Stuttering is an interruption of the normal flow of speech, which takes on many different patterns. Commonly, it involves either saying a string of repeated sounds or making abnormal pauses during speech. In early childhood, stuttering is sometimes part of normal speech development. In fact, about 5% of all young children go through a brief period of stuttering when they are learning to talk. Stuttering typically is first noticed between the ages of 2 and 5. It usually goes away on its own within a matter of months. In a small number of children (around 1%), stuttering continues and may get worse. Boys are more likely to stutter than girls.
In addition, normal problems with fluency tend to come and go, or happen only at certain times (such as when a child is tired or excited), but true stuttering is present most of the time. Once a child begins to stutter, he or she may feel embarrassed, self-conscious or anxious when asked to speak. The child may find it hard to socialize with friends and also may intentionally avoid situations where talking is expected, such as telephone calls, classroom discussions and school plays. Somewhat unexpectedly, many children who stutter have no problem when they sing.
We evaluated 103 cases of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) encountered in 99 children (two developed the disease twice and one, three times) treated in the northern district of Hokkaido (Kamikawa and Soya sub prefecture) from April 2000 until March 2010, before the introduction of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. The main diseases were as follows: pneumonia, 54 cases (52.9%); occult bacteremia, 34 cases (33.3%); meningitis, five cases (4.9%).