Being there for someone with stuttering


The feeling of expression for a person with stuttering is no easy task, mainly because of the different views of people living in a society. There is a section of the society that is unaware of what it is to have a stuttering problem. Stuttering also referred to as stammering or childhood-onset fluency disorder is a kind of speech disorder that obstructs normal flow of speech. A person who stammers knows what is going on in his mind and knows what to say, but is just unable to say it. This is the kind of speech difficulty faced, the person will either prolong, repeat or even stop while trying to say a syllable, phrase or word. Such a situation is certainly not comfortable and hence it is the responsibility of people around such as family and friends to make the person feel comforted.

As part of the growing phase, young children do stutter because the part of the brain responsible for language and speech ability is still developing. With time, kids outgrow this issue, however if the condition is diagnosed as stuttering the problem will persist into adulthood. How to really know if a person has a stammering problem. Take note of these symptoms.

Trouble during the initial pick of conversation with regard to starting a phrase or sentence

The person will have an issue with continuing a conversation noticed in issues with prolonging a sound or word within the uttered word.

When faced with difficulty in moving to the next word the person will incorporate certain sounds such as um to just have control over tone.

You will notice silence in between words and sentences.

You will notice excessive tension, movement or tightness on face or upper body while uttering a word.

The person becomes anxious while speaking

Irregularities in process of communication

Notice these physical symptoms of stammering

Rapid blinking

Head jerks

shaking of upper lip or jaw

clenched fists

facial tics.

An important point to note is stammering becomes highlighted when a person gets excited and anxious. However a person who stutters is comfortable in certain situations such as while being alone and speaking to oneself or being with a close friend.

When to take appointment with doctor or speech language pathologist

Look out for these signs of stammering in order to get medical attention

If stammering appears to be a persistent problem as the child grows older

You will notice a struggle in communication visible on discomfort in speaking or muscle tightening.

The person is unable to communicate effectively in school, work or during social gatherings.

The person will avoid situations where speaking among a large crowd is necessary such as being on stage or in a corporate environment.

What really causes stuttering

Medical experts have not been able to determine the real cause of stammering, however these are the possible causes.

Defect in speech motor control- Based on few evidences research has shown stammering is caused from defects in brain responsible for speech motor control. The areas that are affected are sensory and motor coordination and timing.

Genetics- There has been evidence of stuttering being genetic and experts say the cause of it is abnormalities in regions of the brain responsible for language.

Medical conditions such as trauma, stroke or any brain related diseases increases chance of acquiring stuttering.

It is to important to understand the feelings of a person with stuttering problem, because only the person with the condition knows how it feels to stammer. These people are just differently made and they too have strengths.

Being there for a person with stuttering:

Shame is a constant feeling of a person with stammering:

Someone who is unable to express himself because of stammering will feel shame, due to stuttering he may say different words than intended. In such a case counselors or speech therapists should aim at understanding the feeling of shame and help the person block such thoughts and feel confident and wanted.


A person who stutters will feel guilt when uttering a word unintended to while stuttering, this situation is common in normal speakers as well, where one will unintentionally misspell a word. Such a scenario makes a person feel guilty and they feel fear as well, the combination of guilt and fear is no easy task to handle. It is important for loved ones to be understanding and non-judgmental.

Situations that trigger stammering and the importance of being there for people

Young children who stammer are fearful of making friends and fear being teased and bullied. In such a case it is essential for parents and loved ones to make the child feel wanted and confident, and teachers too should help such students and help build their self-esteem by treating them equally as other students.

People who stammer fear seeking employment into the corporate world, due to the fear of lagging behind, not being understood by boss and other colleagues. In such a case it is essential for the boss and co-workers to be more understanding and give the person respect and chance to blossom.

Fear of public speaking is common with a person who stammers, because it isn’t easy to speak in front of a crowd fearing stammering. It is necessity for loved ones to build confidence in the person and make him feel comfortable.

Self-help methods for people who stammer

A person who stammers will suffer from social anxiety and will remain isolated, it is important for him to find strength to overcome anxiety and gradually work on mingling with people.

A stutterer will shy away from entering the corporate world due to fear of being in a crowd or public speaking. It is essential to gradually work towards being in a work place and have the confidence to excel.

For someone who is not comfortable being among a large crowd in a workplace, there are other alternatives such as work from home, one on one sessions of teaching young children and so on.

Pay a visit to a speech therapist who will teach you exercises to control stammering

A stutterer has the same level of intelligence and creativity as anyone else and with support towards such people, the talent and creativity network across the globe will increase two-fold. They can enter any profession they desire to and excel.



















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