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Bit angry…

June 21, 2012

So, about 4 months ago, no1 child’s key worker at nursery commented that he may have a stammer.  Whilst i had noticed that he did fumble over words, i had been putting it down to natural development, and duly ignored it.  But, since she had now pointed it out to me i, obviously, went online and researched ‘stammering’.  Whereupon i discovered that if anyone said anything about it, you should take the child to a speech and language therapist, as they can sort things out relatively easily, as long as it’s caught early enough.  So i made an appointment, though there was a 3 month or so waiting list.  Well, we had the appointment yesterday.  They separate you, so my beautiful baby boy went into one room to ‘play’ with a therapist and i was taken into a different room to talk with another.  I felt somewhat fraudulent, as i still didn’t really believe that he had a stammer, but when your kids being assessed in the other room, you get nervous about being too flippant.  However, we had a good chat, and then the therapists conferred.  And, luckily i was proved right.  He has a wonderful, above average vocabulary.  Holds conversations brilliantly, has great social skills and apparently was generally a pleasure to play with (all of which i know!!!).  Whilst they did say that he had a bit of ‘disfluency’, this was generally caused by over-excitedness and wanting to get out the best sentences that he could, and also because his imagination is so wild that it takes time for him to get the right words to describe what he wants to say – and because he has so many words at his disposal this can take a bit longer, so he repeats words to buy time.  All of which they thought was natural and fluid, and nothing to be particularly concerned about.

However, before i took him to the appointment i had asked his key worker to observe again and report back to me, and in front of him, she started talking about ‘his stammer’, which riled me no end.  All of the literature that i’ve read, and the therapists, have explained that if you stigmatise a child with a stammer, then it is much more likely that one will develop.  His key worker’s demeanour felt to me like she had already done this, and i am pretty concerned about how they are handling this at nursery.  As, if they are interrupting him, or being impatient with him, then they will compound what is currently not a massive problem, and make it one.  I am also really annoyed that rather than commenting on his excellent language skills (and considering he is the youngest in his year, this surely should be taken into consideration), they have honed in on a ‘problem’.  I had words with her this morning.  Am going to take it up with her boss this afternoon.  Grrrrrr.  Anyway, rant over.

I think that i am particularly sensitive about this, or nervous rather, as he starts school in September.  He will be the youngest in his year, and due (in large part probably) to his clubfeet, he is not the most physically confident child there is, which i know, for boys in particular, can be an issue.  And, at this age, there is such a gaping difference between kids of even 6 months apart, let alone a year, that i am worried he won’t flourish.  However, his social and language skills (aside from the disfluency), are above average, and that should get him through.  So to be labelled a stammerer, at this point, would possibly make life very difficult for him as then he’d be seen as behind not just physically, but socially too.  Oh my poor wee lamb!!!  He’s such a gregarious, charming and sensitive soul…my heart aches just thinking about him…

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 21, 2012 12:43 pm

    How frustrating and annoying but, just wondering, is there any thoughts of holding him back a year. C was very similar – smart, good talker and could read a fair bit before starting school, and continued to hold her own academically but was also one of the youngest in her class. The social aspect was a problem for a long time – years in fact. As you say, the difference of six months is huge at this age, and nine months? Forgetaboudit. I feel it is always better to be on the older end – also boys at the older end of the scale in a class tend to be hugely more likely to make sports teams and the thinking is that it is simply to do with size, they have that six to nine months headstart on their younger class mates. They found that the vast majority of boys in sports were born in the second half of the academic year. Worth thinking about – xxx

    • June 22, 2012 9:30 am

      Oh Claire, i wish that there were. All i can do is take him out of this reception year, but, when he goes back in, it will be with the same year group. That i don’t want to do, as he’ll miss out on making friends and ‘learning through play’ that they’ll be doing this year…so just going to have to grin and bear it. Or homeschool…!!! x

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