On the occasion of International Stuttering Awareness Day, which was celebrated yesterday, we would like to highlight several important facts and information related to stuttering.
Stuttering is a disorder of speech fluency that affects the fluency and rhythm of speech. Disorder of speech fluency can be present in the form of several speech behaviors: blocking, repetition of sounds/syllables/words and lengthening of sounds. Also, in addition to the above-mentioned behaviors, accompanying, secondary behaviors in the form of physical symptoms may occur, such as involuntary movements of certain parts of the body, sweating, spasms of certain muscles, etc. If you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms in your child, in each In this case, it is advisable to contact an expert-speech therapist in order to make an assessment, after which the speech therapist will decide whether there is a need to include the child in continuous therapy.
It is important to seek the professional help of a speech therapist, since all the above-mentioned characteristics can affect the self-confidence of the child/person who stutters, and because of fear, they may begin to avoid everyday situations that cause them a certain type of stress: telephone conversations, shopping, oral examination, e.g. at school, setting questions in different situations. The above-mentioned behaviors that are manifested through the fear of entering into social interactions as well as of maintaining social interactions can lead to social anxiety. In these situations, in addition to speech therapists, it is important to ask for help and support from psychologists and psychotherapists.
In order to make it easier for people with a speech fluency disorder to achieve and participate in social interactions, it would be useful to apply some useful tips in communicating with them that describe how to talk to people who stutter:
🔹️Always look the person in the eyes when they are talking to you
🔹️Never correct the person or finish her/his words while they are talking
🔹️Always listen to what the person who stutters is saying, not the way they are speaking
🔹️ When communicating, be patient and always listen to the person to the end
🔹️Give people enough time to say what they want
🔹️Try not to use sentences like: “Speak slowly!”, “Stop!” “Breathe!” etc. in a conversation with people who stutter.
🔹️ Do not rush people to finish what they wanted to say as soon as possible
🔹️It is very important to use the opportunity to praise/motivate the child whenever there is an opportunity to do so.
Through this text and advice, we want to point out the importance and meaning of communication for each person, respect and waiting for one’s turn in communication. Also, it is important to emphasize that each person has their own time to talk and it is important to respect it. Therefore, let’s try not only to read this text, but also to learn to apply it in everyday situations and in communication with people who stutter!