The Stuttering Foundation reports that around 68 million people in the world stutter, including three million Americans. This means that about one percent of the world's total population stutters. Unfortunately there is no cure for stuttering, and it is more common in men than women. Four times more men are affected by stuttering than women. If you or a loved one suffers from stuttering, you may be wondering how you can help improve and overcome it. There are several methods that can be used to help you improve your speech and possibly even eliminate stuttering, allowing you to speak clearly. Stuttering usually begins in childhood and disappears as the child enters adolescence. This is not always the case, and many adults can still suffer from a stuttering problem.
There are many misconception about stuttering, and separating fact from fiction can help
you determine what steps to take to address the problem. Some people do not realize that in many cases, stuttering is passed down genetically. In fact, about 60 percent of people who stutter have a family member who also stutters. A common misconception is that stuttering is the result of emotional trauma. This has not been proven to cause stuttering. Studies have shown that people who stutter are actually no more likely to have emotional issues than people who do not stutter. Many parents think if they wait out their child's stuttering problem it will go away on its own. While some children do outgrow stuttering, leaving it alone is not a recommended practice. Stuttering can worsen over time if not treated with proven techniques. If a child is stuttering for more than three to six months, it is best to seek help from a speech pathologist.
There are a variety of techniques to assist with overcoming stuttering. One method used to help with stuttering is singing. Singing words instead of speaking them stops stuttering. It may feel funny at first to practice singing the words, but it has shown to be highly effective in several people. Another method is to visualize the words you are going to use before actually beginning to speak. It's important to speak slowly, as rushing speech can add pressure and exacerbate the problem. Reading aloud to friends and family may boost your confidence as you practice speaking more clearly. Another technique is to take a deep breath before saying a particularly difficult word, or break it down into smaller sections so you don't get stuck on one word. Speaking in whispers or very loudly is another exercise you can try to help you not to stutter. Stuttering actually worsens when you are nervous or tense. Practice calming your nerves before beginning to speak. Meditation techniques are a great way to calm yourself down before speaking and can be taught to children .You can also pause and collect your thoughts, which will help you speak in a more relaxed manner.
You shouldn't hold your breath while speaking or try to speak a large sentence in one stretch. These can make stuttering worse. Try to speak one word at a time to slowly complete your sentence. Patience and practice are the key to successfully overcoming a stuttering problem and working with a certified speech pathologist.