Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Here we go again

Boy1 started speaking early in both languages. At about 3, he spoke both languages very well. And we were totally surprised when he started to stutter, about 2 months after Boy2 was born. At the time we consulted our parenting books, most of which said that many children have a stammering phase between 3 and 4 and that it usually passes. So we waited. It got worse, much worse, and then, slowly went away. Mostly. I have an aquaintance who is a speech therapist (she's bilingual and her expertise is stuttering) and after spending an afternoon at the park with us, she recommended that we take him to see a speech therapist. Which we did. He confirmed a stutter (though light) and they have spent 30 minutes together weekly for the past year. Boy1's stutter is long gone, and more recently they've been working on some pronunciation issues, which have also been resolved. His last session was last week.

From my aquaintance I have learned a few things about stuttering. One of which is that it is much more common amongst bilingual children than their monolingual coutnerparts. They don't really know why, but most assume that the constant switching from one language to the next along with the already established linguistic and cognitive stages of childhood development are the perfect cocktail for developing a stutter.

Two weeks ago, just one week before Boy1 finished his sessions, Boy2 started to stammer. Usually on the first word of a sentence, or at least the first word of a new idea. When I went to pick Boy1 up from his session last week, I mentioned it to Mr. B. He smiled and said, great timing, I'll keep the slot open, although you never know, it may go away on it's own, it's not a real stutter at this point. Wait and see.

Where have I heard that before?


Bud said...

The Stuttering Foundation of America has a brochure for bilingual families on their web page at www.stutteringhelp.org that you might find helpful. Click on "brochures for all ages" on the left side of the home page to find the page of downloadable brochures. You might find some other information that is helpful, too.

beth said...

I know nothing about bilignual families - but I could only assume that switching from one language to the next must have a road block or two - but in the end it will work out perfectly and your children will have a huge head start with communication and language.

Lorraine said...

That speech therapist has your number.

charlie said...

nicole - you might wish to check amy's blog. i paid her large amounts of money and she has deigned to scribble something as per your instruction to me. am i now forgiven? is my debt paid? i can't help coming from that island.

Grish said...

There's not enough room in the comment section to tell you all of my personal experiances in stuttering but I'm sure one way or another it'll work out...:)

Nicole said...

bud - Thank you very much.

beth - I know, it's just a bumpy road to get ther sometimes.

lorraine - actually, our public medical insurance here covers all speech therapy for children. You gotta love the French.

CBW - You've never not been forgiven and yet, inexplicably, your debt will never be paid. c'est comme ca mon ami.

grish - maybe you should post about it? only if you feel like it though.

charlie said...

how inexplicable! how encroyable! i am nonplussed, and yet, and yet... not.

Grish said...

Nah, but I will say that a good therapist is worth their weight in gold while a bad therapist does more harm than good...:)