Stuttering is one of the many types of speech disorders that people suffer from. It's difficult for those who've never suffered from speech impediments to understand the problems faced by the ones who do. It takes patience and a lot more effort than you may realize to stop stuttering. With advancements in techniques nowadays, though, there are myriad of ways and speech therapy activities to tackle the problem.
To start with, you have to first identify the reasons behind your stuttering. Many people stutter as a result of lack in confidence, low self-esteem or anxiety. Even if you don't habitually stutter, you may find yourself stammering in certain situations, especially when you're afraid, embarrassed or uncomfortable. Try and put yourself in the place of somebody who feels like this all the time. Stuttering can be a problem that may cause debilitating impediments in your daily life. People who stutter, may find themselves overcoming with fear at tasks that many of us don't even consciously think of, like going to the store or ordering at a restaurant. This, in turn, causes them to shun tasks that require social contact, often leading to anti-social behavior. What does that do? It contributes to the formation of a vicious cycle leading to further lack of interaction which just worsens the situation. If you'd like to learn more, the following are some ways to help you understand how to stop stuttering.
Identify the Cause
Although you may not be able to pinpoint the exact cause of stuttering, it could help if you can identify a pattern that may be underlying. Many people find that they do not stutter when they are alone. You may also find that you stutter less, or not at all, when in the company of people especially close to you. Parents of children who grow up with a stutter, sometimes find that it progressively worsens over years in school. Being asked to answer questions in class or in front of a group of people often causes nervousness, anxiety and the threat of ridicule. In certain cases you may also be able to single out a pattern that appears, for instance stammering over certain words, or in the company of certain people who make you nervous. To counter this, you can practice articulation exercises.
Speaking slowly gives you time to form the words in your mind, which in turn, reduces the stress of actually saying the word out loud. You can also try saying the word broken down into syllables in your mind before articulating. For example, if you're going to say 'following', break it up into 'fol'-'owe'-'ing'. Over the time, the time that you take to do this will decrease and you will speak faster and with more fluency. You could also practice some tongue twisters to give you additional aid in getting rid of the stutter.
'Sing' the Words
For no identifiable reason, most people who stutter, don't face this problem when they sing. To incorporate this into a learning method that will help you stop stuttering, try speaking in a sing-song manner. Adding some rhythm to your speech may enable you to concentrate on its maintenance rather than the words to be spoken.
It helps to breathe deeply in most situations of stress. If you're worried about speaking and are concentrating on how not to stutter, take a deep breath before you start. Practicing some deep breathing exercises will help calm you down, which in turn, will reduce the pressure you feel you're under. Breathing right can also give you the time to pause between words.
Reading aloud when you're alone may help you overcome stuttering. Practicing in privacy where you're not self-conscious gives you the time to concentrate on pronunciation. This is a good technique to increase speech fluency. Plus, reading helps to improve your vocabulary which in turn will give you the ability to substitute simple words for tough ones!
See a Therapist
If you feel you are unable to cope with your speech impediment alone, seek professional help. A Speech and Language Therapist will give you guidance and take you through a step by step program that will teach you techniques to reduce stuttering gradually. Certain techniques that are used in this process include the Block Modification Therapy, basic breathing exercises, usage of electronic fluency devices and in some cases, medication.
This is perhaps one of the most important tools at your disposal. Even though things may seem difficult, take it as a challenge to improve yourself. Positive thinking will give you the courage to overcome your speech impediment. Remember that there are many people who have overcome this problem and are now stutter-free.
Be patient with yourself if you're trying to stop stuttering. It's not something that you can achieve overnight. It will take consistent efforts for you to see the improvements. However, with practice and positivity, you're bound to overcome it and will soon be speaking with confidence, ease and fluency!