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April 8, 2021

What is Stuttering? Local Student Share His Personal Journey

By Axell M. Rodriguez

Stuttering — also called stammering or childhood-onset fluency disorder — is a speech disorder that involves frequent and significant problems with normal fluency and flow of speech. People who stutter know what they want to say, but have difficulty saying it. For example, they may repeat or prolong a word, a syllable, or a consonant or vowel sound. Or they may pause during speech because they’ve reached a problematic word or sound.” 

Stuttering can be due to emotional distress such as feelings of anxiety/nervousness, fear, sadness, happiness, stress or time pressure. Often words emitted get jammed together because thoughts are faster than you are able to speak them. Stuttering can occur at specific times or at random. 

In regards to me personally, I started stuttering in 4th grade. I saw a student that had severe stuttering issues, at the time I thought, it was a new way to communicate. I did not think too  much about it and I mimicked him. I was unaware at the time that because I am Autistic, this is something that is common to do. To mimic an action that to me or to others seems an acceptable way to communicate. After a while stuttering became a habit, a part of me.

What worked for me was when my Speech Pathologist helped me with some exercises to decrease my stuttering. It worked, I only now stutter under strong emotional situations. I am able to calm myself down, breathe, refocus and talk without stuttering at times. Stuttering can be controlled with time, patience and techniques and for every person is different. 

Below are some resources that will help with stuttering and relevant important information on stuttering from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 

Treatment For Older Children and Adults Who Stutter

For older children and adults, treatment focuses on managing stuttering. An SLP will help them feel less tense and speak more freely in school, at work, and in different social settings. The SLP will also help the person face speaking situations that make them fearful or anxious. This might include speaking on the phone or ordering food at a restaurant.

Some adults who started stuttering as a child may want to see an SLP every once in a while. The SLP will talk to the person about how stuttering affects their everyday life and can help the person practice ways to manage stuttering.

Children and adults who stutter may want to look into local support groups, where they can talk with others who stutter and learn about other helpful resources.

 

Other Resources

References: 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/stuttering/symptoms-causes/syc-20353572

https://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/stuttering/


About the Author:

My name is Axell M. Rodriguez, I was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. I currently live in Land O’ Lakes, Florida with my family, including my two siblings, for the last 15 years. I have a disability called Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I am a student at the Learning Academy Program at the University of South Florida, where they teach and train students on ways to obtain a job/career. After I graduate, I would like to become a writer.  I like video games, wrestling, basketball, anime, and fanfiction, which are the reasons why I became interested in writing in the first place. 

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