or really really tired. Mine is mild. But, yes, it is because my brain is going faster than my tongue can handle. Occasionally I type this way, too LOL.

    But, reminding myself to slow down - or stopping entirely, and starting over - usually does help. Singing, I know, works for those who have a much worse stutter. So what you are doing is perfect!

    (Then again, when I'm really excited, my West Texas drawl comes out, too. That's gotta be something to hear.)
  10. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    difficult child has a moderately-severe stutter that was only very marginally helped with speech therapy. The best thing to do for her is to let her talk and ignore the stutter. Be patient. Don't try to finish sentences to help them out. Any heightened emotion (anxiety, excitement, sadness) except anger makes it worse. Anger makes it go away with difficult child. If she yells, she doesn't stutter. The harder she tries to say something, the harder it is for her to say.

    Unless you are given specific directions by a speech therapist, I would just be patient and let him speak as he is able.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks all. I have heard that stutterers can sing without stuttering, but, like flutterby says, I can't really do any sort of therapy on the child. It is not my place. I have never interacted with the parents, don't even know what they look like, other than when they come to the door and I help him down from the bus.