- Prolongation of sounds where the child holds a sound too long, for example “It’s mmmmmine”
- Numerous repetitions of sounds or words
- A combination of different types of dysfluencies on one word (repeating and prolonging)
- Fears and avoidance of speech
If the problem is present for six months and if it becomes more consistent, it is definitely time to consult a speech-language pathologist who specializes in stuttering.
As a child who stutters grows older, he becomes aware of how his way of speaking differs from others and starts to experience more of the emotional ramifications of the disorder. He may see that others don’t have a hard time speaking. Other children most certainly point out the differences, either politely, “Why do you repeat your words like that?” or in a teasing manner. Feeling different from peers influences the child's self-concept and it is crucial that he not suffer from feeling like there is something wrong with him.
In the case of Adam, he did not get help early enough to avoid the pain and sting of being teased. He learned by other’s reactions to him that there was something “wrong” with him and he even started to believe that he was to blame for his stuttering.
In seeking early intervention, there are certain things a parent should expect from the consultation:
- Keeping a journal about what situations seem to increase or decrease stuttering, variations in the time of day or environment, and any other things that you question