Friday, February 20, 1998 at 00:39:32
My eight year old son, as his teacher complains, "hums" between words. I have no problem with this and have noticed that as his vocabulary enlarges his need to "hum" decreases. If he feels stressed in a conversation he will "hum" with more frequency, yet it never occurs in conversations with his siblings.
I'm going to pass your information on to the school in the hopes of ending the arguement of whether or not he should be seeing a speech therapist. (I am against it. I feel he'll outgrow it when he is ready.)
I think your view that he will outgrow the need to 'hum' is well-founded. What little I have studied of disfluency in children (my emphasis is more on linguistics than pathology) suggests that this is a stage that most children go through at some time or another (like almost every other apparent 'abnormality'). Though I am not a speech pathologist, I would suggest that unless the 'humming' begins to affect his ability to communicate--either by preventing message transfer or by a growing fear of speaking--there is not much to worry about.
If you need an expert opinion on this why not try a web search along the following keywords: "disfluency", "stuttering/stammering", "speech disorders in children", and of course, "filled pauses".
This site is
maintained by Ralph L. Rose