Since 3rd quarter of 2008, I was a bit worried when I noticed that Benedict is slurring his speech and he is stuttering. Since I have read somewhere that this is hereditary and for a fact that my hubby at times also would stutter, I have brought this concern to his pedia. The ever-attentive and maternal, Dra. Lucile suggested that for our peace of mind, we let a Developmental Psychologist examine him.
We were waiting since November for a slot and we're lucky to get a schedule for January 6. I've heard that in Manila, the waiting list would take about a year.
At 4pm on the dot we were ushered in by the kind secretary of Dra. Annah, after filling in a page of information/background sheet.
As expected, Benedict was shy and anxious. The pretty and soft-spoken Dra. Annah talked to us for a while, gathering as much information as she could regarding our parenting style and method of child-rearing. She inquired at length about how Benedict is behaving at home.
Then came the actual examination...which is actually just a series of tinkering of different playthings (blocks, puzzles) so the doctor can observe Benedict and his behavior. At first, Benedict didnt actually do as he is told to sit on the patient's chair (a monobloc with a Mickey Mouse print), instead he pointed it out to the doctor. But when he did not show resistance when I lifted him to sit on it, I took it as a cue for my exit. So, Marlon & I waited in the doctor's room while Dra. Annah & Benedict "played". Occassionally hearing my little one's quips.
After about an hour and a half of that activity, the door to the examination room was opened by the little hands of my Benedict. And he was out beaming at me with a burst of sunlight and an energetic hop. He clearly enjoyed their session.
And Marlon and I couldn't have been happier when Doc Annah gave us her observations.
This is supposedly confidential...but I am just so proud a mom to keep it to myself!
CURRENT DEVELOPMENTAL PROFILE:
Chronologic Age: 2 years and 4 months
Tool Used: Griffith's Mental Development Scale
- Locomotor: 2 years and 6 months
- Eye-Hand Coordination: 2 years and 10 months
- Hearing and Speech/Language: 2 years and 10 months
- Personal and Social: 2 years and 4 months
- Performance/Problem-Solving Skills: 3 years and 8 months
Benedict is a pleasant but shy boy. It took a while before he warmed up to the examiner and cooperated in the structured activities. He has good sitting skill, focus and attention span. He has good meaningful eye contact with good imitations skill.
He performed very well in non-verbal problem solving scale with above-average performance. His communication skill is at par with his age but there are immature articulations and dysfluency, which are still acceptable for his age.
Above average performance with stuttering
Benedict is a smart and intelligent boy who presents with stuttering. Stuttering is an involuntary repitition, prolongation or blockage of a word. The child's risk for beginning to stuttering increases from his 2nd until his 4th birthday, then decreases gradually until about the age of 12. It gradualy begins during the period when a child is acquiring language at a rapid rate and the risk is 3-5x greater if there is a family history of stuttering.
- Listen patiently to what he is saying, not how he said it.
- Allow your child to complete his thoughts without interruptions.
- Avoid filling in or speaking your child's thoughts or ideas.
- Spend at least 30 minutes each day talking with your child in an unhurried, very relaxed manner.
- Limit his exposure to tv and encourage him to engage in manipulative activities.
- Continue his playschool so that he can socialize with other children.
For developmental review on September 16, 2009 at 4pm.
Dr. Annah Rebecca Valmores-Doroja, MD,DPPS, FPSDBP
Fellow, Philippine Society for developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Diplomate, Philippine Pediatric Society
Although initially, we are a bit worried about Benedict's case of stuttering, we are now pacified with the thought that there is no hidden implication/ailment for stuttering inividuals (thank heavens!) and I am particularly assured by the kind Dr. Annah that there is no truth to the study linking stuttering to heart ailment, inspite of it being an issue in the 1970's.
Oh well, I guess this is more of a blessing in disguise bec. we have just discovered that we have indeed a smart little fellow for a son. And we are somewhat humbled that God has gifted us with a smarter than usual little boy, but at the same time we are also challenged to become true nurturers of his God-given gifts and talents.
Indeed, it's true that to those whom God has blessed more, much more is also expected in return. May we prove worthy of this task assigned to us from heaven.