Make Room For The Stuttering

She Asks For Help

Posted on: February 5, 2012

I saw this question posted on Yahoo Answers by a young girl who was looking for alternatives she could try to help with her stuttering.

I am a 15 year old girl who stutters. Lately, I have been letting it get the best of me. Last year, I didn’t care who thought I was weird if I stuttered and if someone did, than they are an idiot. But now that I am in high school, I have been figuring out that people don’t want to be friends with someone who is different…if you understand what I mean. The sad thing is though, I understand them and frankly agree (in my 3rd person world). I took speech therapy for 13 years and it has had no effect. I was wondering if there is anything different than the speech easy and therapy? (Both haven’t worked in the slightest.) I have lost most of my friends because I am afraid to talk to them now… Katie

A couple of people recommended this young girl try practicing reading out loud, singing, or Reiki.

I posted a response to her on the Yahoo site. Rather than just reprint what I posted, (which is not one of the above ideas) I wondered what some of you might suggest to her!

Please leave comments or give some ideas for this 15-year old. What have you learned about making room for your stuttering that might help Katie?

I will try to post some of these to her original question on Yahoo in the hopes that she will see them, or link over here so she can see your comments!

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10 Responses to "She Asks For Help"

First off Pam, I would tell her she is hitting the roughess years of her life.. BUT she cannot stop talking, that is the worst thing she could do. I always thought that people thought I was dumb, no matter what anyone said it did no good. I stutter so I was dumb. I know part of that had to do with a 5th grade teacher who told me that. The rest did not in fact they kept telling me I can/ I could but I did not believe them. She needs to learn those are her thoughts and I am sure her friends did not say that to her. As for speech therapy that takes lots of practice and in times of stress it goes out the window. She needs to get back the idea “It’s ok to Stutter” and I don’t care what people think. As for prcacticing techs. I hated to sit and practice. What I learn to do was 1) When watching TV pick out a word that a actor said. Say it the way he/she said it on tv in my mind. Over & Over.2) When walking and I seen a sign pick a word and say that over and over. 3) When reading to self, drag out those beganning sounds, lightly touch on some of the hard beganning sounds. 4) Watch others speak, watch their lips. some of these things are in my mind all the time and over and over I do them. I never practice outloud. I have told SLP’s about doing this and now some are telling there clients to do the same. I wish her luck and I hope she keeps talking. Because the worse thing she can do is……STOP TALKING!!!

I would rather tell her to open up and talk to everybody irrespective of their reactions. I can somehow sense that she hasn’t come to terms with her stutter, well the best advice which i could give her is to join a self help group, make friends with other pws and talk about her stutter openly with everybody. This would help her to accept her stutter and herself as a pws which later on would lead to desensitization. Its difficult to come to terms with your stutter when you’re in your teens but these baby steps would enable her to come to terms with her stutter at a much earlier stage than others. And her speech would get that much better gradually. Instead of expecting to do something and get rid of her stutter, she should understand that stuttering is a system which can be dissolved slowly. She should understand that there is no instant cure and its a process which would yield results slowly but steadily. I know its kind of difficult to explain this to her coz she’s in that age (teen) but the sooner she understands, the better would be for her and the recovery to whatever extent she could manage would be that much more faster.

-Vivek

Dear Katie,

Let me share a quote with you –
“In other words, stuttering is what you do trying not to stutter again” – Johnson.

This sums up all that I want to tell you, in a nut-shell.

When we stop hiding our stutter, and just let it happen, you will be surprised to see that you gain much more control on your stutter than ever before! You stop yourself from speaking from others in the anticipation of stuttering. Rather, if you think that I will speak and if I stutter on a couple of words, I will just let it go, all the struggle while speaking is reduced to a great extent.

Do not think that stuttering is the most awful thing to do. The more you hate your stutter, the more you try to hide it, and the more you struggle during the speech.

Just begin to talk. If you stutter, let it happen. When you don’t hide, it goes away quickly! Sounds weird? Well then try it! All the very best…

~ Harish

I know it’s easier said than done, but it might help to simply make light of your own stuttering. If she sees someone giggling, or laughing to others, say something like “I know, I’m stuttering. Hang on …”
I work as a sports writer, and I’ll often stutter when I’m interviewing someone. And I still get the same reactions. The giggles, the behind-the-back laughing. And I just stop them dead in their tracks, look directly at them, and I assure them that I’m only stuttering, and that I just happen to write a lot better than I talk.
They then realize that it’s no big deal, too, and it allows them to understand what’s going on. (Hope this helps!)

I have realised myself how much I project my own feelings on to other people. I put my own feelings onto everybody else (without asking them if that’s really how they feel). Really I’m the one that hates my stuttering the most, but attribute this to everybody else. When I get reactions like giggling or odd comments, I use it to confirm my belief that they hate my stuttering, when actually those reactions are just people not knowing what stuttering is or how to deal with it. If this girl could find a way to ask a few friends what they really think of stuttering, or do a school paper on stuttering and share it with the class, this may go a long way to educating her friends. Some of the kids may actually be able to explain their reactions.
Some self compassion may help her too. How does she feel about other people with challenges – speech or otherwise? DDoes she hate them? If not, could she find a more compassionate way of being towards herself?
So: find out what others really think by asking them, realising you project feelings on to them. And treat yourself with kindness. Once you stop hating yourself and stutter with confidence, other people will feel more comfortable listening to you too.

Such good comments everyone! I am glad to see that some of you put a lot of thought into your answers and gave a teenage girl some real helpful suggestions. I think it’s so important for us as adults, who probably experienced the same helpless feelings as a teen, to share practical ideas for kids. We have a responsibility to pass on what we have learned from our journey to those behind us still finding it so challenging.
Especially when a young person finds the guts to ask this type of hard questions.
Thanks Gloria, Lisette, Harish, John and Vivek.

Your peers are your best mirror. If you don’t appreciate yourself others will often reflect it.

I am a recovering stammerer. im a member of the maqguire program..i recommend you to google it. its worldwide. you stay a member for life you only have to pay once and then you can attend as many courses as you wish. its great support.

Thank you for checking in here! I am pretty aware of the McGuire program -several women from the UK, Ireland and Australia have shared their stories of success with the program on the podcast called “Women Who Stutter: Our Stories”, which you can find linked to this blog.
In fact, the previous blog post features the latest episode.
Please check some of the stories out. You will find them so inspiring
I am so glad you took the time to write. Hope to see you again here.
Pam

~~Untitled~~
by Ada Escobar on Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 2:17pm ·
(dedicated to Daniela, an amazing and beautiful woman who’s going to take over the world…stuttering and all!!)

Trying to get past the syllable, the uh-h-h-h, the br-br-br- the breathing, the blocks.
Thoughts begin to flood my mind like Noah and his Ark.
“You can do it, you know you can!” starts running through my mind.
My hands get clammy, my face tenses up –
“Oh no! Here I go. Here it comes, my re-re-repetitive block.”
“How do I l-l-look?
Am I po-po-po-poise?
Am I pre-pre-pre-tty? ….. Can I be understood? …Am I quote normal unquote?”
It was that very moment of embarrassment and shame that I decided to proclaim to His Great Name…
“Please God! Help me to hurry up! Save me from this moment in time….
From all these lies, these deceptions, these tug-of-war of empty thoughts.
Oh Lord! Please help me! Hurry up!”
I need to get past this sound – this word –
this oh so long poem –
this stutter – this stammer –
this different thing within…
If this crowd can only see past this tongue-tied, handicapped, dis-fluent mouth….
past the hesitance, hindrance of this cold speech.
Then maybe they will see past all that and into the deepness of my eyes,
the passion in my heart for the person that I love – my Savior, my Lord, my All-in-All.
He is the very grace that took the muzzle off my mouth-
The very mercy over my life that grants me peace to things I can’t explain,
such peace that lies so not in vain.
The One with the delicate touch of His mighty finger upon my mouth – one touch of His unconditional love.
It hushed me.
It saved me.
It calmed me and said…
“Shhh – don’t limit yourself. Let Me take those thoughts, those lies, those words from your mouth and make them mine. You’re not alone – don’t shrink back or be frightened; but be fearless, be intrepid, and be enlightened.
Then you will see – all that’s deep within that heart. That’s Mine! That’s who you were meant to be.
Beloved, for you were set apart because you, my dear child, are a part of Me.”

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