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Child having stammering, stresses the first syllable of words, waits and then talks. Has just started speaking in sentences. Normal?

I m Amali Precila....My daughter Amanda Patrizzi just turned 2 yrs old on June 2 , 2012. She started speaking connecting two three words and form sentences.. but suddenly she stammers to start a word...she stresses the first syllable of words, waits and then talks... is this a real problem ?should i take this serious and take her to any speech therapist? or is it normal? pls guide me doctor... what are the remedies for making it norma?
Fri, 22 Jun 2012
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Psychiatrist 's  Response
Hi Amali Precila,
Welcome to Healthcare Magic and thanks for your question.

Stammering for temporary periods is not at all uncommon among pre-schoolers. This is because this is a crucial age for speech and language development and many children between the age of 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 years stammer temporarily. This is called developmental stammering. While most stammering is outgrown, rarely some can persist through adulthood.

Now, there is no definite way to say if a stammer will become permanent, but there are a few indicators for that:
1) family history of stammering
2) persistent stammering for more than 6 months
3) late-onset of stammering (usually after 3 1/2 years)
4) co-existence of other language and speech deficits
5) boys have a 3 to 4 times higher likelihood than girls

Generally, we advice that you don't have to be too concerned if the stammering is mild, if it does not persist for more than 6 months or it does not get worse with time. I think you need not worry too much about Amanda's stammering right now and can just wait & observe.

All the best.

- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
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