Monday, 6 April 2009

The Stammering/Stuttering/Speaking Disorder Part In Me

For those people who knows me well, they will notice that i always had problem when speaking...

It's like when I'm reading a sentence like for example:

instead of "Today i would like to have a burger for dinner"

but i usually speak in this way:

"Today i would like to have a burger for ........................................... dinner".

If i struggle the words out it ends up being:

"dididididididinner" or "di........dinner".

I noticed the stammering only starts sometimes if i have a long conversation with someone... Sometimes people ask me why you keep repeating that single word? And sometimes people tease me by following how i repeat a single word like 我 我 我 我 我 我 or w...... wo. And there's a time when i was in tuition during my secondary school days and my teacher asked me to read an article from the book and it was in malay and when i almost finish with the sentence; it strike me and it took me about 30 seconds of pausing to force the words out, and lastly the teacher finish the sentence for me.... That time i was so embarrassed of myself... When i was a kid it was pretty bad!! My mom scolded me for speaking that way and i was teased by my siblings for talking that way...
Usually it makes me pretty upset when kids at school tease me like that thinking I'm weird and so on...
Well now i have to say that I'm so much better than before because before i was quite bad at it... I guess I'm 98% "cured" from it!!! Thank god!! What i did is by training myself to speak rite and force the words to come out whenever it starts to stuck again.. But sometimes i still failed to force the words from coming out, and usually my friend helped me to finish what i had to say...

Like for example:

Me= "i think we should go to that place so it's............... Err........ it's............... Ummmm..... errr......You know...."

Friend= "safer?"

Me= "yeah safer!!"..

And i also discover it is better if i speak slower than usual.
Anyway, as a person with stammer, i must say that being a person with stammering problems is not a funny joke.. This is a serious matter to me, because most of the time when i need to tell something urgent, my words tend to stuck from my throat from coming out when it strikes... And it really sounds stupid and embarrassing to hear another person with the same matter as me.. Stammering upsets me all the time when it occur.. I always thought that it is just a habbit that i need to change.. But now i just found out that it's not......
Well I'm not 100% sure if my case is classified as stammering but then it seems like those information i search online seems to be so much similar (99%) to mine...

Gareth Gate's Stammer Problems
Anyway i think a lot of people know's Gareth Gates; well i brought him up cause he had a pretty bad stammer (so much worst than mine)... After watching the video i think my stammer is just a minor stammer where Gareth's stammer is a serious one!

Watch the video anyways:

No more stammering Gareth:

And here's stammer/stuttering wikipedia:

Stuttering, also known as stammering in the United Kingdom, is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases, and involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which the stutterer is unable to produce sounds. 'Verbal non-fluency' is the accepted[citation needed] umbrella term for such speech impediments. The term stuttering is most commonly associated with involuntary sound repetition, but it also encompasses the abnormal hesitation or pausing before speech, referred to by stutterers as blocks, and the prolongation of certain sounds, usually vowels and semi-vowels. The term "stuttering", as popularly used, covers a wide spectrum of severity: it may encompass individuals with barely perceptible impediments, for whom the disorder is largely cosmetic, as well as others with extremely severe symptoms, for whom the problem can effectively prevent most oral communication. The impact of stuttering on a person's functioning and emotional state can be severe. Much of this goes unnoticed by the listener, and may include fears of having to enunciate specific vowels or consonants, fears of being caught stuttering in social situations, self-imposed isolation, anxiety, stress, shame, or a feeling of "loss of control" during speech.

Stuttering is generally not a problem with the physical production of speech sounds or putting thoughts into words. Despite popular perceptions to the contrary[1], stuttering does not affect and has no bearing on intelligence. Apart from their speech impediment, people who stutter may well be 'normal' in the clinical sense of the term. Anxiety, low self-esteem, nervousness, and stress therefore do not cause stuttering per se, although they are very often the result of living with a highly stigmatized disability and, in turn, exacerbate the problem.

The disorder is also variable, which means that in certain situations, such as talking on the telephone, the stuttering might be more severe or less, depending on the anxiety level connected with that activity. Although the exact etiology of stuttering is unknown, both genetics and neurophysiology are thought to contribute. Although there are many treatments and speech therapy techniques available that may help increase fluency in some stutterers, there is essentially no "cure" for the disorder at present.

Primary behaviors

Primary stuttering behaviors are the overt, observable signs of speech fluency breakdown, including repeating sounds, syllables, words or phrases, silent blocks and prolongation of sounds. These differ in from the normal disfluencies found in all speakers in that stuttering disfluencies may last longer, occur more frequently, and are produced with more effort and strain.[2] Stuttering disfluencies also vary in quality: normal disfluencies tend to be a repetition of words, phrases or parts of phrases, while stuttering is characterized by prolongations, blocks and part-word repetitions.[3]

  • Repetition occurs when a unit of speech, such as a sound, syllable, word, or phrase is repeated and are typical in children who are beginning to stutter. For example, "to-to-to-tomorrow".
  • Prolongations are the unnatural lengthening of continuant sounds, for example,"mmmmmmmmmilk". Prolongations are also common in children beginning to stutter.
  • Blocks are inappropriate cessation of sound and air, often associated with freezing of the movement of the tongue, lips and/or vocal folds. Blocks often develop later, and can be associated with muscle tension and effort.[4]

Secondary behaviors

Secondary stuttering behaviors are unrelated to speech production and are learned behaviors which become linked to the primary behaviors.

Secondary behaviors include escape behaviors, in which a stutterer attempts to terminate a moment of stuttering. Examples might be physical movements such as sudden loss of eye contact, eye-blinking, head jerks, hand tapping, interjected "starter" sounds and words, such as "um," "ah," "you know".[5][6] In many cases, these devices work at first, and are therefore reinforced, becoming a habit that is subsequently difficult to break.[6]

Secondary behaviors also refer to the use of avoidance strategies such as avoiding specific words, people or situations that the person finds difficult. Some stutterers successfully use extensive avoidance of situations and words to maintain fluency and may have little or no evidence of primary stuttering behaviors. Such covert stutterers may have high levels of anxiety, and extreme fear of even the most mild disfluency.


The severity of a stutter is often not constant even for severe stutterers. Stutterers commonly report dramatically increased fluency when talking in unison with another speaker, copying another's speech, whispering, singing, and acting or when talking to pets, young children, or themselves.[7] Other situations, such as public speaking and speaking on the telephone are often greatly feared by stutterers, and increased stuttering is reported.

Feelings and attitudes

Stuttering may have a significant negative cognitive and affective impact on the stutterer. In a famous analogy, Joseph Sheehan, a prominent researcher in the field, compared stuttering to an iceberg, with the overt aspects of stuttering above the waterline, and the larger mass of negative emotions invisible below the surface.[9] Feelings of embarrassment, shame, frustration, fear, anger, and guilt are frequent in stutterers,[10] and may actually increase tension and effort, leading to increased stuttering.[11] With time, continued exposure to difficult speaking experiences may crystallize into a negative self-concept and self-image. A stutterer may project his or her attitudes onto others, believing that they think he is nervous or stupid. Such negative feelings and attitudes may need to be a major focus of a treatment program.

Please do leave a comment of what you think about my stammering. Whether is it really a stammer or not... Anyways just for your information, i do not do any head twitching or weird face expressions when my stammer occur...

No comments: