Thursday, November 5, 2009


Updated 3/2017-- all links (except to my own posts) removed as many no longer active. and it was easier than checking each one.

My mother who would have turned 75 today had she lived told me many times that I did not begin speaking until I was almost 3 years old.  It turned out, as the story goes, that I was tongue-tied (ankyloglossia).  Apparently, after my frenum was snipped I quickly began speaking normally and was soon called “motor mouth” as they couldn’t shut me up.
The section of the 1908 textbook, A Text-Book of Minor Surgery by Edward Milton Foote, MD on the topic is as follows:
Parents often think their child’s tongue is tied if he does not learn to talk as soon as the average child.  If the tongue can be protruded beyond the incisor teeth it is sufficiently free for all purposes.  If the frenum of the tongue is really short it will pull upon the tip of the tongue and produce a cleft in the tip when an attempt is made to extend the tongue.  If this is the case, the tongue should be lifted and the frenum snipped with scissors.  The reverse end of the surgical instrument called a grooved director is often made with a notch, so that when one uses it to lift the tongue, the frenum may slip into it and be firmly held while the surgeon makes the necessary division.  Backwardness in acquiring speech is, of course, dependent on other causes.
For modern day information on the subject, please, check out the Department of Otolaryngology at Columbia University Medical Center:  Frenulectomy (Tongue-tie surgery)


purplesque said...

You were just playing catch-up! Interesting post.

Jabulani said...

I just can't imagine you being a "motor mouth" :) Maybe you went from speaking to quilting - in the same volume!!

Chrysalis said...

That's interesting. Fireguy was late also (according to Mom) in speaking. Some were afraid of delayed development, but he has an IQ of 133. I think he just waited until he had something to say. (Just joking with you.) The story is true however.