There is a common habit of making fun of everything around the globe-making jokes about cultures, civilizations, race, gender and even disabilities. But jokes about disabilities can prove to be very hurtful for the people suffering and living with those disabilities. Stuttering is one of those disability. Stuttering can pose real problems in both the personal and professional lives of those suffering from it and take years to get under control, not to mention the amount of embarrassment and frustration it can cause in the meantime.
On this International stuttering day let’s recall some fast facts about stuttering:
- Stuttering is when the fluency of speech is disrupted due to repetitions (li-li-like this), prolongations (llllllllike this), or blocks (….like this). These disruptions are accompanied by feelings of ‘loss of control’ by the speaker.
- Stuttering is not caused by being a shy, anxiety and/or nervous. However, having a stutter affects a person’s ability to speak easily and feel in control of their speech, which in turn can affect their ability to communicate confidently.
- It is a genetic incompetency. Nearly 60% of people who stutter have a family member who stutters as well.
- Stuttering people have slightly different brain than normal people. They process the language and speech in a different manner than any other person.
- Stuttering is treatable. Early interventions done before a child turns 5 or 6 years old helps reducing and managing speaking skills with stuttering. Speech therapy is considered most effective for this purpose.
- Remarks like “Relax”, “slow down”, “think before speaking” etc. demotivate and frustrate stuttering person. Best way to help them is to listen to them patiently with positive body language.