Are you insecure because you stutter? Read on to learn how to overcome insecurities about your stutter.

Don’t Let the Stutter Win: How to Overcome Insecurities About Your Stutter

If you stutter, you are not alone: more than 70 million people worldwide are stutterers. That’s one in every 100. In the US alone, more than 3 million people stutter.

When you stutter, you may avoid social situations because you feel insecure about your speech skills. This insecurity can lead to isolation, is harmful to relationships, and can cause performance issues at school or work.

Are you insecure because you stutter?

Read on to learn how to overcome insecurities about stuttering through facing your fears, seeking support, and getting treatment.

What Causes Stuttering?

Stuttering is a biological and neurological condition. There is no clear cause of stuttering, but most agree that it is caused by one or more of these possible triggers: genetics, child development, neurophysiology, and family dynamics.

Stuttering can run in families, as certain genes are known to cause stuttering.

It is more likely in children with existing language or speech problems or other developmental delays.

People who process language and speech differently seem to stutter more than people who don’t. This can include people who have suffered a stroke or traumatic brain injury.

How to Overcome Insecurities Related to Your Stutter

There are ways to eliminate the embarrassment you feel towards your stuttering disorder. Most intervention is behavioral.

Consider the following techniques when you decide to put your insecurities behind you.

Conquer Your Fear

The first step is to let go of fear. There are several different ways to combat your fear of stuttering.

Don’t Avoid Words

Stop avoiding specific words. If you notice that you stutter on a certain word, you may try to avoid that word in a conversation. This is called blocking. The anxiety that is caused by attempting to think of a different word actually causes you to stutter anyway.

Instead of avoiding the word, embrace it. Practice saying it in private. Getting that sound or word out more often may help you feel more comfortable using it.

Some people who stutter find it helpful to keep a list of words they find difficult. They then refer to this list to practice.

Push Yourself

Public speaking is a stutterer’s worst nightmare. The anxiety alone can stop you in your tracks. What you might not realize is that by pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you will boost your confidence.

This is the first step to overcoming a fear of public speaking, especially with a stutter. If you’re afraid to take the first step, sign up for a public speaking class. There, you can learn tips to make you feel more comfortable.

Showcase Your Skills

Try focusing on things you are good at and thinking less about your stutter. The more confident you are in yourself, the less you will be affected by your stutter. Boosting your self-esteem will reduce your anxiety.

Address It

Get the awkwardness out of the way and just tell the person you’re speaking with that you have a stutter. There is no point in hiding it if the person is going to experience it firsthand. Sometimes humor is the best way to address it, so don’t be afraid to say something silly and add some comic relief.

Build Confidence

As we mentioned earlier, the more confident you are, the less your stutter will bother you. Say a few positive mantras every day to put yourself in the right mindset.

Your mantras don’t have to be complicated. A few words or a short sentence is fine. What is important is that it helps you feel more confident. Slowly, you will improve your self-esteem.

Seek Support

The next step in easing your insecurity over stuttering is to seek support. You can find support through the following methods.

Speak Up

Talk to your loved ones about your insecurities. It can be helpful to reach out to your friends and family and let them know how you’re feeling. This will make the situation easier for you, but it will also help them understand you.

Your friends and family know you well, so they are likely to offer advice you wouldn’t receive elsewhere. Be open and honest with them about what you are experiencing.

Find a Support Group

Surrounding yourself with people who have the same fears can be comforting. After all, no one knows your struggle better than someone who experiences it themselves.

Realizing you are not alone can help you feel less insecure. Look online to find a stuttering support group in your area, or join an online community instead.

Be Social

Find friends who stutter. Having friends who stutter can help you feel less alone. This is especially heartening to children. There are camps and social groups dedicated to connecting those who stutter.

Seek Treatment

Finally, the best way to ease insecurity about stuttering is to seek treatment.

There are a variety of ways to begin addressing your stutter through treatment.

Find a Speech Pathologist

Speech therapy can greatly improve your stutter. They may help you identify reasons why you stutter and recommend techniques to overcome it. This could ultimately reduce the amount of stuttering you suffer from.

Practice at Home

Many people are more comfortable practicing speech in the privacy of their home. There are online resources to teach you how to tackle stuttering at home. These providers use web-based video conferencing technology to connect you to speech therapists all over the world.

Try Behavioral Therapy

While they don’t specialize in speech problems, therapists can still help people who stutter. Often, anxiety and depression can be triggers for stuttering. A behavioral therapist can help you overcome anxieties that contribute to your disorder.

Create an Action Plan

Now that you have a few techniques to try, it’s time to create an action plan to combat your stuttering disorder.

The use of telespeech has been very effective in treating a stutter in both children and adults. We can tailor a program to your needs.

We will provide you with convenient, effective, and secure speech therapy services. Schedule your free consultation online today to discover a new side of speech therapy.

 

7 Easy-To-Follow Tips That Will Help You Stop Stuttering

7 Easy-To-Follow Tips That Will Help You Stop Stuttering

It’s no secret that most people have insecurities. These are simply characteristics of ourselves that we are self-conscious about.

For example, some people are short, while other people hate the color of their hair, while someone else might feel highly insecure about the shape of their nose.

Stuttering is something that often causes embarrassment. Fortunately, there are tips you can practice to stop stuttering. This helps reduce embarrassment and helps to make a person feel more insecure, thus improving their quality of life.

This article takes a look at speech therapy for stuttering. Keep reading to discover insight into how to get rid of stuttering so that you can be a more confident person.

1. Relaxation

When you have a stutter, it tends to make you feel self-conscious about interacting with others, and this typically leads to inner tension. It’s important to keep in mind that this tension you’re experiencing is not your friend. In fact, it will only make things worse.

And yet relaxation is key for freeing both your mind and body. When you’re body is free of tension, this will create a more natural flow of breath, enabling speech to flow more freely as well.

Focusing on relaxing takes helps the mind to not focus on speech, thus reducing self-consciousness regarding your stutter.

Relaxing practices such as mindfulness and meditation can be tremendously beneficial. Meditating is a great way to clear your mind, reduce anxiety and stress, all of which can significantly reduce the tension that leads to speech issues.

2. Articulation

Learning not to stutter can be frustrating because it feels out of your control. And yet it’s actually not a terribly complicated process. One of the most important aspects of improving speech disorders is to learn to manipulate the way you produce sounds.

This is largely accomplished by the way you manipulate your mouth. After all, your mouth is a major part of your speaking mechanism. Articulation exercises help you focus on the muscles of your mouth so that you have greater control over your facial movements, resulting in improved control of the way you speak.

The key is learning to be intentional rather than simply falling into the habit of patterned speech rhythms. We are creatures of habit, after all. Thus we have to break old habits in order to replace them with better habits. Speech habits are no different.

In other words, focusing on correcting your mechanism for the way you make sounds orally, and that’s exactly what will happen.

3. Focus On Your Voice and Breathing

The way you breathe is incredibly important. This is true on many levels. That’s why meditation teaches us to focus on the breath. The seemingly simple act of observing your breathing process has the ability to alter the mind, reduce stress, and provide your mind and body with peace.

Focusing on your breath can also be very helpful in improving the way you speak.

One of the primary impediments to proper speech is shallow breathing coming from the top of your vocal cords. This results in blocks and repetitions in breathing, creating a never-ending cycle that will continue until the cycle is broken.

Concentrate on being as still as you can. Take a deep breath, hold it for a moment, and then slowly release it. You can close your eye if you like, but it isn’t necessary. The key is to consciously relax away from the thoughts that created anxiety. This is incredibly important because your anxiety leads directly to your stutter response.

4. Record Yourself

Most people spend their entire day speaking without giving a thought to how they sound. And yet listening to the sound of your own voice can be extremely educational.

It can also shine a light on things you might never have noticed. This is especially true of people that stutter.

Recording yourself might make you feel uncomfortable, but it’s also a very useful tool. Hearing the sound of your own voice might be startling at first, yet it will show you the patterns of speech that are likely totally unconscious. This allows you to study such patterns and then work to make adjustments.

As you record yourself, keep a diary. Then as you work on your breathing and consciously manipulate the muscles of your throat, mouth, and face to speak differently, you’ll be able to track your progress.

You won’t need any special equipment. In fact, your smartphone is the perfect device for this practice. And you can record yourself any time of day, for a few seconds or a few minutes. Then play it back and study what you hear.

5. Acting

When it comes to ending your stutter, it’s important to keep in mind that there is no miracle cure or magic pill you can take. But there are tools that can be used in order to break the pattern.

Believe it or not, acting is one of them. Acting allows you to become someone without a stuttering problem. This will enable you to step outside yourself so that you can shift your perspective.

Speech therapy is another crucial tool for overcoming your stutter.

6. Put Yourself Into Social Situations

While you might typically avoid social situations because of your stutter, interacting socially is actually a great way to become more comfortable with yourself. Use the tools you’ve been working with to relax and engage people in conversation.

Just remember that withdrawing and avoiding social interactions will only work against you.

7. Find Accountability Partners

You don’t have to go through this alone. Look for good accountability partners. These are people who can offer you support while also pushing you to improve yourself and to put yourself out in the world rather than hiding from it.

A Guide to Tips to Help You Stop Stuttering

Most people take the sound of their voice for granted. But it can be a major source of insecurity for those with a stuffer. Fortunately, these tips for how to stop stuttering can help boost your confidence so that you can live your best life.

Please contact us to schedule a free phone consultation.

Stuttering Facts Vs. Myths: What You Need to Know

Stuttering Facts Vs. Myths: What You Need to Know

Stuttering, like most disorders, is widely misunderstood. Many people imagine that a person who stutters can simply try to slow down or take a deep breath and alleviate their speech problems, at least temporarily.

The issue is more complicated than that, unfortunately. We’re going to discuss a few stuttering facts today, debunking a few myths about stuttering that people tend to internalize.

Our hope is that, after reading this article, you can have a more informed approach to those who have stutters.

Stuttering Facts vs Myths

We’re going to begin by covering some common experiences and symptoms of those who have stutters.

Taking a look at the facts of stuttering before we examine the myths will help to give you some context as to why these myths might be damaging to people who are suffering from a speech disorder.

The Facts

The causes of stuttering are still relatively misunderstood. We don’t know precisely why a person develops the disorder, but most individuals show signs of it before the age of 10.

Genetics may play a part, seeing as stutters do tend to run in family lines. The issue could also stem somewhere in a person’s neurology or their early environment. Stuttering is currently classified as a mental disorder by the psychiatric community.

This is a controversial fact. Many people think that the fact that stuttering is listed in the same category all mental illnesses furthers the stigma and misunderstanding attached to people who have speech difficulties.

Stuttering & Psychology

Although a stutter may sometimes get in the way of a person’s ability to express ideas quickly, it has nothing to do with their intelligence. Stutters, along with most mental illnesses, are often seen as signs that a person is less intelligent or capable than another person.

There is no connection between low intelligence and stutters, however. In fact, some have suggested a correlation between stuttering and higher intelligence.

We also have no reason to think that the disorder is caused by stress or anxiety, either. A common perception is that stuttering comes from a place of anxiety or fear, but we now know that stuttering is rooted in neurology, not stress.

At the same time, a person who has a stutter could see amplified effects as a result of stress. It is a secondary relationship that increases symptoms, not a relationship that causes the illness altogether.

This is unfortunate, though, because the simple fact of having a stutter may lead to anxiety and stress in social situations. The stigma attached to the disorder often places an undue burden upon the person suffering.

Methods of Treatment

It’s important to note that there are no surefire ways to end, or even treat a stuttering problem. There are, however, ways in which you can improve and hope to alleviate symptoms over time.

A person with a stutter can hope to improve the efficacy of their communication, their fluency, and their ability to participate seamlessly in social situations. There are cases of people who have lost stutters and stammers as a result of different treatment methods, but those cases are the exception, not the rule.

Common treatment methods include cognitive behavioral therapy, speech therapy, auditory feedback technology, and early intervention.

Therapy can help a person to understand the situations in which their stutter gets worse or arises, as well as develop a positive sense of self-worth and confidence in the face of whatever ignorance their peers might have about the disorder.

Speech therapy aids in helping a person develop a natural speech pattern that improves over time. Speech-language pathologists may also prescribe a device that delays feedback and aid individuals in slowing their speech.

The Myths

Now that you have a foundation of knowledge about stuttering, you can look more objectively at some of the myths propounded by people who don’t understand the disorder.

Before we get started here, try to get into the shoes of a person who stutters. The myths about stuttering tend to be belittling and short-sited. Think of a person who faces a lot of misunderstanding, stress, and anxiety about having a stutter and hasn’t thought to “just slow down a little bit.”

Telling someone how they could potentially fix their illness suggests that they haven’t put any thought into the problem whatsoever. Additionally, you forget that this person has heard the same tired lines about recover for their entire lives.

Ideas to Rid Yourself of Stuttering

So, with all of the above in mind, we’ll talk about some ideas you can shake out of your opinions of people who have stutters.

First off, stuttering has no connection to a person’s low intelligence. If anything, people who stutter may have higher IQ’s. The disorder comes from a person’s neurological makeup, environment, and genetics.

Those factors are unrelated to how smart or capable a person may be in this case. As a result of the factors above, people can’t develop a stutter by spending time with others who already have one.

Children with parents who stutter, for example, don’t develop stutters unless they inherit the trait genetically. This suggests that the illness, again, is internal and not affected by conditioning or how a person is raised.

Finally, we have to discuss the idea of critiquing a person who stutters. Unless you have a degree in speech pathology, psychology, or you yourself have a stutter, you should refrain from piping in on how a person can improve their illness.

The reality is that experts don’t fully understand the issue or know specific ways to cure stuttering. Making suggestions or implying that a person could just “do this” or “do that” only serves to damage their self-esteem. Our recommendation is to simply be supportive, hear out what the person has to say, and only give advice when it’s asked for.

Want to Learn More?

We hope that these stuttering facts and myths have helped you understand the illness a little better.

You may want to know a little more, though. If you’re in need of extra information on stuttering, explore our site for more insight.

How to Overcome Insecurities About Your Stutter

Don’t Let the Stutter Win: How to Overcome Insecurities About Your Stutter

If you stutter, you are not alone: more than 70 million people worldwide are stutterers. That’s one in every 100. In the US alone, more than 3 million people stutter.

When you stutter, you may avoid social situations because you feel insecure about your speech skills. This insecurity can lead to isolation, is harmful to relationships, and can cause performance issues at school or work.

Are you insecure because you stutter?

Read on to learn how to overcome insecurities about stuttering through facing your fears, seeking support, and getting treatment.

What Causes Stuttering?

Stuttering is a biological and neurological condition. There is no clear cause of stuttering, but most agree that it is caused by one or more of these possible triggers: genetics, child development, neurophysiology, and family dynamics.

Stuttering can run in families, as certain genes are known to cause stuttering.

It is more likely in children with existing language or speech problems or other developmental delays.

People who process language and speech differently seem to stutter more than people who don’t. This can include people who have suffered a stroke or traumatic brain injury.

How to Overcome Insecurities Related to Your Stutter

There are ways to eliminate the embarrassment you feel towards your stuttering disorder. Most intervention is behavioral.

Consider the following techniques when you decide to put your insecurities behind you.

Conquer Your Fear

The first step is to let go of fear. There are several different ways to combat your fear of stuttering.

Don’t Avoid Words

Stop avoiding specific words. If you notice that you stutter on a certain word, you may try to avoid that word in a conversation. This is called blocking. The anxiety that is caused by attempting to think of a different word actually causes you to stutter anyway.

Instead of avoiding the word, embrace it. Practice saying it in private. Getting that sound or word out more often may help you feel more comfortable using it.

Some people who stutter find it helpful to keep a list of words they find difficult. They then refer to this list to practice.

Push Yourself

Public speaking is a stutterer’s worst nightmare. The anxiety alone can stop you in your tracks. What you might not realize is that by pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you will boost your confidence.

This is the first step to overcoming a fear of public speaking, especially with a stutter. If you’re afraid to take the first step, sign up for a public speaking class. There, you can learn tips to make you feel more comfortable.

Showcase Your Skills

Try focusing on things you are good at and thinking less about your stutter. The more confident you are in yourself, the less you will be affected by your stutter. Boosting your self-esteem will reduce your anxiety.

Address It

Get the awkwardness out of the way and just tell the person you’re speaking with that you have a stutter. There is no point in hiding it if the person is going to experience it firsthand. Sometimes humor is the best way to address it, so don’t be afraid to say something silly and add some comic relief.

Build Confidence

As we mentioned earlier, the more confident you are, the less your stutter will bother you. Say a few positive mantras every day to put yourself in the right mindset.

Your mantras don’t have to be complicated. A few words or a short sentence is fine. What is important is that it helps you feel more confident. Slowly, you will improve your self-esteem.

Seek Support

The next step in easing your insecurity over stuttering is to seek support. You can find support through the following methods.

Speak Up

Talk to your loved ones about your insecurities. It can be helpful to reach out to your friends and family and let them know how you’re feeling. This will make the situation easier for you, but it will also help them understand you.

Your friends and family know you well, so they are likely to offer advice you wouldn’t receive elsewhere. Be open and honest with them about what you are experiencing.

Find a Support Group

Surrounding yourself with people who have the same fears can be comforting. After all, no one knows your struggle better than someone who experiences it themselves.

Realizing you are not alone can help you feel less insecure. Look online to find a stuttering support group in your area, or join an online community instead.

Be Social

Find friends who stutter. Having friends who stutter can help you feel less alone. This is especially heartening to children. There are camps and social groups dedicated to connecting those who stutter.

Seek Treatment

Finally, the best way to ease insecurity about stuttering is to seek treatment.

There are a variety of ways to begin addressing your stutter through treatment.

Find a Speech Pathologist

Speech therapy can greatly improve your stutter. They may help you identify reasons why you stutter and recommend techniques to overcome it. This could ultimately reduce the amount of stuttering you suffer from.

Practice at Home

Many people are more comfortable practicing speech in the privacy of their home. There are online resources to teach you how to tackle stuttering at home. These providers use web-based video conferencing technology to connect you to speech therapists all over the world.

Try Behavioral Therapy

While they don’t specialize in speech problems, therapists can still help people who stutter. Often, anxiety and depression can be triggers for stuttering. A behavioral therapist can help you overcome anxieties that contribute to your disorder.

Create an Action Plan

Now that you have a few techniques to try, it’s time to create an action plan to combat your stuttering disorder.

The use of telespeech has been very effective in treating a stutter in both children and adults. We can tailor a program to your needs.

We will provide you with convenient, effective, and secure speech therapy services. Schedule your free consultation online today to discover a new side of speech therapy.

Stuttering: Everything You Need to Know About Symptoms, Treatments, and More

Stuttering: Everything You Need to Know About Symptoms, Treatments, and More

Did you know that about 3 million Americans have a stuttering problem? In other words, stuttering isn’t as rare of a problem as you may think.

Do you think your child might have a stuttering problem? Read on to find out everything you need to know.

What is Stuttering?

Stuttering is a speech disorder where speech disruptions disrupt the flow of speech. These disruptions often take the form of repeating sounds, words, or syllables. The child may also exhibit behaviors like rapid eye blinking and lip tremors.

Stuttering can detriment your child’s quality of life. It can make communication very frustrating. Individuals that stutter often feel lonely or embarrassed.

Children typically outgrow stuttering. While 5% of children have a stuttering problem, less than 1% of adults do. But it’s best to get treatment early on, because the psychological impact can last for life.

Aren’t sure if your child has a stuttering problem? Look for the following symptoms:

  • problems starting a word
  • word repetition
  • rapid blinking
  • speech that comes out in bursts
  • foot tapping
  • hesitating before certain sounds
  • lip trembling
  • prolonged speech sounds
  • anxiety about talking
  • facial tics
  • limited ability to communicate
  • clenching fists

Stuttering Causes and Risk Factors

What causes stuttering? There are three primary types of stuttering, each of which has its own cause.

1. Neurogenic Stuttering

This type of stuttering occurs after brain injury, often from a stroke or head trauma. Here, the brain has trouble coordinating the components required for speech. This is usually due to signaling problems between the brain, nerves, and muscles.

2. Developmental Stuttering

This type of stuttering occurs when children are still learning language skills. Scientists believe it happens because the child’s language capabilities can’t meet verbal needs.

3. Psychogenic Stuttering

This type of stuttering attributes stuttering to psychological factors. But even if one doesn’t have a psychological cause, they can worsen symptoms of stuttering. For example, stuttering can get worse in cases of anxiety, stress, and nervousness.

Now that you know some of the core causes, it’s time to discuss risk factors. These may make your child particularly susceptible to developing a stuttering problem.

Risk Factors for a Stuttering Problem

Male children are much more likely to develop a stuttering problem. Their risks are anywhere from 3 to 6 times greater than that of females.

Additionally, there’s thought to be a genetic component to stuttering. If a close family member stutters, there’s a greater chance of a child developing one as well. Several genes associated with an increased risk of stuttering have already been identified.

The time point when stuttering begins can show the likelihood of continuing to stutter later in life. If a child begins stuttering earlier in life, it’s less likely to continue into adulthood. Additionally, most children will stop within 1-2 years. If it lasts longer than this time frame it’s more likely to continue through adulthood.

Diagnosing Stuttering

Most of the time, a speech-language pathologist (SLP) diagnoses stuttering problems. These health professionals test for a variety of speech disorders.

The SLP will analyze how likely the child is to continue stuttering later on in life. He or she will also keep an eye out for how often stuttering happens as well as how the child copes with it. Taken together with age and genetics, the SLP will be able to determine if there is a disorder and how much it will affect the child’s life.

Stuttering is a common part of learning to speak, though. So how do you know when to call an SLP about your child’s stuttering? Look out for the following:

  • more than six months of stuttering
  • it becomes more frequent with age
  • it persists after the age of 5
  • it’s causing anxiety and emotional problems
  • it’s affecting the child’s schooling

If your child experiences one or more of these symptoms, consider getting them diagnosed immediately.

Stuttering Treatment

There are a number of different treatments for stuttering, depending on its cause and how severe it is.

Electronic Devices

Some individuals find great solace in electronic fluency devices. These use modified auditory feedback. Here, an earpiece echos the speaker so it feels like they’re talking with someone else. Another device option makes your voice sound distorted to you until you slow down speech.

Therapy

There are a variety of therapy options for children that stutter. In fluency shaping therapy, they track speech rate and teach them to stretch out sounds. They also learn how to change their breathing during prolonged speech.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy. It teaches the child to identify situations where stuttering worsens and change ways of thinking about them. This works best for psychogenic stuttering problems.

Stuttering modification therapy modifies stuttering so that it’s easier to talk. This focuses on requiring less effort instead of eliminating the stutter altogether. Again, this is best for psychogenic stuttering because it aims to reduce anxiety associated with speaking.

Telepractice

This modern development uses telecommunications technology. It allows you to get professional services from the comfort of your own home. Most of these options are fluency shaping.

First, an SLP evaluates the child’s stuttering. Then, they’re taught skills to reduce stuttering. These often include monitoring speech rate or using breathing exercises. At Great Speech, we create tailored programs that can help reduce stuttering symptoms.

Does Your Child Have a Stuttering Problem?

Interested in using telepractice to improve your child’s stuttering? Great Speech Therapy can help! Contact us today for a free consultation and find out how our therapists can help your child live a stutter-free life.

What Causes Stuttering and How Can You Stop It?

What Causes Stuttering and How Can You Improve It?

Even as an adult, cruel words said to you by playground bullies decades earlier still has the power to make you cringe.

One reason that little kids get bullied is speaking with a stutter. But did you know that approximately 5-10% of all children stutter between the ages of two and six?

The condition is more common in boys, who are two to three times more likely to stutter. Fortunately, three-quarters of these children will recover from stuttering as they speech patterns develop.

Still, we know how stressful this time is for parents who are worried about it becoming a lifelong problem.

Read on to learn about what causes stuttering, common symptoms and available treatment options.

What is Stuttering?

Stuttering is a speech disorder where the speaker struggles to communicate with others. It can manifest as repetition of sounds and words or other interruptions in speech. For more severe cases, stuttering may be accompanied by physical traits such as rapid blinks or lip tremors.

There are two types of stuttering; developmental stuttering and neurogenic stuttering.

It’s quite common to see developmental stuttering in young children. Developmental stuttering occurs while their language abilities are developing. This is the result of not being able to speak their ideas as quickly as they are thinking.

Parents can help their children with this kind of developmental stuttering. Simply by encouraging their little one to slow down and showing patience when they are speaking. Often little kids are speaking quickly because they are worried about adults not listening to them!

Neurogenic stuttering is the result of a brain injury such as a stroke or other head trauma.

What Causes Stuttering?

Research into the causes of developmental stuttering has been ongoing. A complex condition, stuttering can occur from a combination of factors.

One of the major causes is genetics as stuttering appears to run in families. Additionally, children who suffer from timing or sensory abnormalities in speech motor control are more likely to exhibit symptoms of stuttering.

Stuttering can also be the result of emotional pressure. Children who are under a lot of pressure by their parents may stutter as a result of that stress. Other situations where the speaker feels nervous may also cause them to stutter.

Symptoms of Stuttering and When to See a Doctor

Besides the repetition of words or sounds, watch your child for the following symptoms of stuttering:

  • signs of frustration when they want to speak
  • hesitation or an outright refusal to speak
  • excessive use of fillers like “uh” and “um”
  • elongating vowels

For adults, stuttering will worse in stressful situations like public speaking. Children, on the other hand, may not even notice the problem.

Make an appointment with your doctor if these symptoms persist for more than six months or if your child is struggling to communicate at school.

Adults or children should consider going straight to a speech-language pathologist in the following situations. If the speaker is showing signs of anxiety like avoiding speaking altogether, the stuttering is getting worse over time in a child or an adult starts stuttering.

How is Stuttering Diagnosed?

The diagnosis will be made by a speech-language pathologist after asking a series of questions and observing the patient speaking.

For parents, expect the speech-language pathologist to ask about when your child first started stuttering and how the stutter has had an impact on their home and school life.

They’ll follow that up by sitting with your child and having them read out loud. Finally, they’ll give them a test in order to get a better idea of where the mispronunciations are occurring. This test checks for underlying conditions as well as whether your child is struggling with commonly mispronounced words or needs treatment for stuttering.

The diagnosis process for adults is similar. Again, the speech-language pathologist will ask you about your health history with a focus on when you started stuttering and how stuttering has had an impact on your life. They’ll also ask about treatment options you’ve explored previously.

Stuttering Treatment

While there is no cure for stuttering, there are many treatment options available for both children and adults who suffer from stuttering.

A speech-language pathologist can help you create a treatment plan based on your age and personal goals.

Treatment for Children

Parents play a significant role in the treatment of children with developmental stuttering. Speech-language pathologists will instruct parents in how they can provide an atmosphere for children to flourish.

This includes parents being patient and attentive when their child is speaking. It’s important to avoid interrupting children when they’re speaking or trying to finish their sentences for them.

Parents can also help their children overcome stuttering by speaking more slowly to them. This teaches children that they don’t need to feel pressure to speak quickly.

Treatment for Adults

Treatment options for adults aim to reduce stuttering gradually. Many adults and teens who stutter additionally suffer from anxiety due to the social stigmas associated with stuttering.

Treatment of these two issues can work hand in hand. Techniques such as speaking more slowly, deep breathing and using simple sentences can give a speaker more confidence in their ability to control a stutter.

Another way to treat stuttering in adults is through an electronic device that is similar to a hearing aid. There different versions of these devices. Some playback an altered recording of the speaker’s voice. Others play background noise in order to distract the speaker. Research is still being conducted on the efficacy of these devices.

Finally, many adults find success through self-study and therapy. There are many online resources including online communities and forums to exchange ideas.

Help Is Out There

No matter what, don’t give up hope! With a better understanding of what causes stuttering and your treatment options, you have the tools to take charge of your speaking skills.

At Great Speech, our online consultant can create a personalized plan to help you with your stuttering.

 

 

Online Speech Therapy

The King’s Speech is a Common Problem

It didn’t take the movie “The King’s Speech” to bring the frustration of stuttering to the forefront. What it did is give it a “royal” boost. It also reminded us of the important role a speech therapist can play in remediating this “common” speech dysfluency.

What are the signs of stuttering?

The signs and symptoms of stuttering are easily recognizable and often include repetitions of words/ parts of words as well as prolongations of words. Though no one knows the exact causes of stuttering, recent research indicates that family history, neuromuscular development, and the child’s environment, including family dynamics, all play a role in the onset of stuttering.Stress can make it worse, but it not considered a cause.

Important facts about stuttering

Here are some other related facts you may find interesting:

  • About 5% of all children go through a period of stuttering that lasts six months or more
  • It’s more of a male problem! There are three to four times as many boys who stutter as there are girls
  • There is no correlation between stuttering and intelligence

While you may be tempted to suggest, “Just spit it out,” or advise someone who stutters to “Take a deep breath before speaking,” the most helpful suggestion is to let them know it can be corrected when working with a speech therapist, also referred to as an SLP. Under the guidance of a trained professional, oral communication can be improved using behavioral interventions.

It is important to understand that stuttering can be corrected and someone with a speech issue is not limited in what they can do, as the movie showed. Did you know that ABC co-anchor John Stossel used to stutter? And look at him now.

Do you know of other famous public figures that used to stutter and have overcome it?

Watch this inspiring video by Great Speech therapist Ana Paula Mumy and see how speech therapy can change lives.

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