“The stutter was the way of telling the world that they was not like others, a way of expressing their singularit.”
~Adapted from Ted Morgan
Lllet Me Finish was founded to help support these
children and the world around them. We help children understand that every voice matters—even one that stutters. And, that it’s how you feel when you
Stuttering is a communication disorder in which the production of speech sounds is very often disrupted. Stuttering is very complicated in origin, misunderstood in terms of development and causes feelings of shame, anxiety and discomfort. As children who stutter can experience being ostracized.
What is stuttering?
Stuttering defined is a speech disorder that disrupts the production of speech sounds.
Stuttering looks and feels different in each person, and can even change over the course of a person’s lifetime. In that one day you could be a stutterer and the next it’s gone. Just like that [finger snap].
Approximately, 5% of young children stutter, and approximately 1% of all people—that’s 70 million people! *It’s also been said that if a child is still stuttering by the age of 8years it’s likely that he will continue to stutter.
Stuttering is more common amongst boys. [Lucky US!]
Stuttering is heredity. And, typically skips a generation. For example: My mom’s uncle stuttered. My mom stuttered. She now has pockets of disfluency. I have an older sister who doesn’t stutter. I stutter. …Go figure.
How Stuttering Presents Itself
Stuttering presents itself via Audible Sounds.
Sound Repetitions: That’s the car engine rev’ing I mentioned (“C-c-c-can I go too?)
Sound Prolongations: (“She toooooook it from me!”)
Silent Blocks: Known by many to be the most deadly. (“----STOP! It please ”)
Now what’s also a thing are these “Secondary characteristics”, these are things that we do “second” during the stutter. I’ve heard a friend of mine say that there aren’t really “Secondaries” as much as we [the stutterer] may have discovered that tapping our foot helped us get a word out and so now we tap our foot. It doesn’t really help…but it does.
Those could look like: foot tapping, thigh slapping, eye blinking and head turning…just to name a few. Man! Those are pretty physical traits to acquire JUST to speak.
Where the Effects Land?
Often times the effects of Stuttering land on the Stutterer. And, can range from a change in attitude, to even becoming emotionally sensitive towards specific situations…mainly those that require speaking and/or socializing in groups. *Although it is much easier for a person to stutters to navigate a group setting. It’s like the group is so big no one is even paying attention to the stutter…different from a one on one conversation where all eyes and ears are on the stutterer.
For some the impact of stuttering can negatively impact their quality of life, causing them to feel shame, embarrassment, anxiety and even low self-esteem.
The impact on everyday life is REAL. There are times even today that I don’t FEEL like ordering at a restaurant, talking on the phone and answering a question in class because of the personal struggle I feel when speaking [worrying about what other people are thinking] and because it can be physical exhausting.
Children who stutter may also face bullying or teasing at school because of the way that they talk.
What causes Stuttering?
From what I’ve been told and have experienced Stuttering is genetic. Remember I shared my stuttering family time line.
There have been also studies that relate Stuttering to being neurological, in that there could be a small difference in how my brain is organized compared to a fluent person.
Some people have known to stutter after a traumatic event. Like maybe they fell or experienced some form of emotional trauma.
Whatever the cause, what’s MOST important to remember is that NOONE is to BLAME.
However, through the help of great speech therapist and support groups the behaviors that sometimes attach themselves to a stutter can sometimes be controlled, although rarely cured.
How should I act around someone who stutters?
People should act like themselves around others who stutter. If you’re kind be kinder and if you’re a jerk well…be less jerky. The only difference between you and a person who stutters is fluency, how smooth your words come out in comparison. And, because our words are going to come out a little differently we may need extra TIME. SO be patient. And, for sure DO NOT finish our sentences. No matter how badly we appear to be struggling. Do NOT say anything. Just sit or stand - maintain eye-contact – and BE PATIENT and WAIT for IT.