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Guidelines on Stuttering

Guidelines on Stuttering

Last Updated on Jun 27, 2022
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What is Stuttering?

Stuttering is a common fluency speech disorder that happens due to undue anxiety on the part of the speaker about the way he speaks. This anxiety results in disfluencies of speech and can become a habit for the speaker if it is not managed at a young age.


Characteristics of Stuttering

  • Discontinuous speech
  • Irregular rhythm and pace, with broken sentences
  • Lengthened words
  • Repetition of words
  • Signs of anxiety in the speaker
  • Facial grimaces, eye blinking

Stuttering is a disorder that starts from childhood. Health care professionals, speech therapists and behaviour therapists are people who can help manage stuttering. A person who stutters can follow simple routines of doís and doníts to minimize the negative effects of stuttering and to gain confidence.

Doís and Doníts of Stuttering for a Person who Stutters


  • Consult your family physician or a speech pathologist who can help you overcome stuttering.
  • Find out the cause of your stuttering. Neurogenic stuttering can be caused by underlying neurological problems. Developmental stuttering occurs when speech patterns have been monitored strictly during childhood. Psychogenic stuttering is the result of an emotional trauma, typically in childhood. Once the cause is discovered, you are ready to work towards minimizing the stuttering.
  • Practice controlled fluency. Speak slowly and use simple sentences. Let the words flow one after the other in a rhythmic pattern.
  • Jot down a list of words that you feel you may not say properly and practice them. Use them with close friends and relatives first, and then move on to the larger circle of the society.
Practice Difficult Words to Overcome Stuttering
  • Relax your oral muscles while you are speaking. Before starting a sentence, take a deep breath and start.
  • Identify the way you react to your disfluencies or breaks in speech. Discuss with your therapist on techniques of overcoming them.
  • Practice reading aloud, saying lines or dialogues, reciting poems or singing songs in front of others. This will help build a healthy breathing pattern while talking. Initially, work with close friends who really understand and love you. Then move on more confidently to larger circles.
  • When getting introduced to new friends or colleagues, relax, take a deep breath and speak.
  • Get rid of fear and tension of talking in front of others. Some techniques like practicing in front of the mirror, taking a deep breath, and relaxation techniques can help in overcoming the fear.
  • Join a support group for better results and improve your confidence.
Join a Support Group. Boost your Confidence & Overcome Stuttering


  • Do not be afraid of pausing or breaking your sentences for a wee bit.
  • Do not rush your words so that you sound as if you just want to finish your turn of speaking.
  • Do not keep thinking of words and change them mentally once you decide what you want to say.
  • Do not force the words that you find difficult to say. This can increase the anxiety and thus result in stuttering.
  • Do not stay focused on making eye contact with your listener. Practice intermittent eye contacts with body language and head movements to keep the conversation going.
  • Do not worry if others find out that you stutter or when you make any mistake while talking. Just continue as if nothing happened. What others think about your stuttering should not bother you.

Doís and Doníts of Speaking to Someone who Stutters


  • Maintain natural eye contact with the speaker and wait patiently till he or she finishes.
  • Use body language to ascertain the speaker that you are comfortable talking to him.
  • Speak slowly to them so that they are at ease but do not sound deliberate.
  • Keep the ambiance calm while talking to a person who stutters.
  • Stay engaged into the conversation with the person who stutters.
  • Listen and discuss naturally about the stuttering if the speaker brings up the topic or feels like expressing his problem.
  • Praise their talents and encourage them to show up without feeling uncomfortable.
How to Interact with Someone who Stutters


  • Do not finish the sentences for them.
  • Do not ask them to slow down or relax, even if it is to make the speaker comfortable.
  • Do not ask them to start over or repeat so as to say the sentence without stuttering.
  • Do not limit the time for the speaker by rushing them.
  • Do not put the speaker directly into stressful social situations in order to try to help them overcome stuttering.
  • Never criticize a person who stutters in front of others, even if it is not about stuttering.
  1. 6 Tips for Speaking With Someone Who Stutters - (http://www.stutteringhelp.org/6-tips-speaking-someone-who-stutters)
  2. Stuterring - (http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/stutter.html)
  3. What is stuttering? - (http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/stuttering/)
  4. Overcoming Fear and Tension Stutterinjg - (http://www.stutteringhelp.org/overcoming-fear- and-tension-stuttering)
  5. Stop Stammering - (http://www.wikihow.com/Stop-Stammering)
  6. Tips for Fluency - (http://www.stammeringcentre.org/tips-for-fluency)

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