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
  • scarlett
    Re: Coping With Strict Parents
    i’m 12 and i’ve had a phone since i was about 8 and my mum doesn’t care about what i wear and i wear makeup every day and have never…
    28 May 2020
  • millie
    Re: Warning Signs of Self Harming
    hi i am millie i am 13 i have been self harming since i was 7 because in school i was bullied fat shamed and i have tied to kill…
    25 May 2020
  • KKSM
    Re: How to Deal with Pressure From Parents
    Hi ! I'm a girl of 15 from vizag , andhra pradesh , india . I am now studying in class 12 and going to appear for…
    19 May 2020
  • Sky
    Re: Warning Signs of Self Harming
    I’m sadly 12 years of age and started cutting last year. I cut on my arms stomach and legs. I can never control myself when I do…
    15 May 2020
  • Caroline
    Re: Arguing With Parents
    also i have bruises on my face chest pain from when my mum shoved me to the ground and have difficulty breathing also I have neck and back…
    15 May 2020
  • Caroline
    Re: Arguing With Parents
    me, my mum and my sister are always fig*hting and I am b*eing hit by my mum and my sister and I have had mu*ltiple injuries by both of them.…
    15 May 2020
  • Micky
    Re: Coping With Strict Parents
    I feel like my mother hates me. The only person I love is my older sister 11 years old.
    14 May 2020
  • macey
    Re: All about Abortion
    hi my friend is 12 and she possible could be pregnant she has said she doesnt want the baby can she have an abortion without her parent but a…
    12 May 2020
  • Messed up
    Re: All about Abortion
    Hiya I’m 15 years old and I think I may be pregnant I havnt felt myself since they day after it happened I feel sick,,tired,,stressed and have…
    11 May 2020
  • hiya
    Re: Coping With Strict Parents
    Well my problem isn't as bad as some of these that are on here but ever since I have had a phone, my stepdad and mum have some sort…
    5 May 2020