A sudden stutter.. — The Bump
Toddlers: 24 Months+

A sudden stutter..

Has anyone experience a sudden stutter with their toddler? DS is 2 1/2 and recently started stuttering. He talked early. Made sentences by 18m and having full conversations by then as well. He started stuttering around Easter, just saying words again or the beginning part. It went away. Now its back, different and way worse. I am going to call the doctor tomorrow to discuss. But I was wondering if anyone had experiences with this? I am just so sad for him because he wants to talk to us, but he is having a really hard time with it. 
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Re: A sudden stutter..

  • Disclaimer: I do not want to make clinical recommendations on a child sight-unseen, but I will tell you what I know: I'm an SLP and while I do not have any first-hand practical experience with stuttering toddlers, I do remember discussing developmental stuttering in grad school. Sometimes it just goes away without intervention, sometimes it persists. Some signs of persistent stuttering can be a family history of fluency disorders (stuttering), or an increased amount of time since onset, and other physically noticeable factors such as facial grimace, eyes rolling back while trying to get a word out, etc. Type of disfluency can be a factor too, I think. If the words seem to get stuck in the mouth vs repeating a sound, syllable, or word. 

    It can be a normal phase for toddlers. For lack of a better explanation, they get ahead of themselves and are trying to wrap their brains around the best possible explanation for what they want to say. If my son had just started stuttering, I would take a record of when it started (which you did) and what kind of disfluencies I see (repeating sounds, repeating words, sounds getting stuck, etc) and when (certain words, certain things he's talking about, certain mood?) and then bring it up to the doctor so that there is a written record of when it was first noticed (which you're going to do). Usually they'll watch a kiddo for 6 months or so to see if it starts to go away on its own. 

    So, take home messages from my novel up there: 1) can be completely normal, 2) you're doing all the right things, 3) jot down a few details so if he does need to be treated in the future, you have a great record/history so the SLP can develop a plan for him asap.

    Good luck! I hope it just fades away on its own! 


  • Again, like pp, I do not have any first hand experience with a stuttering toddler. Stuttering does run in our family including my DH so tried to learn a little about it particularly after we has DS (almost 3) as there is probably a genetic component in our case.

    Stuttering does tend to show up around age three and for most kids it is a stage that will not last. Besides doing what pp said, when DS speaks to you be very patient and resist the urge to finish his sentences or complete his words so he won't become self-conscious about it. Other than that I think talking to your pediatrician is a good idea but they will probably just "watch and wait" at this point.

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  • THank you! We went today and he made me feel better about it. We have an appointment with a speech specialists next week. 
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