Blogzine is more than a digital magazine that puts brands and collections in the spotlight. You can also find special stories at times here. Like this column by Nadia about her stuttering daughter Nora.
In 2013, our daughter Nora was born. A perfectly healthy girl with a temperamental character. According to the statistics, she was on schedule with her motor and physical development. Only talking did not happen. She made sounds and said words but she did not make sentences. Not every child is equally fast in his/her language development so there was no reason to worry. However, in the first year of nursery school, we and the teacher noticed that our daughter often got stuck on a word. The suspicions that Nora had a stutter were soon confirmed by the stutter therapist.
The fear of being laughed at is always present
Her hobby is talking
Nora has a strong will. Above all, she knows what she does not want. As a toddler, she was mainly a cheerful girl with an occasional fit of anger when we didn’t understand her properly. For the rest she is a creative girl with a lot of imagination. She loves to sing and dance and she is in love with talking. If you ask Nora what her hobbies are, the answer is: drawing, reading, singing and talking. But it is not so obvious that she is a talker. People who stutter often only say the essentials because they are afraid to stutter. Afraid of the reaction of other people. The fear of being laughed at is always present. Afraid of not being “normal”.
What does it mean?
When Nora could not pronounce her words fluently, the teacher of the first kindergarten class referred us to a stutter therapist. We ended up with a sweet lady with a heart for children. We did not really know what stuttering meant. Of course, we had heard of it before. The stutter therapist taught us parents about the three types of stuttering that exist (prolongation, repetition, blocking). But above all, she taught us how to deal with stuttering. We were taught what a safe environment is for a child who stutters. The aim of the therapy is that Nora continues to enjoy talking and especially does not stop talking because of shame or fright.
Stuttering can disappear
The hope that the stuttering would disappear by itself was still very much present during the first years. Not for ourselves, but for our little girl. It is not always easy to make friends at school. Let alone finding a job later with a speech impediment. We live in a world where you have to react quickly and uninhibitedly or you don’t count. Reacting quickly is obviously not easy when you want to say a sentence but the word doesn’t come out smoothly. Today we realise that Nora’s stuttering will not just disappear.
This hard fact has also become clear to Nora recently and because of this she can sometimes be very unhappy. Why do I have to be the one to stutter, she asked recently. And she sometimes feels all alone in the world, then my motherly heart breaks. She knows she can come to me for everything. But she also realises that I don’t know how it feels to stutter. When she has a blockage, the air in her throat is cut off for a moment. It feels like it lasts for minutes while in reality it is only a fraction of a second.
One day the frequency is high, sky-high. The other day, if you listen carefully, you can hear a soft prolongation of some words but otherwise she talks very smoothly. One day is clearly not the other. The reason why one moment the frequency is higher than the next is not always clear. The most important triggers for Nora’s stuttering are fatigue, developmental delays and new experiences.
Let them finish
Do I like my daughter less because she stutters? No. Do I like her more because of the stutter? Maybe I do. I think we have created a closer bond. The stutter therapy made me look at our family in a different way. It’s important to let someone who stutters speak, but isn’t that important with every child? Admittedly, I don’t have the same amount of time for our family every day or every moment. When our little girl comes to tell a story, I make time and listen carefully. Not because she stutters. But because she is my little girl discovering the world and because everyone deserves attention. Nora’s view of the world is so fantastic and special, with or without a stutter.
“My wish is that Nora remains a chatterbox”
My wish is that Nora remains a chatterbox, that she is resilient enough to continue to stand up for herself because that is what she has to do day in and day out. And that above all she knows that her mum and dad love her for who she is. That we are proud of her for being such a courageous chatterbox but also for having a lively creative mind. Nora is more than just a stutterer. And she should never forget that.
Do you recognise yourself in this story of Nadia and her daughter Nora? How do you deal with your child who stutters? Or does your child have a different challenge? Would you like to write about this and share it online? Please let us know. Who knows, you might soon see your story on Blogzine.be!