To stammer or stutter is an involuntary abruption in speech or absence of fluency in your sentence. Though it has no physical implication, yet its occurrence can have devastating effect on social, emotional and mental well-being of an individual. That fear of being constantly being noticed, laughed upon, ignored at times can trigger bouts of depression and low self-esteem in an individual. It usually results in dodging interaction, projecting as an introvert, bunking classes for the fear of being ridiculed or confining oneself from the outside world.
Though 1.5% of the world’s population is affected by this speech disorder, yet acceptance of the same in our Indian society is trivial or negligible. People are made fun of, they are discouraged to speak in front of relatives, rejected for school literary activities, marriage proposals are turned down, interviews are hell some task for them! A simple problem or shortcoming seems to take away their entire life and well-being from them – it bereaves them of their confidence, self-esteem, self-love and most of all self-acceptance.
Though it is a common problem, still people are ignorant towards its cause and subsequent solutions for overcoming it. In this article, we would discuss about the measures to overcome stammering.
Acceptance: The foremost thing is accepting that you stammer and accepting it with poise. The more you try to run away from it, the more it will subjugate you. Only if you know the problem that the solution would be available. Keep your head held high and smile.
Consulting a speech therapist: You visit temple if you want something, similarly if you want to get cured, meet an expert. Speech therapists try to diagnose the causes behind stammering and accordingly prescribe exercises, techniques and medications. There is no shame in seeking help! Let not humiliation detest you.
Stammering exercises: Exercises are really helpful to overcome or reduce stammering. As per doctors, common exercises like loudly pronouncing vowels (A,E,I,O,U) in front of the mirror quickly really helps. Tongue exercises are a must-lift your tongue upwards to touch the roof of mouth with the tip of your tongue and hold for few seconds and repeat this exercise for 4-5 minutes twice a day.
Breathing exercises: Breathing exercises have given fabulous response in order to cure stammering. It strengthens the respiratory organs and relaxes your muscles that builds up tension in the body. Care should be taken to always breathe from the stomach and not from the chest.
Reading aloud: Even Hrithik Roshan swears to this step to overcome stammering. Reading aloud gives you comfort with your own words and makes you realise the words on which you falter, improves your pronunciation and articulation. It gives you immense confidence and practice to read out loud to get into the habit of pronouncing and delivering with poise.
Speaking to oneself before the mirror: Mirror-mirror on the wall, who is the bravest of all! Mirror helps you introspect! Standing and reading or speaking loudly in front of the mirror shows the changes in your facial expressions or your eye contact in case of stuttering.
Practice Singing: Singing is said to be really helpful in case of stammering as it helps the sufferer learn to better control breath and the phonatory muscles. Try to talk as if you are singing in a rhythm and it will gradually inculcate into a habit.
Parental support and love: This is indispensable part of the treatment. It is said that only your parents can love you unconditionally but sometimes the same parents inadvertently tend to demoralize their kids. You must listen carefully when your kid is speaking. Completing their sentence before they could, shatters their morale. Always exhibit patience and calmness when he stutters in front of people.
Social acceptance: Stammers should not be forced to retreat to their cocoons. They need to be warmly accepted and supported. No one is perfect in this world. Rejecting a bright candidate, teasing a young kid, making fun of stuttering in movies is highly unethical and inhumane. It is unfortunate that the virtues are always overshadowed by a few shortcomings that a person possesses.
Develop confidence: Inferiority complex is natural in such a case. Dealing with it is the most paramount task. Confidence is the only proven remedy that has helped people overcome this lacuna. Have faith in yourself. Horne your skills to such an extent that people overlook all your shortcomings. People like Hrithik Roshan, King George, Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, Aristotle too suffered from it! So, let it not restrict you. Let the sky not be your limit!
Stammering is said to be further augmented by fatigue, anxiety or nervousness. A positive healthy environment at home and at workplace is of utmost importance in helping a person overcome it. Just have faith in yourself and let not others take you down.