Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Basic Information on Stuttering-Preschool Review

HI all-
Thanks for reading my blog. I have been asked several questions by parents of preschoolers who stutter. Some basic facts (which can also be looked up on my website www.allislandspeech.com, www.westutter.org and www.stutteringhelp.org)

More boys stutter than girls
There is often a genetic component
Approx. 75-80% will stop stuttering before age 3
Stuttering for more than 5 months is a risk factor
Presence of struggle and awareness is a risk factor
Presence of the Schwa vowel is a risk factor (ex: tu instead of two)
Any change in pitch is a risk factor
Although parents DO NOT cause stuttering, there are several ways to modify the environment to facilitate fluent speech

These are only a short list, please consult me or above references for more info. It is VITAL to consult a SLP who specializes in Fluency Disorders. I am presently awaiting board approval for the distinguished title of BRS-FD (Board Recognition Specialist in Fluency Disorders). I have read in excess of 100 hours of cont. education related to fluency, observed specialists in the field, been mentored by a terrific SLP, Dr. Donna Cooperman, who is an ASHA Fellow. The requirements are rigorous. Also, I stutter myself and am recovering. Please don't wait if you suspect your child is stuttering.

An example:
For the first time in 17 years, I received an early intervention referral through the department of Health. This was a 2 year 6 month old little boy struggling to speak. He stuttered so severely from approximately the age of 2. Stuttering ran in the family. He was initially denied EI services as EI deals mainly with delayed language. This family fought for the service and got it. It has been wonderful. We have all worked to modify the environment and employ a few other strategies. In two months, he is still stuttering, but with MUCH LESS severity. He is not struggling as much and saying what he wants. So nice to see!

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