Stuttering is a disorder causing somebody to speak with a continued involuntary repetition of words or sounds. Stuttering is a genetic disorder meaning if your one of your parents has it or has had it, the odds are high that you will develop this disorder in your early years. Stuttering is not a rare disorder and affects approximately one in 20 children, ages two to five, that is about 70 million people. Although most of these children outgrow this speaking impediment by the age of seven or eight, there are still a large amount of people who have it all through their adult life.
There are many things parents can do if they notice their child showing signs of stuttering. One way is to ask less questions to your child, these questions put a lot of pressure on them. Instead of asking questions directly to them, say something like “I wonder what you did at school today.” With these changes in questions, your child can choose whether or not to answer, and not get nervous and feel pressured into talking. This also eliminates “time pressure” put upon the child, allowing them to gather their thoughts and speak, as opposed to being put on the spot.
Another way parents can get involved and help their child is to read to them. Find five or ten minutes here and there, in the mornings, evenings or night to sit down with them and read with them. This way, your child can practice pronouncing words, as well as watch and listen to you for feedback. While giving positive feedback in any circumstance , be sure to add descriptive words. For example, instead of saying, “this is good”, try and say, “I like the way that you cleaned your room.” Descriptive words give a child more confidence than just saying a basic compliment.
There are many famous celebrities that have speaking disorders, such as Samuel L. Jackson, Emily Blunt, Julia Roberts and Joe Biden. The great speaker Winston Churchill had a speaking disorder, but if you watch him you can’t even notice. Churchill pauses in his speeches, and his words and phrases are very carefully chosen, not only captivating his audiences, but also playing to his speaking strengths. Churchill was also rumoured to practice his speeches for hours at a time.
There many other options and “treatments” available to help children and adults overcome their speech disorder. Although people may never be 100 per cent fluent in speaking, with therapy and practice they will reach the point where they will become a good communicator. If you are able to effectively share your points of views and opinions with others, that is all that is really important.