Speech-Language Pathology/Stuttering/What Worked for Me

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What stuttering treatments have you tried? What worked, and what didn't?

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I do not have the condition, but I had done research on stuttering and stammering. When my first child was slow to speak, I saw the first signs. I spoke with our extended family to plan how to deal with it. The most important rule is patience, especially in body language and tone. The second is full attention to the child when he is speaking. Encouragement is essential. We said, "Use your words, please", at least a dozen times a day in the preschool years. Successful speech was followed by, "Good job using your words!" I acknowledge that this type of plan would not be successful for all, but it certainly would do no harm.

My son was offered speech therapy for his missing R’s, L’s and T’s. I had the same exact problem as a child and it resolved without intervention. After discussion with my child, we decided to wait several months and work on it ourselves. We had structured practice only while driving to and from school, just a few minutes a day. Within a few months, the problem was resolved (although, I can still hear him punching the T’s more than most Texans).

My son is now a teacher and an accomplished public speaker. I believe that without our family plan, he would stutter or stammer today.

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What worked for me? Learning not to care so much. Yes, I still stutter - sometimes badly, and sometines I do care. But by learning not to worry about lesser lacks of fluency, the incidences of the greater ones has decreased.

The big breakthrough was in my early twenties. During my childhood and adolescence, my stutter was 'hushed up'. Nobody dared talk openly about it to me (other well-meant but unhelpful advice to slow down or calm down). But one day I found a book about stuttering in a library. This gave me the impetus to see a speech therapist. I must have exasperated her by not being particularly interested in anti-stuttering techniques. But the process of 'coming out' made the difference. For instance - most of the secondary effects such as eye-closing and head movements have long stopped.

I'm now in my 40s. Yes, sometimes I can be anxious about stuttering on the phone, or embarassed if I fluff a punchline - but it doesn't hamper me socially or professionally. And I can talk about it.

It's the least of my worries!

--20.133.0.14 11:44, 18 May 2007 (UTC) David Carr


What worked for me was also to just stop caring about it. Just say the words even if it took time for me to say them and not care about what people say.

I struggled a lot with my speech when I was younger and my life revolved around it. I lost all confidence in my abilities. Later a friend of mine asked me about my speech and didn't get why it was such a big deal for me. I would just practice saying words with her and slowly learnt to not care about how I'm saying it, as long as I end up saying it. The satisfaction and feeling of triumph I felt saying words I avoided for years before made all the effort worth it.

I'm 21 now. I still have problem speaking fluently but that doesn't stop me from being free with my speech. I have stopped using methods like word substitution and saying sounds like "uhh" before saying difficult words. I feel confident and my speech is not a constant source of anxiety for me like it used to be.

--Rukmini 21:24, 22 July 2007 (UTC)