We were visiting some new friends and before long the kids joined us. The elder child was quite precocious for his age. he answered all our questions with an eager confidence and took part in the conversation. It didn’t take us long to notice that the younger boy was relatively quiet. He seldom spoke and when he did it was with a pronounced stutter.

The parents were doing their bit to encourage him, to make him feel involved and part of the conversation but at times their impatience showed. They were impatient not because they were angry but they were anxious- about his future. They worried if the stutter would get worse and affect his life adversely.

This happened a week or so ago and it was natural that an article in the New York Times caught my attention. I read that stuttering affects about 5 % of children and usually begins between the ages of 2 and 6. I passed on the article to the boy’s parents because they must realize for the boy’s benefit more than theirs that stuttering is not the end of the world.