Home > Teenage Troubles > Stuttering

Stuttering

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 10 Apr 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Speech Stutter Stuttering Impediment

Not being able to get words out quite right or not being able to speak smoothly in flowing sentences without stuttering can be awkward at any age not least when you’re in your teens. It can cause embarrassment, discomfort, affect your self-esteem and make life seem tricky. But it needn’t do. Stuttering is a form of speech impediment and, although it may seem horrible, by understanding it and knowing you’re not alone, you can learn how to cope with it and deal with whatever life throws at you.

What is Stuttering?

Stuttering is sometimes referred to as stammering and it means speech that it is interrupted. The official definition is, “An involuntary repetition, prolongation or block which interrupts the normal flow of speech.” The interruptions can be repetitions of words, sounds or syllables, such as ‘um,’ ‘t’ or ‘no,’ or instead complete silence, where you’re not able to get any further words out at all. Anyone can get anxious or nervous and not be able to say what they want to say, but stuttering is much more than this.

When Does it Occur and What Causes it?

In most cases, stuttering begins when you’re younger and it’s rare for it to suddenly develop in your teens. It’s four times more common in boys than girls and four per cent of those affected will recover, with or without help. The exact cause isn’t known, but it’s thought to be due to a number of factors. One key factor is genes, as children of parents or other family members with stutters are more likely to stutter themselves. It’s also possible that it might be due to a muscle problem, as some people with stutters have been found to have difficulty co-coordinating the muscles used for speech.

If you’re affected by stuttering, it’s common to feel different, out on a limb and as if you’re the only person affected. But take heart – you’re definitely not alone and many people, even famous names like Gareth Gates, Rowan Atkinson and Marilyn Monroe, have been through the same thing.

Myths About Stuttering

There are lots of myths about stuttering and much of what is claimed isn’t true. For example:
  • It’s not true that stuttering is caused by anxiety, although being anxious can make it worse.
  • It’s not true that stutters are any less intelligent than anyone else.
  • It’s not true that stutters are neurotic or mental.

How To Cope With Stuttering

There are lots of ways in which you can help yourself deal with stuttering. Some top tips include:
  • Seeing a speech and language therapist can help. If you’re not been referred to anyone before, ask your parents to speak to your doctor and see if it can be arranged. Otherwise, you could go privately.
  • Speak slowly and clearly and don’t rush when you’re talking.
  • Make eye contact and look at people when you speak.
  • Try learning breathing techniques, to help you learn to breathe correctly.
  • Get a good night’s sleep, as being overtired or exhausted can make stuttering worse.
  • Talk to your peers about stuttering, so they get a better understanding of it and how it affects you.
  • Don’t be frightened to speak or avoid social situations.
There is nothing shameful about having a stutter or a speech impediment and many people find that it improves significantly as they get older. If you know someone with a stutter, don’t laugh or make them feel inferior; instead be supportive and treat them like any of your other peers.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Hi there, Life with a stutter does not make your words any less meaningful. It defines you as a person. If someone is criticising you to the point where you don't want to talk, just remember, speech is just one of the ways you can communicate. Actions speak louder than words. You speech may stutter, but laughter is a universal language- there is no misinterpretation. Never be silenced. Shout at the world and the world will have to listen. Alternatively, there have been scientific studies that have proved that you can overcome your stutter when singing or listening to music-- my advice: sing everything!! No one can stop you!! Deep breath, calm your mind and you will succeed. Best wishes Si
Si - 10-Apr-18 @ 1:38 PM
I have bad speech because I'm deaf and I'm constantly criticized for it to the point that I don't want to talk..
Lis - 16-Jan-16 @ 1:13 AM
Life is never fun with a stutter. People will tease you for it. I'm lucky to have parents who give me tips. They tell me to slow down and take deep breaths. I'm lucky to have supporting parents.
Issac - 22-Feb-15 @ 4:48 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Ambs
    Re: Coping With Strict Parents
    I am 24 years old and my dad is so strict and my step mom....unfortunately I don't live with my mom ?? ?? But my dad is so strict…
    4 August 2022
  • blake
    Re: Coping With Strict Parents
    My parents are kind of flexible, but sometimes the rules they make are kind of stupid. I lost my phone for three months just because…
    8 October 2021
  • blake
    Re: Coping With Strict Parents
    My parents are kind of flexible, but sometimes the rules they make are kind of stupid. I lost my phone for three months just because…
    8 October 2021
  • blake
    Re: Coping With Strict Parents
    My parents are kind of flexible, but sometimes the rules they make are kind of stupid. I lost my phone for three months just because…
    8 October 2021
  • hey
    Re: Coping With Strict Parents
    Hi im 14 and my parents are very weirdly strict. I can get piercings and go out with friends, whatever they don't care. However I am…
    11 August 2021
  • lane
    Re: Coping With Strict Parents
    I’m turning 15 in 2 months . I live with my dad who is really strict , and it’s unfair because my friends parents aren’t and I wish…
    25 July 2021
  • VinnFeyn
    Re: Coping With Strict Parents
    I'm 14 years old, nonbinary and lesbian and my parents are massive homophobes as well as strict. I don't have a phone, I have to…
    28 June 2021
  • Rosie
    Re: Fostering and Adopting - Teenagers
    I am from the uk ???? If you need to know where I am.
    13 May 2021
  • Rosie
    Re: Fostering and Adopting - Teenagers
    Hi I am 11 years old and my name is Annie. I love to do drama and go on outings. I also love animals and hope to have one…
    13 May 2021
  • Ellie
    Re: Coping With Strict Parents
    Hey all, I'm literally turning 16 in 2 days. I have more adult friends than friends my age (thanks to my parents and me being an only…
    8 May 2021