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Anxiety and Stress Disorders (Children)

Stuttering and Anxiety

07/24/2007

Question:

My daughter just turned 3 recently. She has always been afraid of loud noises, sirens and alarms. Two days agocthere was some fire alarm testing in our building and she got very frightened. A day later she started to show signs of stuttering, when earlier, her speech was very normal. Do you think I should take her to a doctor, or will it go away and her speech will become normal again. Please help me,as I am very worried.Thanks

Answer:

Temporary fears are what we term simple phobias that appear and disappear rapidly in early childhood. I would be less concerned about her fears as you describe them and more concerned about her speech. I would watch her speech closely, it could be that she is having trouble hearing or has other problems associated with speech production. I would consult your health care provider regarding whether or when to intervene.

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Response by:

Floyd R Sallee, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati