22 answers

Sudden Stuttering

My 2.5yr old son, who is very articulate, has suddenly started to stutter. The problem exists mainly in the IIII and What What What. He only repeats full words not specific sounds. He has never had a problem articulating any words. He can even pronounce R's and L's. His vocabulary is that of about a 5 or 6 yr old and he has been saying words since he was 6mths. I am worried about the sudden onset of the stuttering. I have read this can be behavioral, or medical. I am making an appointment with his physician next week, and plan to have his hearing checked as well. The odd thing is when I ask him to repeat what he is saying properly or ask him to slow down and start over, the stuttering is not there. I am praying this is a phase, but having studied problems such as this I am just a little worried.
Thank you in advance for your input!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you for all of your responses. We are watching our DS closely after an examination with a SLP. We are going back to check again in 6mths for a follow-up. After evaluating his specific stuttering pattern and language level, she thinks it is just a phase. We will see. Thank you for all of your wonderful responses.

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I'm not a doctor or anything, but my 3 year old son does this sometimes, I think it may be that he just has so much to say and can't get it all out as fast as he would like.

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Hello T.,
I found this site about stuttering. I don't know much about it, but people I have asked said it could be any number of things. Just some suggestions. http://www.stutteringhelp.org/Default.aspx?tabid=17
As for adopting, bless you. I am a birthmother and applaude you in your desire to adopt. Please, if I can, make a suggestion. Whatever you should promise, please be sincere and follow through to the best of your ability. As a birthmother, I hung on every word they told me, they didn't follow through and it was very disheartening since I kept my promises to them. Adoption can be a wonderful thing. I do pray that your special child comes and everything works out for you all. I mean no disrepsect at all. I hope you know that. If you need anything or have any questions, I will be glad to answer them to help you. I am so excited for you. This is so awesome!
W. from Indiana

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T., Just like your son my granddaughter started the stuttering with the I's and the what's when she was around three. It floored me because she also is so articulate. I talked to her pre-school teacher and she assured me it is usually just a phase and she should come outof it before she turned four. I can tell you she is now four and a half and she hasn't stuttered in the last six months. She was going through some emotional traumas at the time of the stuttering which could have been the reason but I am so glad she is back to normal. L. R

1 mom found this helpful

I would like to echo many of the other comments and say that my son (who sounds like yours) did the same thing. It may have taken a month or so, but he just stopped doing it.

One important thing no one mentioned is to not make a big deal about it. I would hesitate to see a special doctor or talk to him about it too much (yet). Bright children this age can pick up on a lot and the last thing you want him to do is worry about what he is saying and become upset or self-concious, which can make this much worse and last much longer!

Definitely model to him by slowing down your speech and taking more deep breaths with him when he is struggling. You can tell him that you understand sometimes his words get tangled and it is okay. Then just slow him down without putting too much emphasis on the stuttering.

Hope this helps, and try not too worry to much!!!

1 mom found this helpful

My son did the same thing. Then when his little son was about 2.5, he started doing it as well. I used the same tactic with my grandson that I used with his daddy, which is this:

I got down at eye level (or lifted him up and sat him on the counter in front of me), looked him in the eyes and said softly but firmly, "Breathe. Take three deep breaths with me. One ... (in then out) ... Two (in/out)... Three (in/out). Now; talk slowly and use your words to tell me what you were going to say."
I have to tell you, it worked every time. Another poster here said it: their brains are going a mile a minute and their verbal skills are trying to catch up.
It's a normal phase and he'll outgrow it, but this technique will work in the meantime.



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Hi T.,

Before moving to Wake Forest 9 months ago, I worked as an SLP in the schools (early childhood and elementary). There is a time where stuttering can occur in young children between the ages of 2 or 3 and 5 years. It is noted as a developmental phase. Does he show signs of being frustrated? Is he exhibiting any secodary characteristics (i.e tensing up, eye binks etc) It is great the he is responsive to your cues of slowing down and repeating you. It is a good idea to have his hearing checked. If you are overly concerned, I would make an appointment with a certified speech and languge pathologist. Meeting with your docotr is great, however they are not the experts in the field of communication. The national stuttering foundation is also a great resource. Based on what you have shared and not meeting him, it seems to fit the developmental phase. If you would like to talk more or I can be of any help, please feel comfortable to contact me.

Have a great day.

1 mom found this helpful

This is most likely a phase. My son's friend did it at about the same age. I was very concerned because I know how devastating a speech problem can be, so I asked one of the speech therapists that I work with about it. She said that since it was a sudden onset, it would most likely disappear just as suddenly as it started. Sure enough, a few weeks later,it stopped, although he will still stutter on occasion when he's really excited. My son is about 5 months younger than his friend, and he recently went through the same thing. He stopped stuttering also. It is probably just a phase. I want to say it was only a few weeks that they stuttered but I am not sure, its been a few moinths since it happened. I hope that helps!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi T.,

My daughters did the same thing around that age and they both had been very articulate as well. What's happening is their brains are processing things quicker than they can say them, so they have a lot they are trying to say and it's coming too fast and so they stutter. I would continue to do what you are doing which is having him stop and slow down so that he can figure out exactly what he wants to say. Once he gets in the habit of that the stuttering will go away, at least it did for my girls and they are both well spoken and articulate girls now.

1 mom found this helpful

Their minds work faster than their mouths, and the mouths try to catch up. ( : Toddler and preschoolers do that. Please relax and don't stress yourself or him. He is normal. Don't make it a big issue when it isn't. If he can say it clearly when he catches his breath and slows down, just remind him to catch his breath and slow down. Please don't be critical. He will grow out of it. I know some kids who grow out of it, back into it, and back out of it again. ( :

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