06 November 2007

N-n-normal disfluency

Annalivia has started stuttering recently. Apparently this is something that happens in children between the ages 2 and 3 after they have begun to form together full sentences. It's called normal disfluency and usually is the result of a child rushing to speak before her mouth can catch up with her brain. Since Annalivia talks all the time, I can believe this explanation, I guess.
I'm not sure how noticeable it is to other people. Dennis didn't notice it until I pointed it out. She definitely does it most when she is tired and usually, so far, with words starting with D, and especially when she is asking a question about words starting with a D, i.e. "D-d-d-Daniel need diaper change?" or "D-d-d-daddy make that?" If I ask her to repeat herself, she will usually repeat the stutter, too, which seems a little odd to me. And, so far, I've not noticed it in any words except those at the beginning of the sentence.
Anyway, our job is to monitor it over the next few months, but also make sure she isn't aware of us noticing it. Apparently normal disfluency can become an actual speech impediment if children become aware of it and then struggle to combat it or feel that speaking is an unenjoyable or difficult experience. I'm pretty sure we're not in danger of her suddenly beng silent, but nevertheless, we want to be very careful/ So, family and friends -- if you notice it -- no imitating it within her earshot or administering impromptu speech therapy. And hopefully, she'll grow out of it on her own.


j said...

I'm going to bet that she will grow right out of it. But my heart goes out to you, because it is so like this for us mamas, wishin' and hopin' that all will just be WELL with our kiddos. Will keep her in my prayers. (I bet she sounds adorable!)

Jim and Amy Rennie said...

April, this happens to SO many kids her age. This is the age of my kids at school (2-3 yrs.) and almost all of them do it to some degree. The very smartest 3 year old (just turned 3 last week) I've EVER, EVER seen in my life does it all the time--she can already read, she's that smart! I am sure Annalivia will grow out of it--it really is very common. Jordan, the girl I mentioned, starts every sentence with and-and-and-and-and-and . . .for example, "And-and-and-and-and-and Miss-miss-miss Amy?" "Yes, Jordan?" "And-and-and-and-and-and I did get a doll for my birthday." It's adorable, and she, like Annalivia, repeats it if you ask her to say it again. Her mom and dad found out the same thing you did and are just keeping an eye on it.

sorry to go on and on, but this is one area I have some small amount of knowledge,and I see this all the time. I had kids who 2 years ago did it all the time and now there is no trace of it.

April said...

Thank you, Jill. I've felt so stupid to be rattled by something so insignificant. I appreciate your solidarity.

And Amy, thank you, friend, for the assurance. It is very good to read about your experience. Thank you. I feel better.

Anonymous said...

Hey don't worry about it, guys. Cleya did the same thing at Annalivia's age. I can't tell you how many times we just sat and WAITED until she spit out the sentence. Just refrain from saying things like, "T-t-today Junior!" it will leave deep scars. -Jake

April said...

I'm so glad to have such great parenting wisdom in my very own family. Gee gosh, you're the greatest, Jake.

-- also, I just read this to Dennis and after he got done laughing, he said wistfully, "I miss Jake."

April said...

Also, shortly after I posted this, Dennis said, "I'm just so lucky."
Me: "And why again is that?"
Dennis: "I just have such a great family."

I think he meant you, Jake.

April said...
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