The month of November is full of many days to celebrate and to take part in, but one that many don’t know about is the National Day of Listening on November 27th. Since 2008, when the National Day of Listening was launched, StoryCorps has been encouraging families from all over the United States to gather after their holiday meals and talk about family history, memories, and stories. While every family member’s voice matters, those who suffer from a speech difficulty such as stuttering may be more difficult to lend an ear to. SpeechEasy, your best choice in electronic speech devices, is here to provide ways in which everyone can have a turn sharing memories, and listening to them this November 27th.
- Listen to the person as though they don’t stutter. People who stutter are completely normal. In fact, when someone who stutters is treated differently, with unusual hand motions, interruptive comments, and snide facial expressions, they may view these motions as patronizing. Pay attention to what they are saying, not how they are saying it, and the conversation will go fine.
- Don’t try to finish their sentences for them. If you allow the person to talk without interrupting or assisting, they will eventually get to their point and won’t feel belittled or embarrassed.
- Refrain from saying “slow down” “take a breath” or “relax”. For those who use electronic speech devices or suffer from stuttering, these comments can interrupt their thought process, causing them to stutter more, and typically results in frustration or embarrassment.
- Control eye contact and facial expressions. Maintaining eye contact ensures the speaker that you are listening, and in fact paying attention to what they are saying. Refrain from looking puzzled, alarmed, or embarrassed to keep the conversation flowing rather than distracting the speaker. This lets the speaker know you are listening and are not bothered by the breaks in speech.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. A stutter may cause difficulties in understanding what someone is saying. If there is a time that you are unclear or lost in the conversation, wait for a break and let the speaker know you didn’t understand what they just said. Although it may have taken them a while to get the words out, asking them to repeat themselves is always better than pretending to know what someone is saying and be lost the rest of the conversation.
This November 27th, SpeechEasy encourages you to allow each member of the family to tell a story, share a memory, or explain history. This time spent sharing and listening to each other are ones that will be remembered for years to come whether electronic speech devices are used to help stuttering or not. Give every family member a chance to share, and add National Day of Listening to your holiday traditions every year.
SpeechEasy is a combination of proven technology and techniques which can be used to reduce stuttering this holiday season. Worn in one ear and similar in appearance to a hearing aid, SpeechEasy has helped thousands increase their ability to communicate effectively and confidently. The program that comes with every SpeechEasy is supported by a team of fluency professionals who truly care about your success. Contact us today!