Stuttering: Advice for Listeners
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.