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.
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!!
Fearne Cotton podcasts (on Alexa)
These are great mindfulness for kids.
Just say “I want to meditate”