December 15, 2000
Question from Newark, Delaware, USA:
My six year old son was diagnosed with type�1 diabetes about three weeks ago. He has also been mildly disfluent (will repeat syllables, especially words beginning with vowels) since he was about four years of age. We have been working with a speech pathologist for two months. Her original thought, when the speech was evaluated at age four, was that it was developmental, and would go away as he got older. I am desperately looking for any information at all about a connection between disfluency and diabetes.
No connection to my knowledge at all.
[Editor’s comment: We asked a speech therapist to help with this answer. The following is her reply:
Dysfluent speech is very common in preschool age children, more so in boys than girls. At that young age, as long as there are no secondary characteristics such as struggling, grimacing, or facial twitching occurring with the dysfluencies, it is usually considered developmental and left alone. Most children grow out of it. When the dysfluency persists for years and has a pattern such as the one described (real trouble with words starting with specific vowel sounds), the child should be assessed by a speech-language pathologist. I don’t know of any connection between type 1 diabetes and dysfluency.
I hope this helps, Laura Billetdeaux