If you have stuttering issue…
You are dealing with stuttering and the complications (and challenges) all-familiar that it brings to your life. I intend to say, many of the following problems are possibly familiar to you:
- The debilitating anxiety triggered by the possibility of getting up in front of a group of strangers (or individuals you know) to give a speech or even just to speak up to add your thoughts to a discussion .
- The fear of speaking up in social situations to keep your stuttering from being the object of attention .
- The defeating feeling that comes from being steamrolled in an argument because with your rival you can’t keep up the verbal pace .
- The fear of situations of high stress where fluent speech and efficient communication are of the utmost importance (important work or school meetings, job interviews, stressful conversations, etc.
- The haggling to get the medication paid for by therapists and insurance providers and the hours you spend every week dropping what you do and going to therapy sessions .
- The general stress and pain that is caused by not being able to talk freely in any given situation.
- The fear of calling someone on the phone is as easy as ordering food, even for something.
- The annoyance of seeking therapy” from someone who has never felt any of these problems first hand and the plain fact that everything they know about stuttering was communicated to them in a book or by a teacher who also probably does not really understand the issue.
- The fear of going on a date or meeting someone for the first time because you feel that your stuttering might derail the entire relationship
I’m sure you’ve obtained “professional care from therapists that have never had the issue, don’t know what it really FEELS like, and don’t know first-hand what works and what doesn’t… if you can relate to the points mentioned above
For the vast majority of stutterers the problem is rooted in your early childhood .
Probably, when you were just starting to learn how to communicate, your parents found that there was something off……You didn’t speak fluently.
If you’re like me, you’ve had your school’s worst stuttering problem, and have been in speech therapy for years. You will quit your class a few days a week to undergo speech therapy.
Unfortunately, for many, speech therapy isn’t really effective. Little observable progress is made and it is highly painful and exhausting to stutter alone.
For me, one day was a very tough one in particular. More than average, I stuttered and I broke down in tears. If I’d ever stop stuttering, I asked my speech therapist. She said “… probably not after a long pause.
Crushing it was.
She’s like most therapists in voice……she’s just not “getting it.”
She doesn’t know what stuttering, or the real life situations that stuttering presents. She still doesn’t really understand how to solve the dilemma and use real life solutions in any situation to speak fluently.
A few years after my speech therapist told me that I would possibly never stop stuttering, I was charged with delivering a speech to parents and students in front of my entire school. There were about 2000 children and parents in attendance.
I was just 11 years of age. I’ve been practising and planning for weeks with my therapists and parents, and when it came time to give a speech, I blocked… I blocked myself and I couldn’t get out a single word. The entire speech that I had written had to be read by my teacher.
I got a standing ovation from the parents then, but it was not for any achievement, it was a pity-ovation. And the standing ovation was one of my life’s most embarrassing moments.
I didn’t get an ovation because I was doing a good job, just because I felt sorry for them. Dozens of fellow students mimicked and mocked me while heading back to class.
You can possibly relate to that, I’m sure. It was a bad feeling, and never again did I want to feel like that. You probably have one or more such storeys that still stand out in your mind to this day, causing pain and anger.
You will will likely continue to accumulate these stories. For me, it was at that moment that I chose not to be a stutterer anymore. I vowed to myself that I would thrive where speech therapy had failed me.
At age 11, the first step in my path was to regulate the outward symptoms of stuttering and substitute these patterns with new ones when I first taught myself how to control my stuttering.
HOW TO OVERCOME IT
Believe it or not, the habit is the product of most, if not all, external symptoms of stuttering. For the years and decades following early childhood, when these patterns are developed, they are then strengthened. Freeing yourself from these patterns and replacing them with new ones is the most important part of freeing yourself from stuttering. It will take practise and vigilance, but you will certainly conquer and replace these patterns with new ones.
Let’s start with the signs of stuttering on the outside. There are stuff like hand waving, head bobbing, eye rolling, and most stutterers do the sort of thing when blocking. This is also simply the product of attempting to push the words out and stumble past the barrier, and this simply does not allow fluent speech, as you well know. In certain cases, blocks in your speech can be beyond your control, but the external signs of stuttering can be 100% controlled and the removal of these signs begins by freeing yourself from stuttering. Moving past blocks gracefully becomes much, much easier if we can monitor these signals.
How are we going to get this done? It begins with understanding of what you’re doing and how your acts and attitudes are viewed by people. So we’re starting there. We need to carefully analyse what we are doing every time we talk. What we’re going to do from now on is we’re going to stop and analyse what’s going on any time we start to block or have a stutter. If you feel like you are going to stutter, just calmly and subtly take a quick break in your speech and take a breath before we’ve shown any overt signs of it.
There’s no rush at all because if you rush yourself, as you know, you’re just going to get stuck again and again in that old loop and stutter in the same way. Also, if we can remove these signals, as absolutely everyone takes random short breaks here and there when speaking, the person or individuals we are talking to would not even notice a break in your speech at all.
As you take the break, track your facial expression and body movement very consciously. To understand what we’ll need to change, we’ll need to do this. Here we’re going to start new habits, talking habits where we use body language as a medium for communication, and not as an ineffective crutch. Unfortunately, when you build these outward signs of stuttering, people are more focused on that rather than your message. Conveying your message efficiently is what we ultimately want to accomplish.
You’re also reinforcing the impression in your own mind and others that you are a stutterer if you continue to display these overt signs of blocking.
Another main move in freeing yourself from stuttering and being a reliably fluent speaker is to shift the impression in your own head.