If you have a friend or loved one who stutters, there are most likely some situations in which you are unsure of what to do when they are experiencing trouble with their speech. It can be hard to ask, so here are some answers to those hard questions:

Should I Finish Their Sentence?

Stuttering is different from a word-finding disfluency in which you get stuck in a sentence because you can’t find the word you want to use. This is referred to as a language block; stuttering is a speech block. During a moment in which you just can’t think of a certain word, it can be helpful to have someone finish your sentence. However, a person who stutters knows exactly which word they want to say, but it is physically stuck. If you are unsure of how to react when a person who stutters is in a block, just ask. 

Should I Hold Eye Contact When They Are Stuttering?

It is polite to maintain eye contact when speaking with someone, and there should be no exception for someone who stutters. You may feel like you should break eye contact to prevent a person who stutters from feeling uncomfortable, but it may actually give off the idea that you are uncomfortable. 

If Many Children Outgrow Their Stutter, Can An Adult Outgrow Theirs?

It is unlikely that an adult will outgrow their stutter. Recovery rates are high in early childhood but decrease steadily with age. However, this does not mean that they can not overcome it. A person can overcome their stuttering by no longer avoiding certain words, saying everything they want to say, and participating in society without allowing their stutter to hold them back. 

Are There Certain Words That People Who Stutter Always Stutter On?

Every person has a set of “feared” words or sounds. Research suggests that children stutter more on function words while adults stutter more on content words. Many people who stutter have trouble with their own name, regardless of the sound it starts with. 

Is It Normal for A Person Who Stutters to Stutter More When They Are Tired?

Being tired, sick, stressed, etc. can be a trigger for stuttering, but it is not a cause. Triggers can include anything from anxiety to sleep deprivation.

Why Do People Tell Me That They Stutter?

Self-disclosure of stuttering is a significant part of therapy. Disclosing helps to lessen the fear of speaking and clarifies anything the listener may be wondering.


To learn more about stuttering and how to cope with it, visit our website. Our team of licensed Speech-Language Pathologists can help you understand the stutter, and how to live with it. Interested in one of our Speech Easy devices? Learn more on our website and call today for an appointment!


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