Updated: Dec 13, 2022
Helping so many people with Stuttering as Speech Therapists at Sounderic, we understand stuttering can be embarrassing and frustrating. People who stutter end up avoiding certain words and situations and are sometimes afraid to speak in public. It affects their work and personal life. Things that seem tiny like ordering food or running errands are a way big deal for them. Whether it is indirect ‘stuttering’ jokes from friends or the teasing that accompanied growing up with a stutter, it is not easy at all. There are a lot of things that make living with stutter extremely hard. We have created a guide to manage your stutter and enhance your fluent speech, on your own!
Causes of stuttering
Developmental stuttering is the most common type. It often occurs in young children who are learning language skills. It is mostly the result of multiple factors, including genetics and environment. Considering its genetic component, developmental stuttering often runs in families.
Neurogenic stuttering can occur due to a neurological component such as brain trauma, resulting from a stroke or head injury. The brain then struggles to coordinate all the mechanisms that speech involves.
Psychogenic stuttering. In the past, scientists believed that all stuttering was psychogenic, meaning that it was due to emotional trauma. Now, they consider this type of stuttering to be rare. It usually occurs when Psychological trauma is involved.
Overcoming Stuttering is a journey in itself. There are a number of factors associated with it that must be looked at. It is also a journey that is taken with the help of a Speech Therapist, who is a professional when it comes to dealing with Stuttering. They can introduce strategies and techniques to you that are proven to be beneficial. The main advantage is that those techniques will be individualized to your needs, specifically.
There is a Psychological aspect to Stuttering and it is important for you to be aware of that. Stress and anxiety are not direct causes of stuttering but they can make it worse. So it’s important for you to relax and take some time for yourself.
Here are a few tips to keep you at ease:
1. Practice mindfulness, do yoga, and meditation, and do things that help you relax.
What we suggest at Sounderic is to practice Relaxation Techniques, where you clench your muscles and then relax your muscles, repeat this 5 times, so that progressive relaxation can help. If you are going to a meeting or an event, practice these techniques ahead of time.
2. Do some breathing exercises, anything to help you relax your body.
You can practice some pranayama and anulom-vilom exercises at home. Try and breathe from the belly instead of breathing through the chest. The rationale is to get our muscles to calm down and thus relax the entire body.
3. Practice speaking to yourself in front of the mirror.
But the more you practice those difficult words and tough sentences where you always stutter, the better it will be. You might know some words that you always stutter on, so make a list of these words and sentences and practice saying them.
4. Read books out loud
Pick up any book that you like to read. Let out the tension in between and start again.
5. Accept your stutter.
It is okay to stutter. Do not make it a constant battle with yourself but a journey. A journey towards acceptance is the first step for your journey towards fluency and mindful speech.
6. Be gentle with yourself
Make sure you are surrounded by the right kind of people, people who uplift you.
There are a number of Support groups on Facebook that share their stories and experiences. It can be a healthy coping mechanism to share your story and talk to people who are going through the same.
There is a lot of speculation regarding whether Speech Therapy is something you should try for Stuttering or not. A lot of people vouch for Speech Therapy but many people do not recommend it. Finding a Speech Therapist who plans an individualized Intervention Program for the severity and the type of your Stuttering is extremely important.
At Sounderic, we not only do that but also make sure of that but also follow through with the Intervention and Treatment, even if sometimes, there is a relapse.
One important aspect of Speech Therapy for Stuttering is practice. Speech Therapy is not a magic wand that you can wave and achieve results with. In order to sustain or improve your fluency, it is important to practice and perform techniques that you have been taught in Speech Therapy sessions, even after the sessions are over. Only then will Speech Therapy show its result and improvement over your Stuttering.
A Speech Therapist may suggest strategies such as:
1. Pausing: One should not rush sentences as this will only increase stuttering.
2. Prepare them for situations where they stutter: Practicing conversations
with new people or even practicing in conversations in difficult scenarios will enable them to be comfortable and thus, talk fluently.
3. Costal Breathing: a breathing mechanism that can be used to manage to stutter. First off, it can be a little heavy but it is better than a stutter.
4. Deep and breathy tone allows good airflow and helps in the management of stuttering
5. Assertiveness: we control our stutter and not vice versa, therefore it is important to attack those sounds and own them.
6. Stuttering on purpose does sometimes enable you to control your stutter instead of it controlling you.
7. Practice, Practice! Practice all the techniques that you have been taught and see what works for you best.
8. Use the techniques in the real world.
Management and Treatment of Stuttering is a journey. A journey that will come to fruition once you accept and work on it.
At Sounderic, we help you do just that!
An increasing number of software, devices, and applications promoting fluent speech have taken over the market for stuttering. Although Speech Therapy for Stuttering and for all the other associated factors is encouraged, these devices are also an option in the Management of Stuttering. These devices are similar in size and in appearance to hearing aid. They include in-the-ear and completely-in-the-canal models. The optimal use of these devices is when they are used bin-aurally.
DAF (Delayed Auditory Feedback)
A user who uses DAF hears his/her voice in headphones, delayed a fraction of a second. DAF produces slow, prolonged speech that is fluent. As the person with stutter masters fluent speech skills at a slow speaking rate, the delay is reduced in stages, gradually increasing the speaking rate, until the person can speak fluently at a normal speaking rate.
Pitch-shifting frequency-altered auditory feedback (FAF) modifies the pitch at which the user is hearing his/her voice. In the last years, a number of smartphone apps have been developed that implement DAF/FAF as software and are much cheaper than special hardware devices.
Stuttering can be a result of many aspects. It is important to learn to take control of your Stuttering, which can be only done once you accept it, and work on the aspects associated with it such as Psychological factors including stress, anxiety, frustration, and more. Speech Therapy plays a very important part in overcoming Stuttering. However, what is more, important is finding a Speech Therapist who can help you find strategies and techniques that can help you figure out the Management of stuttering.
You can also check out our Blog on Facts about Stuttering in Children https://www.sounderic.com/post/facts-about-stuttering-in-children