Stuttering is another problem that can surface between the ages of 2 and 4 years. This repetition of sounds, syllables, words, or phrases affects about 1 out of 20 preschoolers and is three times more common in boys than in girls. Usually, the problem is a temporary one, the result of the mind's racing faster than the child can form words, and goes away on its own in a few months.
Don't correct a child's stammering or difficulty in forming words; some experts believe that doing so repeatedly will only make a child tense and exacerbate the problem -- even to the point of turning a preschooler's temporary stammer into a lifelong stutter. Insecurity fuels stuttering. If your child has a stammer, praise him for all the activities that he's good at, and don't draw attention to his speech. Don't use labels, and above all, avoid showing-by words or your facial expression -- that you're worried about the problem. If your child's stutter is severe, or if it is accompanied by grimacing or facial tics, call your pediatrician for a referral to a speech and language specialist.
Other, albeit more subtle, problems with language can arise when children grow up in homes where there is little conversation between parents and among parents and children. A child's resulting inability to use words to express herself can affect her performance in school, especially in writing.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.