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.
According to some experts, this is because speaking and singing often come from opposite sides of the brain, especially in right-handed people. Although episodes of stuttering speech are usually easy to recognize, a diagnosis of true stuttering should always be made by a professional. If you are concerned that your child seems to be stuttering, talk with your child's doctor. Occasionally, the doctor may refer you to a speech-language pathologist for further evaluation. As part of your child's evaluation, the speech-language pathologist usually will ask questions about your child's history, including development, behavior and school performance.
The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) has been available since 1977 and is used mainly for adults over 65 and those with certain chronic illnesses such as diabetes or pulmonary disease. Only one dose is needed unless it is given prior to age 65. When a second dose is needed, it should be given at least 5 years after the first dose. The PPV is not effective in children less than 2 years old.