Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Low Birth Weight?

I was reading an older post on The Stuttering Brain Blog this morning about a study that showed there was a correlation between low-birth rate and stuttering...unless I read it wrong, the study shows strong evidence that low birth weight can result in a 2-3 times greater risk for stuttering. Tom summarizes one point here:

"There is now clear empirical evidence that children in the lowest ranges of birth weight are twice to three times more likely to develop stuttering as compared to their normal-weight counterparts."

This is an interesting find for me because I was born 2.5 months premature and weighed less than three pounds at birth. Could that have increased my risk factor for stuttering? According to this study...yes. I was told that I began stuttering at around the age of three and that it appeared after I was taken from my mother and was sent to live with my grandmother. I was told I was so traumatized that I stopped talking altogether for about a month and then when I began talking again during therapy with a child psychologist, I had a severe stutter. Over the years, I have read that some people stutter because of a traumatic event. Sometimes people get into a car wreck and survive with a stutter. Because of those stories, I always just assumed the traumatic childhood event was the cause of my stutter.

This new study doesn't change my mind about that. The study just makes me believe that because of my low birth weight, perhaps I was already predisposed to stutter and the traumatic event just triggered it. I'm not a PhD like Tom, so I can't speak intelligently about such things. But, it's one idea.

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