Monday, November 09, 2009

Three Things

Here are two Addy issues that have me a little concerned:

1) Her frequent stammering, which used to seem normal in the context of toddler-speak, seems to be getting more pronounced the older she gets and the more articulate her vocabulary and pronunciation become. What does one DO about this? Ignore it entirely? Assume she'll grow out of it? Speech therapy? I've literally never known anyone who dealt with this, so I am bewildered.

2) Her complete confusion regarding gender-specific pronouns, i.e. he/she, him/her, his/hers. She uses them interchangeably, saying things such as, "He's so excited! Her mommy got him a new toy!" all presumably about the same child, whose identity is now a total MYSTERY. I imagine there's not much to be done other than regular, gentle correction when she's gets things mixed up, but is this normal at her age? (Does she actually think we're all hermaphrodites?)

Here is an Addy thing that is awesome:

1) She totally gets the concept that mammals grow in their mom's bellies before they are born, and she recognizes a pregnant human belly immediately. I still haven't explained how the baby gets OUT, however, and she doesn't seem concerned by this little detail just yet. Or rather, she is not concerned about it because she has apparently invented her own version of birth which she finds completely legitimate. She will have her mommy horse just sort of... crouch, I guess is the word, over the baby, and announce to us that the baby horse is still in its mama's belly, but it is "almost ready!" Then she'll count to some arbitrary number, say, seventeen, yell, "Ta da!" and have her mommy horse jump off the baby. "The baby is born!" she announces grandly. I don't have the heart to disillusion her just yet. We'll save the special, magical discussion of cervixes and dilating and placenta expulsion for some other date. (I kinda like her version better, anyways.)


Hillary said...

I want to give birth to The Lad Addy's way. I especially like the "Ta-da!" part. Birth is like a really good magic trick.

As for the other issues, I got nothing. (Though, I don't think the pronoun thing is cause for concern just yet. English is a very tricky language.)

Melio (MelissaInk) said...

My 4 year old and many of his friends have the pronoun issue as well. I think it's pretty normal. I just correct him and move on. No big deal.

My friend's son stutters quite badly. It seemed to peak around 4 1/2 and has since (he's about 5 1/2 now) let up a bit. His doctors say he will outgrow it. She did take him to get a speech evaluation and they said he didn't qualify (but these same people passed my kid by a point and said he didn't qualify, so I tend to think they are lazy jerks). Anyway, it won't hurt anything to get her tested.

d e v a n said...

Stuttering - I'd ignore it except to bring it up to the pediatrician and see what they say. I have a feeling it's normal though.

Pronouns - d is 4.5 and still calls most everyone he or him. I just assume it's from living in a male dominated household, but he sometimes uses the interchangeably too. I just correct and move on.

I love her birth version! LOL

Jess said...

I think the gender pronoun thing is probably normal. Not having kids myself, I don't know, but I imagine this is something she'll get a better grasp of as she gets older. I remember when I was five that I was CONVINCED that this boy in my class was really a girl because he had long hair. Understanding of gender at that age is very tenuous, and pronouns are complicated enough as it is.

As far as the stammering... have you asked your pediatrician? No idea if this is cause for concern or not.

Erica said...

Maddie does the same thing with pronouns! She even takes it a step further and mixes up "sir" and "ma'am." I do what you do and gently correct her. I figure she'll get it eventually, right?

As far as the stammering goes, I'd talk to your pediatrician about having Addy evaluated by a speech therapist. They can tell you for sure if it's SOMETHING or just something she'll grow out of.

Anonymous said...

This link has a lot of good information regarding stammering

Katy said...

Like everyone here, I tend to think of stammering as something that would be addressed by a speech therapist. I'd check with your ped, but since I'm an annoying, over-bearing type, I'd also just call up a speech therapist if I could find one and get their opinion.

The next time I have a baby I think I might yell "ta-da." It's is pretty freakin' magical.

Erin said...

Dang that girl is FUNNY.

I've heard that stammering or stuttering is not a worry until after age 5 or 6, or only if it truly interfere's with a child's communication (i.e., they choose to NOT speak because of it, or they frequently give up mid-sentence).

Jenni said...

It is completely normal for a child to mix up gender pronouns. They will pick it up, just make sure that you are using them correctly and every once in a while point out to her, "Daddy is a boy so we say he, mommy is a girl so we say she." Just to reinforce it a bit.

The stuttering thing, mention it to the pediatrician and he may refer to a specialist. If not, go to the school district and get a screening. If a child is over three, the schools are required to screen them (they'll tell you they aren't or they'll ignore you hoping you go away, just keep pushing through).

Stuttering will generally go away, but sometimes there is something more that needs to be done. Better to have her screened and them say, "no, there's nothing wrong." than to wait for a few years to know that you could have been working on this for years and it could have been solved a while ago.

(FYI, I am a preschool teacher so I am talking from knowledge and not JUST experience; although both knowledge and experience best.)

Tracy said...

I'd like to have her birth version, too. Pretty please.

Swistle said...

When one of my kids had articulation delays, the pediatrician referred me to the Early Intervention people. He said I didn't need a referral, though---they are free to anyone who's worried about their child's development. Around here I often see it in the paper or on community bulletin boards, saying that Early Intervention will be doing Child Checks on such and such a day at such and such a location---but when the pediatrician referred us, a TEAM came to our HOUSE. It was so weird and neat to watch! They gave him a whole bunch of interesting tests. Then they tell you if things are outside of normal, and they tell you what to do next.

The twins are 4, and one of them gets all the pronouns right, and the other one is totally random with them (despite being consistently corrected by the other twin).

Swistle said...

P.s. Early Intervention goes by different names in different areas, but it's through the school system, so I think if you don't see anything on the community bulletin boards you could call the local elementary school and ask.

Mommy Daisy said...

Well, everyone has already answered your concerns so well. The gender thing is normal. Zachariah only did it for a short while, but it's nothing to be concerned about. The speech thing...if it doesn't seem too horrible just mention it to your pediatrician next time you're there. If not, she'll be in school soon and if it's still a problem then, they will address it.

Marie Green said...

The stuttering: my girls have all three done this, my youngest is in the midst of it right now. Sometimes she speaks fine, other times I compose a novel or two in my head while I wait for her to finish her sentence.

I think it's fairly common and normal to stutter/stammer, especially as the vocabulary grows. Their little brains are working faster than their mouths can spit the words out.

As always, however, if your mama instincts are going off, it can't hurt to get it checked out. Often speech therapy is covered by the school district and is more effective the earlier you start...

Also, her way of giving birth sounds way more lovely than my way. Addie, FTW!

Jen @ Rolling Through Looneyville said...

addy is super cute :) bean used to think babies were given out at the hospital but has graduated to thinking they come from a hole in your belly. (in my case, I guess she's right. something ok with c-sections. heh.)

my nephew consistantly mixes up "he" and "him" or "she" and "her". for instance, "aw, her is so cute!" drives me kind of batty. but my SIL says the doc said, (hows that for hearsay?) it's normal and he'll get it eventually. like someone else said, English is a wacked out, complicated language.

as for the stuttering? no idea. I'm currently trying to figure out when kids are supposed to master the pronounciation of "r" and when I should call a speech path.

addy's a smart cookie... I'm betting it's her brain on hyperspeed and her mouth trying to catch up.

Marcella said...

My oldest had such a problem with fluencey (PC word for stutter) when he was 3 that he had a speech evaltuation at Scottish Rite. They said he would definitley need extensive speech therapy and they couldn't accomidate him. We waited to get him into private speech therapy in the fall. Then he went from barely getting a sentance out to blathering along as if there had never been a problem in a matter of 2 wks. Seriously, 2 wks. It was weird and defied logic. My ped thinks it was stress induced. Now he speaks clearly but if he's stressed out he does tend to regress a little.

At any rate I think you should have a formula evaluation if it seems more than the occassional getting stuck on a word. In most states you can qualify for the special school district once they turn 3 or via some other organization like Scottish Rite. All of which are free.

I hope the pronouns aren't a big deal b/c I still do that, especially with my kids. I also call my kids by each other's names until I land on the right one lol.

I like the ta-da. Perfect. When Raph questions child birth we just tell him God puts the baby in and the doctor takes it out. done and done.