Stammering/Dysfluency/Stuttering! They all mean the same thing, however whatever the label stammering can be a stressful condition.

Since the beginning of lockdown, it has been reported that there has been a notable increase in people seeking help and support for their stammer. With working from home and online learning becoming the norm for the majority of the population, I suspect at times, all of us have felt the pressure to present our best selves to the zoom call, teams, or whatever medium we are sharing ourselves on. This creates anxiety and can chip away at self confidence.

There are also the technical hurdles we face, “You don’t have your camera on!” “Can you hear me? I can’t see you? You’re on mute etc..” Speaking can be distorted, broken or paused, people often miss their cue to talk and it can be frustrating. People who stammer are perhaps greater affected by these issues as at the onset of speaking, anxiety can peak, so getting the words out and taking turns in conversation becomes tricky. This can lead to them taking a back seat, and not communicating their opinions fully. If they have associated facial ticks or distortions due to tension when speaking then these can become more apparent as the individuals view themselves on the screen.

Conversely, living our lives through technology can bring relief to the introvert, or the social communication avoiders. Haven’t we all sent a text or an email instead of picking up the phone? For the person who stammers, this only gives less practice at facing some of those speaking situations most feared.

So if you have a stammer or your child stammers, maybe it’s time to seek help and learn some strategies to manage your speech and gain confidence.

Your stammer is only one aspect of you and it’s as individual as you are.

Happy Stammering!!!

Carolyn Darby

Below are some links where you can find a plethora of information about stammering. Check out the book recommendation too for younger readers.

Don’t forget International Stammering Awareness Day on the 22nd October 2021!!

British Stammering Association

‘The UK charity for people who stammer and those who support them’

Fearne Cotton podcasts (on Alexa)

These are great mindfulness for kids.

Just say “I want to meditate”

The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh

by Helen Rutter

for 6-12 years






On average 2 pupils in every class of 30 children will have lifelong difficulties with understanding language and talking. This is called Developmental Language Disorder or DLD. Developmental because it starts in childhood. Language because it affects words and sentences: understanding and/or talking. Disorder because it’s something that’s not expected.

It often goes unnoticed yet it can affect learning, literacy, social relationships, behaviour and mental health. That’s why RADLD (Raising Awareness of Developmental Language Disorder) exists and on Friday 15th October it’s DLD Awareness Day. The theme is: Think Language. Think DLD.

With greater awareness comes better understanding, support and services which all leads to better outcomes for people with DLD.

What is DLD?

It’s primarily a difficulty with language not intelligence. It affects a person’s ability to process and use language in different ways and impacts upon different areas.

At Happy Talk we are passionate about supporting children with DLD and their families. Research tells us that children need access to Speech and Language Therapy provision to be able to make the best progress. This may be through assessment and advice, blocks of therapy to target a specific weakness, programmes of specific intervention and strategies provided to school staff to help teachers to provide the right support for the child to learn in the classroom. Whilst it’s a lifelong condition the need for intervention will vary.

Some general tips to help with understanding are:
  • Use simple language to support understanding
  • Use visuals to aid memory and understanding
  • Encourage everyone to ask when they don’t understand
  • Model the expected language and provide sentence starters and narrative frames
  • Explicitly teach vocabulary and sentences
  • Give extra time to think and to allow the child to put their thoughts in to words


For more information, support or assessment please do get in touch!

Below is a useful poster resource that explains what Developmental Language Disorder limits: