Yes He Stutters

Yes He Stutters, And It’s Ok


 I wrote previously about Paul and his ADHD. 

Now I want to write about his twin brother Michael’s speech impediment. Michael struggles with stuttering. 

When It All Began

I noticed his stuttering at a young age and took him to a speech pathologist at age 3. They said he was at the age that he could go either way and that they thought he would outgrow it. 

He did not outgrow it and it progressively got worse. So in Kindergarten we started the process of having him evaluated to receive speech services through the school system. Let me tell you, that is a very long process. Luckily his kindergarten teacher’s daughter was a speech pathologist and so she asked her for some things to look for and ways to help. After filing out the paperwork it takes about 6 weeks to get the process started. Then another few weeks of observations. Unfortunately this all happened near the end of the school year so we had to wait until first grade to pick back and get started.

He finally got approved for the services. He would go twice a week to speech class at the school. His speech teacher at that time ended up retiring at the end of the school year, and we got a new teacher during second grade. She was amazing. Then Covid hit. He was able to finally get services via zoom once a week, but this took a few weeks to get going. Then that teacher left at the end of that school year to move to Australia. He was super sad about that. Now comes the third speech teacher. Remember earlier I said his Kindergarten teacher’s daughter was a speech pathologist. That’s his new teacher. She already knew about him and the transition was smooth. She is wonderful with him. He’s had such improvement over the years. He got his service down to once a week. And back in April he told her he didn’t think he needed services anymore. He still does need them, but he wasn’t wanting to miss out on things during class time. So she decided she would only see him once every two weeks and would pop in during his class and observe him.

His confidence is outstanding

I will say all of these teachers have complimented on how confident he is. He has never let it bother him that he stutters. As he has gotten older he gets more frustrated when he can’t say what he wants. But we just remind him to use a strategy that he has learned and he is able to speak more fluently. The kids at the school have been great too. He has had some ask him why he speaks like that. And he just tells them he has a stutter. Only a few have made fun of him. And we did have one substitute say something to him because she thought he was just being funny. And the entire class came to his defense. I was a little angry about that incident, but he begged me not to say anything.

He will start sixth grade next school year and will still receive speech services. My hope is that he eventually does over come it and he won’t need services the entire time he is in school.

stuttering quote

Helpful Tips

If you ever meet someone who stutters just look the them in the eye and keep a relaxed body. Never tell a person to slow down. It can make it worse. Don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat it. I have to do that a lot with Michael because by the time he finishes the sentences I can’t remember what he was saying.

I’ve had several parents get embarrassed because their kid asked Michael what was wrong with him. Don’t be embarrassed. It’s ok. Kids are curious. They don’t mean any harm. Because Michael is so confident he will answer their questions. He doesn’t see it as something is wrong with him. He just knows he can’t get words out right sometimes. It opens up a great conversation to have with them about how some people are different than them, but that doesn’t make them any less. Talk to them about inclusion. It’s these little things that will help make the world better.

Keepin’ it real,

Magan Outlaw

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