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  • Lori Melnitsky

Stuttering: Hope to become fluent after age 30

Stuttering: Becoming more fluent after age 30: Stuttering since the age of 4 plus writing in my journal daily praying to wake up fluent took over my thoughts. It both consumed and confused me why I spoke differently. The magic of fluency I prayed for did not happen until over age 30. Intermittent periods of decreased stuttering happened after continuously trying fluency therapy. Some speech pathologists told me to accept my stuttering and stutter easily. That did not work since I could not express my thoughts at times. I had lip tremors, pushed my head back to get the words out and clenched my eyes. Other speech pathologists wanted me to speak unnaturally slow. My desire was to speak without the strain of blocking in my throat and changing words. I felt weak and invisible. Honestly I sounded like a robot, which was embarrassing. My first try at fluency was a two day workshop with 20 others who stutter. I was told by the so called stuttering expert he solved stuttering. Most of us were fluent in the private room after the workshop for ten minutes but that quickly vanished with a hefty financial investment lost. Honestly I would have paid almost anything for fluency. In this two day workshop, each participant was asked to say their name with a strategy quickly demonstrated. It was made to appear that speaking was easy and we could all be cured of stuttering. Everyone cheered when I said my name but when I went home I could not say my name or much else without stuttering. The anxiety I experienced came from years of negative experiences.. I was discouraged and frustrated. Anxiety did not cause stuttering. It was learned. Mental health professionals asked me if I had social anxiety. I am actually an extroverted person who loves talking and having friends. I love spending time with my family. The answer was no. It was clear they thought my stuttering was anxiety driven, which was even more baffling. There were many other short- term successes but I gradually decreased fears and worked on ways to re learn how to speak. It was and is a journey but I never gave up. Neither should you. If you are a teen or adult who stutters it is not too late. For many of us our journey emerges later on in life. I became a speech pathologist at the age of 30, a parent at age 31, an inspirational public speaker at age 40 and a fluent speaker after age 30. I now run my own speech therapy and coaching business.

Lori Melnitsky directs All Island Speech and Stuttering Therapy online and speaks nationwide on stuttering, motivation and ADHD. For more information please visit Please follow my podcast on Spotify-Stuttering DeMystified and Beyond

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