Monday, 28 September 2009

St st st stuttering

Shou has recently started stuttering. It may have been present before but I have really only noticed it in the last couple of weeks. It is noticebly worse when he is tired or excited or when the house is all go. I wasn't particularly worried as I had heard that suttering in small children is not uncommon and it usually rights it self if you don't pay too much attention to it.

There have been some occassions however when it is very bad and he can get no sounds out - eventhough his mouth is moving and he is trying. It is upsetting - both for him and us. Maki was very upset the first time he saw it and tried to talk to Shou about it. This was only yesterday and I have looked up some information from ...

"Stuttering is also more likely to occur in children who are under a lot of stress, for example, after starting a new day care, moving, birth of a new sibling, etc., and it is more common in boys.

Stuttering is usually not a concern, as long as it doesn't persist for more than five or six months or at least gradually improve during that time period. Until it does go away by itself, some steps you can take to help your child, include:

1. Not correcting or interrupting him when his is talking, and ask others to not correct him either.
2. Not asking him to repeat himself or tell him to slow down.
3. Don't make him practice saying certain words or sounds.
4. Be sure to talk to your child slowly and clearly and give him the time he needs to finish what he is trying to say.
5. Talk to your child a lot by discussing his day, narrating out loud the things you are doing and reading books.
6. Try to minimize stress or situations that make the stuttering worse.

If the stuttering is ignored, it will usually resolve without any intervention."

We had a good day today - well post kindy anyway. I spoke to his teacher and we have agreed on how we will deal with it - or not so to speak. The one thing I am worried about is the bigger kids saying things to him and him getting embarrassed about it. A lot of the time he is in the little kids class and I doubt they would even notice - what with none of them being able to talk much anyway. He does get play time with the kids closer to his age though.

Anyway, lets hope it doesn't last too long - or long enough for him to want to stop talking so much. As much as I go on about him yabbering from morning to night I wouldn't want him to become self concious about a stutter and stop talking!

Ryu went down to sleep at seven - almost as if he knew - so I got to spend more time than usual reading to Shou and talking to him about his day - and putting him to sleep.

Ryu and I had quite a big nap this morning and I think I have caught up on some of the much needed catch up sleep. I got a few jobs done - and think tomorrow I am going to buy some stuff to DIY a mini wooden kitchen for the bottom of the playhouse. Marina is in to going up to the second level, jumping around and hanging out the window. Figure she might spend more time on the ground if there is something to play with. They were out there at half six this morning - which was still early but not as bad as I was expecting. Fifteen minutes after kindy and then enticed inside by dinner and grape juice.

Mummy wouldn't mind some mummy grape juice but we're being good for a while.

Any advice on helping the stuttering would be muchly appreciated.



Chrysanthemum Mum said...

No advice on the stuttering I'm afraid, but what you have researched seems like sound advice to me. James sometimes stutters, but I have just been ignoring it as it only happens periodically and doesn't seem to be something that he struggles with daily. Hope Shou's stuttering soon stops.Must be very frustrating for him.

Anonymous said...

When my aunt was little she apparently had a stutter (which eventually went away by itself) and the speech therapist encouraged her to sing. Something about singing, whispering or using different voices engages the right side of the brain and the stutterer can speak more smoothly. It seemed to work for her...

Gaijin Wife said...

CM - I was hoping that ignoring it would work but it does seem to have gotten a bit worse. A couple of times today I asked him something about his day and he went to answer, stopped and just said 'wakaran' :(

Anon - thanks very much for that. We'll start singing lots I think - seeing as Shou hasn't yet got the hang of whispering. Must say though that he sang a few songs this evening and he started into them and finished them all with no stuttering what so ever :)

Lulu said...

No advice on the stuttering either although my brother had speech issues when he was younger (with L`s, S`s, Sh`s and Ch`s if I remember correctly) and mum left it for a bit but eventually he had some speech therapy and then just grew out of it (mum doubts the therapy helped much, she thinks it was just an age thing) - it seems like what you read online is a good place to start and I think what you have done by speaking to the teacher at his kindy is a good thing- that way adults that spend a lot of time with him are following the same approach.

I wonder if billingual children are more prone to having issues like this?

I hope it all works out for the best and that Shou doesn`t get discouraged from talking!

Midori said...

One of my best friends had an awful stutter and a lisp growing up. He never let it get him down though (well outwardly anyway) and graduated with a PHD in engineering from Cambridge a couple of years ago and now teaches maths at one of the top boys' schools in London. He never stops talking either so even if Shou goes through a quiet stage because of the stutter, I bet it will change over time. It is natural to worry about kids and speech impediments growing up but I think the article is right in that that kind of thing rights itself with time.

I was interested to read that it was more common in boys. All the people I know with speech difficulties are boys.

Sarah@mommyinjapan said...

Sheesh, like you need one more thing to do. Kids are always doing crazy stuff (not intentionally though obviously). Most likely it will go away on it's own. I like the singing idea a lot.

Emi had a lisp from when she started talking but only when she spoke English, not Japanese. Then a few months ago we were watching home videos from when the girls were younger and I realized that she's not doing it anymore. The lisp is just gone.

Gina said...

No advice, but hopefully a similiar experience can at least offer a little comfort. : ) We have experienced this first hand, so maybe my story can at least offer you a bit of relief.

Around the time Noah was born, Branden started stuttering. It only lasted about a month and it went away on it's own. I, like you, researched it on the internet. And I made sure not to interrupt him while he was speaking and to sorta be all ears, when he was speaking. Made sure nobody else interrupted him while speaking either. I also didn't make a big deal about it at all.

Sometimes the stutter was bad during that month and sometimes it was very light. However as a mother going through this, I worried myself to death about it. Would he have life long stuttering problems, etc etc. The good part is, in my case, I worried for nothing. As easy as it slipped in, it fizzled out after about a month and he's NEVER stuttered after that at all. And he has no memory of stuttering. He speaks normally in both langauges.

Basically, what I'm saying is, I think you're doing the right thing. Not interrupting him. And just not making a big issue out of it. It should (hopefully) fizzle itself out. It is pretty common in boys and usually will go away with time.

PS, I loved that idea about singing too. : )

Nay said...

No advice either but sounds like you have done a great job researching about it and deciding on a plan of action. I hope it works and the stuttering stops soon :)

Rachel said...

Amy went through a brief stage of stuttering, all turned out right in the end, no worries there.

From my reading about bilingualism, it's not more common in bilingual kids. But Shou pretty much prefers Japanese anyway, doesn't he?

Dotmoll said...

A boyfriend had quite a bad stutter...he said he'd had speech therapy which helped him control his stutter by taking a breath just before saying a "problem" word.

He pointed out that it was very useful to be able to control it when he wanted to (in a job interview, for example), but that it was a work-around, not a solution. But at least it gave him control over the stutter.

But that's a long way in the future, worth knowing that there are solutions (though stuttering is less common among Japanese) if and when you need them in later years.

井上エイド said...

My 7-year-old daughter, a Japanese bilingual who spent the first five years of her life in the U.S., stuttered and repeated words over and over.

Scared me and my wife initially. Sent her to speech therapists, etc. Worried sick over it.

Since moving to Japan, where she now hears and uses more Japanese than English, her stuttering and word repetition just went away (both in English and Japanese), without any therapy or a whole lot of correction.

It's an anecdote, of course. Do get it checked out if it persists, but remember that stuttering can go away and can be just a phase.