Home > Teenage Troubles > Stuttering

Stuttering

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 5 Jan 2017 | 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..
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
  • TeenIssues
    Re: All about Abortion
    Melody - Your Question:Me and my boyfriend have been together for half a year and he decided to finger me whih I agreed too.however he had…
    26 May 2017
  • Melody
    Re: All about Abortion
    Me and my boyfriend have been together for half a year and he decided to finger me whih I agreed too.however he had recently touched himself…
    25 May 2017
  • Missy
    Re: Warning Signs of Self Harming
    @Aoneill 21 - if you feel this way, then it is important you seek help and some support :(
    24 May 2017
  • sai
    Re: How to Deal with Pressure From Parents
    I have faced the problem in my 12 grade by my parents, he hurt me by kicking me. My New Year 2017 was spoiled by…
    21 May 2017
  • Aoneill 21
    Re: Warning Signs of Self Harming
    I can't stop self-harming I have been doing it for 6 year's and can't stop no friends i'm scared of life ??????
    20 May 2017
  • TeenIssues
    Re: Let's Talk About Sex
    JennyJelly - Your Question:I have just turned 16 - the legal age. My boyfriend and I have been together for to years so we are very committed…
    19 May 2017
  • TeenIssues
    Re: Warning Signs of Self Harming
    JennyJelly - Your Question:Ever since I was little I would scratch until I bleed, sometime it was because I was scared or nervous…
    19 May 2017
  • JennyJelly
    Re: Let's Talk About Sex
    I have just turned 16 - the legal age. My boyfriend and I have been together for to years so we are very committed and in love. He wants to…
    18 May 2017
  • JennyJelly
    Re: Warning Signs of Self Harming
    Ever since I was little I would scratch until I bleed, sometime it was because I was scared or nervous but mostly I'd just do it…
    18 May 2017
  • SurferGirl
    Re: Coping with a Crush
    @MagicalFruits - it sounds as though he likes you especially if he was staring at you. But it depends on what way he was staring at you - as…
    17 May 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the TeenIssues website. Please read our Disclaimer.