stuttering

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Stuttering: Advice for Listeners

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Often, people are unsure about how to respond when talking to people who stutter. This uncertainty can cause listeners to do things like look away during moments of stuttering, interrupt the speaker or fill in words, or simply not talk to people who stutter at all. None of these reactions is particularly helpful, though. In general, people who stutter want to be treated just like anybody else. They recognize-in fact, they may be acutely aware-that their speech is different and that it takes them longer to say things. Unfortunately, though, this sometimes leads the speaker to feel pressure to speak quickly. Under such conditions, people who stutter often have even more difficultly saying what they want to say in a smooth, timely manner. Thus, listener reactions that suggest impatience or annoyance may actually make it harder for people who stutter to speak.

When […]

What is Stuttering?

Stuttering is a communication disorder that affects the rhythm or “fluency” of speech. It begins during childhood and, in some cases, persists throughout llife. The disorder is characterized by disruptions (or “dysfluencies”) in the production of speech sounds. Most speakers produce brief dysfluencies in speech from time to time. For instance, some words are repeated and others are preceded by interjections such as “um.”   Dysfluencies are not necessarily problematic; however, they can impede communication when a speaker produces too many of them or they are drawn out and lengthy.

Many of us find we’re out of breath or anxious when speaking in front of an audience.  Speakers who stutter exhibit excessive physical tension in the throat, mouth, and jaw and may appear to be unable to recover from the tension when talking. At times, the forward flow […]

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