Increasing Quality of Life for People Who Stutter

Jayne LatzDid you know that over 70 million people worldwide stutter? Stuttering is a complicated disorder that can not only affect communication, but can also affect self-concept and interpersonal interactions. Speech therapy typically plays a strong role in helping those who stutter communicate effectively. However, new research suggests that other factors–specifically family support and increased self-esteem/self-efficacy–may also be key factors in maintaining a high quality of life for those who stutter.

A study out of Oklahoma State University conducted a survey of adults who stutter. After controlling for demographic factors, the study found that social support from family and empowerment in self-esteem/self-efficacy were significant predictors of increased satisfaction with functioning in several domains of daily life, regardless of the severity of the person’s stutter. These results indicate that in addition to speech-language therapy for increasing communication, treatments which focus on increasing social support and enhancing self-esteem are also crucial for a person who stutters overall well-being.

A person who stutters may have difficulty getting out the words they want to say, but clearly they want to be respected and listened to just like every other person. Take a look at our tips for communicating with a person who stutters:

  1. Don’t Interrupt: Just like with any other person, it’s rude to interrupt a person who stutters. Never ever attempt to finish a person who stutters sentence for them. You may feel like you’re helping, but this comes across as rude and impatient and can be extremely aggravating for the speaker.
  1. Slow Down: Slow down your own speech and give the other person plenty of time to formulate a response.
  1. Watch Your Non-Verbal Cues: Monitor your facial expressions and body language to make sure you’re not inadvertently communicating discomfort or impatience. You may be sending negative signals you’re not even aware of.

For information on our New York based Speech-Language Pathology services, please call Speech Associates of New York today at (212) 308-7725 or visit our website at http://www.speechassociatesofny.com and find out how our team of professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists can help!

© 2015, Speech Associates of New York – All Rights Reserved

Sources: http://leader.pubs.asha.org/Article.aspx?articleid=2108106, http://ajslp.pubs.asha.org/Article.aspx?articleid=1939241

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