What is Stammering/Stuttering?
In simple terms stammering is recognised as a tense, struggle to
get words out. It is a highly variable and unpredictable condition.
People who stammer can often experience periods of fluency
sometimes but then may also experience significant struggle to
speak at other times.
The typical features of stammering include repetition of
sounds/words, prolonging initial sounds/words or sometimes silently
blocking, getting stuck and not being able to produce any sound.
Stammering is often accompanied by physical tension in the face and
body and it can be difficult for the person to keep eye contact in
the moment of stammering.
People who stammer will often avoid words or situations that
they anticipate will increase their chances of stammering. Some
people who stammer will avoid to such an extent that their stammer
will be completely hidden (interiorised or covert stammering)
Stammering is like an iceberg with much going on 'underneath the
surface' that many people would not realise. The hidden or covert
part of the stammer includes avoidances, strong negative thoughts
and feelings such as frustration, embarrassment and shame. It is
these hidden features that play a part in maintaining the stammer
and that are addressed in therapy.
'Care received was fantastic and I was very well looked after
and very impressed.'
Patient, Day Surgery, Darlington Memorial Hospital