Speech Interrupted: People Affected By Stuttering Speak Out

Close up of woman's lips

That feeling of holding yourself back from finishing the sentence of a person who stutters — we’ve all been there. On this National Stuttering Awareness Week, WCCO Radio is doing a five-part series on the communication disorder that affects 70 million people worldwide, three million here in the U.S. alone. Wrapping up our series “Speech Interrupted,” we have a message from those who suffer from the disorder. Here’s what they want you to know during these final days of National Stuttering Awareness Week.

Stuttering affects 70 million people worldwide, 3 million here in the U.S. alone. And if it makes you feel uncomfortable, imagine what it’s like for them.

“A lot times I avoid certain letters,” said William, who stutters. “Or I avoid the first letter of some of the words.”

“I can see why people avoid certain situations, because it doesn’t feel good,” said speech pathologist Linda Hinder-Shite.

Throughout our series of interviews we’ve been told by patients and therapists there is no cure for stammering, but there is a way to manage it. .

Hinder-Shite says as people with the disorder age they become more accepting of their speech

“It doesn’t go away, but maybe you stop at this moment in time caring a little bit less about people making judgments of you, because you know what you’re successful at,” said Hinder-Shite.

Some with stutters find it therapeutic to face their fears head-on by speaking in public.

“I put myself in situations even though it’s hard to talk,” said Judy.

Judy and Danny both stutter, but that hasn’t held them back from being successful in life. They both love educating people on stammering and hope others will show patience and acceptance. Some free advice from Judy and Danny: Please don’t finish the sentence of someone who stutters.

“They just have to take their time and let us get our stuff out before they try to finish what we’re talking about,” said Danny.

“I like people to be patient and to wait for me to talk,” said Judy.

Joel Korte, who also stutters, says he understands people being thrown off when they come across someone who stutters, just be aware sometimes it’s not a joke.

“It’s pretty rare, it doesn’t happen very much,” said Korte.

He says a while back he was ordering coffee and stuttering and that’s when the cashier got frustrated.

“I think sometimes it takes people off-guard because I am so comfortable with it and I maintain eye contact,” he said. “She thought I was joking around, so she mimicked me. And I was just like, ‘Actually I stutter.’ She felt super bad, and I felt kind of bad for her.”

What children want you to take away from our series comes from the Stuttering Foundation. It’s advice for parents and kids.

“Kids should ignore the people who tease them about stuttering because it’s not their fault,” said a little girl.

“When kids are teased about stuttering tell them to stop,” said a little boy.

“Who cares if I have a stuttering problem, it’s your problem. You can’t make fun of people because they’re different,” said another little boy.


Source : minnesota.cbslocal.com

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