If you have a stutter, you know how frustrating it can be.
You know what you want to say. You know how to say it. But the words just won’t come out.
Beyond making it difficult to communicate, this can make social situations tense and difficult, causing you anxiety. This can lead to isolation, depression, and difficulty in your personal and professional life.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
At Sol Speech & Language Therapy, our speech therapists work with people of all ages to overcome stuttering, communicate more clearly, and enjoy a happier, more fulfilling life.
Read on to find out more about stuttering and how speech therapy can help.
What Is A Stutter?
A stutter is a speech disorder that can affect the way your speech flows. Your speech may be repetitive, prolonged, interrupted, or a combination of the above.
It’s important to note that the vast majority of people who stutter know exactly what they want to say. It’s not an issue with the thinking part of the brain, but rather with the part of the brain that controls speech.
This might be even more frustrating for those with a stutter, though. After all, you know you have great ideas to share, but your stutter can stand in the way.
Book a consultation today to find out how.
Speech Therapy For Stuttering For Older Children And Adults
The most telling symptom of a stutter in adults is difficulty speaking. But there’s many different ways that can look. Depending on your stutter, you may:
- Have difficulty beginning to speak
- Prolong words, or sounds within a word – “I waaaaaant a baaaaaaagel” for example
- Repeat sounds, syllables, or words – “I wa-wa-want a ba-ba-ba-bagel” for example
- Pause between sounds, syllables, or words – “I wa…..nt a ba……gel” for example
- Use a lot of placeholders – “I um, I um, um, want a, um, um, a, um, bagel” for example
- Look like you’re exerting a great deal of effort to speak
- Have anxiety about speaking
- Have social anxiety
- Have facial tics or habits like rapid eye blinking, lip tremors, or jerking head movements
If you have a school age child with a stutter, or if you’re an adult who stutters yourself, a big part of your treatment will include working on your anxiety around speaking. Your stutter is real, but the anxiety you feel can make it worse. By getting that out of the way, we can manage one of the barriers to your clear communication.
It’s unlikely that you can eliminate your stutter entirely, but through speech therapy, you can improve your ability to communicate. Things like introducing yourself, making presentations to colleagues at work, talking on the phone, ordering a meal at a restaurant, or other general social interactions will become easier.
Through a combination of speech therapy and mindfulness, we can help you become a more confident communicator.
Don’t let your stutter hold you back. Book your appointment today with Sol Speech & Language Therapy.
Speech Therapy For Stuttering For Toddlers
Toddlers can stutter as well, and the symptoms may be similar to what you read in the adult section above. However, if they’re younger, they might not have developed the ability to speak fluently yet. So how can you tell if your child has a stutter or if they’re just not speaking properly because they’re a toddler?
Some of the warning signs of stuttering in kids to watch for include:
- An open mouth and gestures that suggest they want to talk, with no words coming out
- Being afraid to talk or not talking much
- Spending a lot of time on their own
- Low self esteem
- Negative feelings surrounding their speech
- Tension in your child’s face
Most children will stutter occasionally, so if your child shows these symptoms once or twice, it’s mostly not cause for concern. But if they do so for six months or longer, if it seems to be getting worse, or if you have a family history of stuttering, it’s a good idea to seek out a speech therapist.
The good news is that treating a stutter in young children tends to be a lot more effective than treating a stutter in teenagers or adults. This is because the younger a child is, the less time they’ve had to develop the bad habits and coping mechanisms they use to manage with their stutter.
If you suspect your child has a stutter, contact us here at Sol Speech & Language Therapy. We can help.
Mindfulness And Stuttering
Mindfulness is the practice of living on purpose, in the present moment. It’s a focus on being aware of the sensations in your mind and body at a given moment, without trying to interpret them or assigning a value judgment to them. It’s a form of radical acceptance of the self in the present moment.
Mindfulness has been shown to have many different benefits, including improving sleep, managing stress and anxiety, reducing chronic pain, and improving focus.
What does this have to do with stuttering?
Because stuttering is associated with increased stress and anxiety, techniques used to manage those feelings can help manage stuttering as well.
If you stutter, practicing mindfulness can help you avoid getting wrapped up in the anxiety that can come with certain situations. It can help you gain better control over the various tics brought on by stuttering, like jaw quivering and foot tapping. And it can help improve your communication.
At Sol Speech & Language Therapy, we can incorporate mindfulness practices into your speech therapy treatment regimen.
Frequently Asked Questions About Stuttering
Is Stuttering Caused By Trauma?
In some cases yes, but this is very rare. Stutter related to trauma is called psychogenic stuttering, and is almost entirely limited to adults.
The vast majority of people who stutter do not have any history of trauma or emotional issues, other than the social anxiety caused by their stuttering.
Is Stuttering Genetic?
We don’t yet fully understand what causes stuttering, but it does seem to run in families. If your close relatives stutter, the chances are higher that you will stutter as well.
Is Stuttering Common?
It’s estimated that about 1% of the world’s population stutters. That might not sound like a lot, but that’s 70 million people!
Does Speech Therapy Cure Stuttering?
No. Speech therapy can help you treat your stutter, and in many cases can help you communicate more clearly. But there are no “cures” for stuttering.
Does A Stutter Stop You From Living Life?
Not necessarily! There are many people who have stuttered and have managed to achieve great things in their lives. Winston Churchill, Isaac Newton, Marilyn Monroe, Rowan Atkinson, Bruce Willis, singer Scatman John, Carly Simon, and baseball/football star Bo Jackson all stuttered, and managed to achieve great things anyway. A stutter can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to prevent you from working toward your dreams.
Do I Have To Get Speech Therapy For Stuttering?
Not at all. A stutter is only a problem if you see it as one. There are no other health risks involved with a stutter. If it doesn’t stop you from living your life, or if you’re perfectly happy with your voice the way it is, you don’t have to seek treatment.
On the other hand, many who stutter find it a frustrating experience. If that’s you, it’s a good idea to seek treatment.
Book Your Appointment With Sol Speech & Language Therapy Today
If you’re struggling with a stutter, you know how frustrating it can be. But you don’t need to struggle in silence.
There is help available. Through speech therapy, you can improve your communication, manage your stutter, and improve your overall confidence.
Book your appointment with Sol Speech & Language Therapy today.
Contact us today to find out how.