Leading to Recovery From Stuttering

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Leading to Recovery From Stuttering

My experience in treating a few thousand people who stutter has shown me that while it may not always be easy, it is possible for most people who stutter to develop the ability to produce normally fluent speech. We do not yet understand why some people do use different neurophysiologic processes for producing speech, but we see so many examples of people who have apparently changed these processes. These are the people who once stuttered and no longer feel the same difficulty when speaking.

There are a few examples of famous people who for the most part have become fluent speakers. Carly Simon, who once struggled with stuttering, set her speech to a rhythm. In an interview she gave with Tavis Smiley, she showed an example of how she made herself speak with what she describes as syncopation. To me it looked like her speech progressed in syllables, as she was no longer trying to get words out. In the same interview, Smiley, who also once stuttered, says he began speaking fluently by imitating the cadence of Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech. This is an example of achieving a normal pattern of intonation.

Vice President Joe Biden tells of his efforts to overcome stuttering by practicing reading aloud in front of a mirror and trying to eliminate the contortions of his face.

My clients changed their neurophysiologic processes by learning to develop speech internally without any effort to get it out and by letting their voice reflect normal patterns of intonation while giving up all control over forming words or speech sounds.

Whether the change was made by self-help or within a treatment program, we can learn a few things from people who as older children and adults do change how they speak I am listing a few of them here:

  1. They investigate how people who do not stutter speak.
  2. They learn from watching and listening to themselves when they speak.
  3. They become aware of the act of speaking, instead of trying not to stutter.
  4. They are persistent in looking for solutions, instead of focusing on problems.
  5. Whether or not it is their conscious goal, they change the intonation pattern of their speech.
  6. They take responsibility for the recovery process.
  7. They are willing to do repetitive practice on a daily basis.
  8. They believe they are capable of making changes.
  9. They focus more on what they do rather than blaming external situations for their stuttering.
  10. They realize making change requires patience and time.

If you want to help yourself to speak with greater fluency, the first step is to develop as many of these qualities and behaviors as you can. It will make the process of change easier and so much more rewarding.

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Begin your path to fluency. Schedule your personal assessment at no cost with Barbara Dahm.