Monday, June 14, 2010

"T-t-t-t-t-tan I ?"

Ramona has started stuttering. It is so sweet and sometimes so sad.

About half the time she repeats the entire word at the beginning of a question or sentence. The other half of the time she repeats the first sound of the first word at the beginning. Unless she gets distracted by something in the middle of a sentence, in which case she stutters in the middle.

Beezus did this exact same thing too although she was older than Ramona is now when Beezus started. It petered out after a few months. Everything I've read and everyone I've consulted with says that this is not "real" stuttering. This is just normal stuttering that is part of the language acquisition process. So, for a three year old who speaks all the time in complete sentences and most of the time with proper grammar and pronoun usage, it's not concerning to us. Except of course that it is a little bit because how could it not be ?

But sometimes it's sad - because it happens a little more often when she is excited or when she is using an unfamiliar word or a sentence with two parts in it (i.e., Can we go outside on the front porch after we finish dinner ?) If she's excited she may stutter on the "can" and on the "after."

We are supposed to stop what we are doing and look at her when she is talking so that she knows that we hear her and she doesn't have to repeat herself. This is a good challenge for me, since I often don't accurately hear people if they are talking while I'm thinking of something else. I'm making myself process what I hear before automatically saying, "Pardon me ? Would you say it again ?" Sometimes if I miss what she said I can stop and think for a second and can pull what she said out of my secondary hearing and move it to my primary hearing and process it so she doesn't have to repeat it. She's kind of a soft talker when we're in public, so I spend a lot of time leaning over to catch what she is saying.

She's stuttering several times a day at home and has been for about a month or so (maybe more, maybe less, I'm actually not sure). I haven't mentioned it to her teachers because I'm interested to see when/if they mention it to me. They haven't yet, and it makes me wonder if perhaps she's not stuttering at school.

Beezus interrupts Ramona ALL.THE.TIME and I really have to work with Beezus on that. "Beezus, let your sister finish what she is saying before you start talking" is the new mantra around here.

What's the new mantra at your house ?


Stimey said...

It's good that you have experience knowing that it does go away. I understand how you could be nervous about it, but it sounds like you have it well in hand.

The new mantra at my house is, "Jack, stop snorting!!" because he does it all the time and I'm ready to freak out completely over it. It gets on every one of my nerves.

Maud said...

Monkey often gets stuck on a word when he's tired, or if he gets distracted mid-sentence. I don't even thing of it as stuttering: it's just part of his chatter. I try very hard not to prompt him and just to wait for him to spit it out.

New mantra? It's usually "Get off your sister!", but that's been going on a while now.

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