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Can You Develop A Stutter

by Kristin Beck
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Can You Develop A Stutter

Can You Develop A Stutter

“There is no doubt that any individual who has ever been spoken to by another person will have heard them say something like “”Um””, or perhaps even “”Ah””. These sounds can be found in other languages too but they tend to be more common when it comes to English because there are only around twenty-six vowels in the language. The same thing applies with most other languages where each word has its own unique set of sounds.
But what these sounds actually mean is not quite as straightforward as one might think. In fact, linguists from Oxford University recently stated that the sounds we make when we speak may not really be words at all! Instead, they claim that our sound patterns are just part of our natural vocal repertoire which includes noises such as breathing, coughing, sneezing and laughing amongst others. So, why would someone stutter if this is true?
Well, while the above statement about linguist’s being correct, there are still some things known as’stuttered’ sounds which occur for people who stutter. For example, someone who stutters may find themselves saying certain sounds more frequently than others. This could happen over time, or it may seem to come out of nowhere.
The first reason I hear given for why an adult may begin to stutter is because of stress. It is said that when someone is under pressure then they are likely to become stressed and sometimes nervous. When speaking, especially in front of an audience, this is bound to cause problems.
Another possible reason why adults might stutter is because of self-consciousness. Someone who stutters may feel insecure about their stuttering, whether consciously or subconsciously. They could also feel down on themselves for having stuttered in the past. Perhaps they were told by another adult that they should never talk again. Or maybe they were teased at school about it. Whatever the case, they may believe that they shouldn’t talk anymore; or they may worry about how they look. Therefore, they refrain from talking altogether.
In order to develop a strategy to deal with your stuttering you need to know exactly what causes it. Once you understand what triggers it, then you can decide upon ways to prevent yourself from getting tongue tied.
Many people who don’t stutter get very good at using fillers, or small sounds, between two consonants – for example, “”um”” becomes um, and “”ah”” becomes uh, etc. But those who stutter often find themselves unable to produce these sounds. If you’re like me, then you probably find yourself trying to swallow your tongue before you start speaking – it feels much easier! And, once you’ve started speaking, you end up swallowing your tongue again. Eventually, you’ll want to stop doing both of these actions, but until you take control of your stuttering problem then you won’t really progress.
It’s important to remember that there is nothing wrong with you if you stutter. There are lots of different types of stuttering, and everyone finds their own way of doing it differently. Some people might stutter when they read aloud, whilst others might stutter when they’re watching TV. Some may stutter when they’re listening to music, whilst others may stutter when they’re playing sport.
If you stutter, don’t let anyone else tell you that you’re abnormal, stupid, lazy, incompetent, or anything else negative. We all stutter at times, but if we learn to manage it properly then we can use our speech to communicate effectively without feeling embarrassed.
Here are a couple of tips that may help you address your concerns and overcome your anxiety about speaking in public.
1) Find a quiet place where you can relax and speak quietly. Try to avoid places where there are distractions such as the television, radio, phone calls, video cameras, or a noisy kitchen.
2) Make sure you choose a comfortable chair. Sit upright with your back straight. Adjust your posture so that your shoulders aren’t hunched forward. Keep your feet flat on the floor. Relax your hands and arms. Take slow deep breaths through your nose and exhale gently through your mouth.
3) Start off speaking slowly. Don’t rush into talking. Let your voice go up and down smoothly rather than quickly hitting high notes and low ones. Use short phrases instead of long sentences. Speak louder when you’re angry, upset, excited, or happy. Then lower your volume when you calm down. Repeat short sentences rather than reading full paragraphs.
4) Be aware of your body position. Move your head slightly to the side to see what you are looking at. Place your index finger of your right hand somewhere behind your earlobe. Now move your finger towards your neck. You should now be able to locate your carotid artery located on either side of your neck. Count one, breathe normally through your nose and release your breath through your mouth. Hold your breath through your nose for five seconds, hold it then release it through your mouth for three counts. Continue this pattern throughout your conversation.
5) Watch other people who are speaking. Listen closely to what they’re saying. Notice how they pace their sentences. Observe how they emphasize particular words. Pay attention to how they pause after key words. Also observe how they change pitch.
6) Practice speaking slowly at home. Record yourself and listen back afterwards. See if you notice any changes in your speech style. What you’re going to try to do here is to practice slowing down your rate of speech. Do this by taking longer pauses between phrases, by repeating key words, and by changing your tone of voice.
7) Ask friends and family members to give you feedback after you’ve practiced speaking slowly. How did they react? Were they surprised by your new speech style? Was it difficult for them to follow along? Did they think it was clear enough? Did you feel confident?
8) Finally, keep practicing. Your goal is to be able to speak freely without worrying about stuttering. Remember, you’re not alone. Many people stutter too, and they haven’t let it ruin their lives. You can do it too.
I hope you enjoyed my article. Please leave positive comments below if you wish.”

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