Helping the College Student who Stutters
Updated: Jan 5
Helping Adults Who Stutter Communicate in College
By Lori Melnitsky, MA CCC-SLP
Being a college student with a stutter is not easy. It can be difficult to communicate with your peers and engage in the classroom to your maximum potential. It is a scary feeling when you have something to say, but you just stay quiet due to the fear of stuttering. It not only has a significant impact on your social life, but it might affect your academics.
If you are reading this you are not alone. There are more than 70 million people in the world who suffer from adult stuttering, and we are here to tell you that it is a manageable condition. There are plenty of ways in which you can minimize your stutter, regain your lost confidence and have the time of your life in college.
1- Practice speaking – It might sound like a redundant activity, but if you stutter as an adult, you need to relearn how to speak. If you slow down the pace at which you speak and talk, you will be able to manage your stuttering a lot better. You can do this in a few different ways. You can read a page from a book at a slow pace daily and try to match the same speed when in conversation with someone. You can also stand in front of a mirror and talk to yourself at a slow pace. The idea is to slow down with your words. This can really help you reduce your stuttering. However, nothing replaces actual speech therapy from someone who specializes in stuttering. It involves much more than slowing down.
2- Mindfulness – It is a proven medical fact that heightened emotional states can worsen stuttering. And research has also shown that there is a direct correlation between stress, anxiety, and stuttering. If you are better able to control your emotions and remain calm, then chances are that you might stutter less and also be able to learn strategies to improve fluency. .A lot of the time, the anxiety is because of the fear of stuttering. Mindfulness can help you combat these problems. Try meditating for 10-15 minutes a day. Breathing exercises can also be very helpful. This might not help the stuttering but it will help you mindset.
3- Speech Therapy – If you are looking for a long-term solution, then going to see a speech therapist is your best option. A speech therapist can help you improve your speech fluency. A good speech therapist can help you overcome your anxiety and the stigma that you hold because of your stutter. It is always a good thing to ask a professional for help.
If your stuttering is holding you back seek help. Personally I did, and it drastically improved my ease of communicating. Lori Melnitsky is a speech pathologist who has more than 25 years of experience and overcame stuttering. She has helped countless adults, children, and teens manage their stutter. There is no need to do this alone when help is available. Presenting in a class without support was torture for me and I hope I can help you.
For more information, please visit www.allislandspeech.com or contact Lori@allislandspeech.com
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