Best tips to Making friends in College if you Stutter?
By Lori Melnitsky, MA CCC-SLP, Stuttering Specialist and Person who Stutters
College can be difficult for any new student. It can be more challenging when you cannot say your name or communicate because of stuttering or stammering. It is something I personally experienced myself and hope I can offer you suggestions to enjoy college, make friends and communicate more confidently. I do recommend speech therapy with a speech pathologist experienced in stuttering so you have support and learn ways to improve fluency and communication.
Many of us who stutter try and hide stuttering. Ironically, it can make it worse. First, it causes us to hide who we are and not say what we truly want to talk say. This can encourage low self esteem and more anxiety.
These are a few tips that helped me and some I learned from many college students I have worked with over 25 years.
1. Find people with your interests. This helps to create a bond.
2. If you are struggling see if the campus has a speech clinic or can recommend a speech pathologist. Many are virtual now and it is a great option.
3. Consider telling a professor you stutter if you have to give a presentation.
4. Tell a friend you stutter to relieve the pressure.
5. Reach out to a support organization, like the National Stuttering Association, to see if they have a mentor so you do not feel alone. (www.westutter.org)
Personally, I met a good friend at a support group organization before college. We happen to be attending the same college. This was a gift in my college career. It helped me not feel so alone. I pushed myself to join activities outside of my comfort zone. Was it easy? No but it was a start to enjoy speaking with confidence. Having a supportive stuttering specialist was beneficial.
If you need more information, please visit www.allislandspeech.com
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