Covert Stuttering: Different Ways To Deal With It

shampAbout the author: My name is Jill Shamp and I am originally from New York.  My family and I moved to Florida when I was three years old.  I have been working as a teacher assistant for the past nine years with pre-schoolers in Broward County School District.  I taught kindergarten and first grade at two different charter schools in South Florida and I am certified to teach prekindergarten through third grade.  I go to speech therapy once a week.

Before I started going to speech therapy I had been a covert stutterer.  I was very quiet in front of family members, in front of faculty members that I work with, and my friends.  It was difficult making friends because I did not like to stutter so therefore, I did anything to hide my stuttering by not talking, leaving the room, or not going out.  I started speech therapy, August of 2012 and it is beneficial for me, but occasionally I still have times where I am afraid to talk to other people because I do not want to stutter or have them think that I cannot communicate correctly.

I have learned different strategies to use when I feel I stutter, which help me speak more fluently. Some of the strategies that I use are:

  • Easy onset when I talk slowly.  This helps me to a degree to have an easier time communicating.
  • “Slide-outs” because I can slide out of a word that I get stuck on when I have a stuttering moment, and it helps me to feel more relaxed.
  • Pausing also helps, because it gives me time to think of what I want to say and how to form my thoughts when I am with other people that I do not know as well.

Using these strategies helps me to have an easier time communicating, and it helps me at times to be less of a covert.

As a covert stutterer, speech therapy has made a great impact on me.  It gives me more confidence that I can communicate, even though I might stutter, by knowing and using different strategies.  Having a speech therapist who helps and is always there for me makes a big difference, because it gives me more self-esteem when I feel I am being a covert stutterer, to start  using my strategies, instead of hiding my stuttering. Using and practicing the strategies that I have been taught, helps me to deal with being a covert stutterer.

Having my parents come to a speech session in January of 2013 helped them to understand what I was doing in speech therapy and how they can help me with what I needed to work on. Some of the strategies that I showed to my parents that work for me include easy onset, “slide-outs”, and pausing.  I used those examples in different sentences that I demonstrated to my parents so they would be able to understand what I was doing if I had a moment that I was starting to stutter.

Before my mom came to a speech session in April of 2013, I wrote my mom a letter explaining the way I felt.  In the letter, I explained how she could help me with my speech so I can have a better relationship with her.  The speech session was focused on my mom understanding not to give me negative feedback about my speech.  I also told my mom that I would discontinue asking her for input on my speech.  As a matter of fact, I told her that I will take the responsibility of my action with my speech.  At the end of the speech session, I gave my mom the letter and we discussed it. Since that time, I have been opening up a little bit with her but I know it is going to be a process.

I am closer with my dad and it is easier for me to talk to him.  He does not tell me to slow down when I talk.  I was able to have a good relationship with him because he does not give me negative feedback about the way I talk.  My dad just came to the one speech session back in January with my mom so they could learn the different types of strategies that I have been working on in speech therapy.

I have used the “Personal Support Inventory” and the “Coping Survey Questionnaires” (CSQ), both developed by Lisa Scott (2012).  According to Lisa, The Personal Support Inventory helps the client become more aware of their social connections and who they are talking to and are open with. It allowed me to be open with myself and see who I can become closer to.

Another tool that I use is called “Coping Survey Questionnaire” (CSQ).  The CSQ teaches the client to become more aware of their thoughts and their nonverbal behaviors in different situations.  This helped me to reflect and describe the way I was feeling and thinking at that time.

Another strategy involves recognizing and changing cognitive distortions which helps with the way a person feels about themselves. Cognitive distortion helps to focus on different areas that you might feel negative about.  For example, I use the eCBT Mood application, which I downloaded for US $0.99 (www.mymindapps.com).  It has helped me become less negative and pinpoint the cognitive distortions that I am using, such as labeling, mental filter, all or nothing, jumping to conclusions, and discounting the positives (http://addictions.about.com/od/overcomingaddiction/tp/cognitive_distortions.htm).  There are many more cognitive distortions that a person can have. Knowing what they are, can help the person better understand themselves.

Being an effective communicator involves focusing on nonverbal communication such as sitting up straight, not slouching and good eye contact.  This shows the other person that you are involved and are interested in what they are saying.  I am currently working on my voice inflection which is challenging for me.  Using specific vocabulary is very important to help avoid using filler words that I use, such as “ummm, ahhh, you know, like…”

My advice to others who are dealing with covert stuttering is to use a combination of speech tools and cognitive strategies.  I feel that, it is beneficial when a person uses different types of speech tools that work for them.  Not everyone uses the same strategies because everyone is unique and different.  The important thing is to try different activities to help you think about how you relate to stuttering and how it affects you in daily life situations. Overall, it is a process dealing with covert stuttering that takes time, patience, and reflection.

I became a covert stutterer because I was embarrassed about the way I talked and worried that people would judge me.  Before I started speech therapy, it was challenging for me to make friends and be out in the public because I was embarrassed with the way I talked.  At times, I felt that people were watching the way I spoke and it made me not want to talk and just keep quiet.  That was why I decided to keep to myself so then people could not judge me on the way I communicated.  My family members understand that I stutter and they accept me for who I am.  To this day, I am quiet at times in front of my family because I wish I could communicate and be fluent like everyone else.  At times, I still wish I could hide, but I am trying not to be a covert stutterer.  Getting help from my wonderful speech therapist has helped me to move forward in this process.

References

Lisa Scott, NSA, 2012 (Personal Support Inventory, Coping Survey Questionnaire)

http://addictions.about.com/od/overcomingaddiction/tp/cognitive_distortions.htm

www.mymindapps.com

Comments

Covert Stuttering: Different Ways To Deal With It — 187 Comments

  1. What a wonderful story! Very honest and descriptive. I truly hope this helps others to become more aware of covert stuttering. I’m quite impressed with how open Jill is with her insecurities. I hope this also encourages others with opening up as she has.

  2. Jill,
    Thank you for sharing your inspirational story. I appreciate how you shared some speech techniques that have worked for you in the therapy room, but also included the important key of cognitive strategies. As a graduate student studying communicative disorders, it is refreshing to hear that focusing on multiple aspects of communication has been helpful for you. After all, communication is most definitely not dependent upon only having fluent speech. Being comfortable in who you are and not hiding from words anymore is so exciting!
    Thanks again
    -Rachel

    • Hi Rosie,

      The CBT tool is great for me because I can see what type of a mood I am in and also the way I am thinking at that time. As far as speech there are plenty of days that I am at work being a covert stutter becasue I am nervous that I am going to stutter. I see a wonderful sppech teacher once a week. She has helped and ins continuing to help me.

      Jill

  3. Hello Jill,
    I am currently a first year graduate student at Western Carolina University in North Carolina, USA, pursuing a degree in communication sciences and disorders to become a Speech-Language Pathologist. Thank you so much for sharing your story! I found it very interesting to hear about the different techniques that you are learning about in therapy and how you are implementing them in your everyday speech. I have a few questions for you: Was there a specific event/experience that lead you to being a covert stutterer? For example, were you judged harshly by someone once and then you were afraid of that happening again? Also, do you feel less judged by the preschool students that you work with? You had mentioned that you are very quiet in front of family members, faculty, and friends, I’m just curious if you feel comfortable in front of the preschools that you work with? Thanks again for sharing your story. I look forward to hearing from you soon, and I wish you luck with your therapy!
    Thanks,
    Kasee Robinson

  4. Jill,
    Thanks for sharing so honestly. I was reminded of how much I hated to stutter and how many things I avoided as I grew up. At the time I don’t think I would have had the courage to write about it. I give you props! I get the feeling from your paper that you are much more than a covert stutterer. I get the feeling that you have much to offer your students, your colleages, your friends, your family. So.. yes you stutter sometimes, and it sounds like you hate stuttering (as I did), but… seems like there is much more to you. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Kevin Eldridge

    • Kevin,

      I decided to write a paper about covert stutter and what I go through each day. I am quite at work because I do not want faculty to know that I stutter. I am also quite in front of family members because I do not want to be judge because I stutter. I have a great speech therapist that I see once a week.

      Jill

  5. Hi Roka,

    All my life I have been a covert stutter and also shy. When I am around people I tend to keep quiet. I do not feel judged by my preschoolers because they are turning 5 years old. I feel comfortable I am quite in front of my family members because I do not want to be judged. I have a wonderful speech teacher that I see onve a week. She helps me a lot. Thank you again for reading my online.

  6. Hi Jill. Obviously, I’ve heard some of your story before, but I thought you did a great job of writing it. It reads like a journey toward discovering the difference between fluency and effective communication. That’s such an important concept and you conveyed it well.

    • Hi Dale,

      I am glad that I wrote a paper about covert stutter. Nancy is working on fluency,vocabulary,and even about being a good communicator. Speech is so helpful for me. I am glad I go to speech once a week.

      Jill

  7. Hi Jill,
    You mentioned a technique called “Slide out”. Can you explain in more detail what that entails?
    Thanks,
    Elana

    • Hi Elana,

      Thank you for taking the time out to read my paper. Slide-outs is if I am feeling bumpy or tense on a word, I slide out the sound and release the tension by saying the rest of the word.

      Jill

  8. Hi Jill,

    I am a future SLP and your story is very inspirational and revealing about concepts I will need to keep in mind as I become a clinician. I am wondering, do you feel your speech is more fluent in the therapy setting than in settings outside the therapy room? If so, do you think this is because of the comfort factor?

    Also, were there strategies you and your SLP navigated through that you found didn’t best suit you?

    Keep up the good work!

    • Hi,

      I feel that my speech is more fluent in the therapy setting because I feel comfortable with my speech therapist. It is easier being myself and it is one-on-one and know one else. There are two strategies that I found that were challenging which are inflections. Inflections are challenging because you need to change your voice with the way you talk and it was difficult for me. I have a challenging time with non verbal communication such as putting my finger near my mouth or sometimes inside of my mouth. I also have a hard time sitting up straight but I am working on my nonverbal communication. It is a process that takes time and with having a wonderful speech therapist that I see once a week it helps. If I did not have her I wouldn’t of done the paper or shared information that I go through.

  9. Hi Jill!

    I am a graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology and I first want to thank you for sharing such an honest and powerful story.

    I was wondering if you find it more comfortable/easier talking to a particular person or group rather than another person/group? For instance, I’ve read about PWS feeling comfortable/uncomfortable with family members or more comfortable with a friend, stranger or an animal. I’m wondering what makes you the most comfortable, whether it is a person, strategy, etc. and because I am a future SLP, what are some things that you really like to see in a clinician?

    Thank you!
    Elizabeth Larson

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my paper. I find it comfortable talking to my speech therapist about anything than to my family members. My speech therapist understands me which that is very important. It is important that they know how to help the person with their stuttering and to be there for their client. My speech therapist is just amazing!!!!!!! I love going to her because she helps me and if it wasn’t for her giving me an idea to write something for the online conference I wouldn’t have been open to share what I go through on a daily basis.

      Jill

  10. Jill thanks for sharing your story.
    I dont know if i can say that i was cover stutterer ,cause the way I was hiding my stuttering was by almost dont talking at all with people that didn’t know that i stutter.Anyway, for me to began stutter with people, was very hard. I felt that I release the monster,I couldnt use any speech tool,cause I had tremendous fear to stutter .I wondered if for you it was easier,or you also passed over hard period ?

    • Hi Ari,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my paper. Without me going to speech I would hide the way I talk by not talking and being by myself. Even though, I use different speech tools such as easy onsets, slide-outs, and
      pausing I still have times I do not want to talk so I can’t stutter. With having a wonderful speech therapist it mskes a difference. I do not want to stutter ay work or around my family so I tend not to talk. I feel comfortable with my speech therapist.

      Jill

  11. Jill,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with covert stuttering! As a future SLP and a current graduate student in Communication Disorders I am curious to know more about what led to you stuttering covertly. Was it due to how others responded to your speech or was it your own feelings toward your stutter? Had you ever considered attending or been encouraged to attend speech therapy as a child or adolescent?
    I look forward to your response!

    Shelby

    • Hi Shelby,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my paper about covert stuttering. I was uncomfortable to talk because I knew I did not talk correctly because I put in fillers and have trouble communicating my ideas to people. It was due to how people responded to my speech. I do not talk alot at work because I do not want to stutter or get embarrassed when I can’t communicate like everyone else. I always wanted to go to speech but my mom wanted the best therapist that would help me and we were fortunate that we found the best one out there. I have the best speech therapist that I started going to last August of 2012 and I continue to go because it helps me a lot. There will always be something for me to work on with my speech therapist. It is a long process but my speech therapist is always there for me. She is just the best!!!!!! I love going to speech to get the help that I need.

      Jill

  12. Hi Jill,

    You mentioned in your paper that you started going to speech therapy in August of 2012. I’m wondering if you had any therapy prior to this date and if it was helpful or if you did not experience any therapy before this time?

    Thank you, El

    • Hi El,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my paper. I did not go to speech until August of 2012 because my parents wanted to find the right speech therapist that would help me. My speech therapist is just wonderful!!!!

      Jill

  13. Hi Jill,

    Thanks for sharing your story. I gather stuttering is something that you dislike about yourself… so my question to you is why hate it, why not own it? In other words, what makes you feel that this is so important for you to change about yourself? Have you ever considered just accepting it as an attribute?

    Elina

    • Hi Elina,

      Thank you for taking the time out to read my paper. I wish I did not stutter in the first place and was able to communicate properly so people can understand me. It is a process to accept stuttering. When I am around people such as a lot of faculty that I do not know I tend to stick to myself so I can’t embarrass myself. I have such a wonderful speech therapist that helps me and it is a process that I am working on.

      Jill

      • Thanks for your response. I completely understand where you are coming from. I wish you lots of luck!

  14. Hi Jill!

    Thanks for sharing your story. I really enjoyed reading about it. I am a graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology and love hearing about how a Speech Pathologist helped increase your self-esteem and confidence. Do you think that that has a big impact on your stuttering? More specifically, do you think that if you feel more confidently about yourself that it reduces stuttering?

    Thanks,

    Cailey

    • Hi Cailey,

      I feel better when I am with my speech therapist because she makes me feel important and special. When I am around other people it can be difficult and my self-esteem feels like it goes down. In speech therapy I feel great talking but around other people it can be difficult. It is a learning process that my wonderful and amazing speech therapist helps me and is there for me.

      Jill

  15. Hello I’m Armina, 19 yrs.old.. still studying.. thanks for sharing your story.. my mother was cured for her stuttering, I don’t know how did she healed by herself without therapy. For me its impossible to cure my stuttering.. first of all I’m afraid to talk to everyone, then I’m out of place with my friends, I hide my stuttering sometimes, because I don’t want to embarassed them.. sometimes I preferred to be alone, everyone teasing me the way I talk when I’m start stuttering.. sometimes when I want to speak the words that I want to say I feel myself that I’m gonna stutter, I write it down in the piece of paper the words the words that I want express.. yes I have a voice but how I can express it if my stutter is there, sometimes I hate myself, because no one can understand me, but one person can appreciate my works only. God!! I can’t help my I have no idea on how to. Cure my speech deffect

    • Hi Armina,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my paper. That is amazing how your mom did not go to speech for stuttering. What did she do to help herself. I feel like you at times with not talking because I do not want to stutter with people that I do not really know or even in front of my family. Speech has helped me and still is with my amazing speech therapist. Speech can help if you find a speech therapist that you like. Good luck. I feel better when I go to speech.

      Jill

  16. Hi Jill,
    Not only has your paper inspired SLPs and graduate students in speech pathology to understand the importance of dealing with covert stuttering issues, but it has opened the door for people who stutter to share their stories. Your courage and honesty about how you have dealt with stuttering is admirable and helpful to so many people. You mentioned that you started using an app that deals with cognitive distortions, like labeling situations or jumping to conclusions. Has this app helped you to reflect on difficult speaking situations in a more positive way? Thank you again for sharing this inspirational paper.
    Nancy

      • Hi Nancy,

        Thank you for taking the time out to read my paper. I am so glad that people are liking my paper about covert stutter. The app of cognitive disorders can help when I am negative with my speech. It can help me what I am feeling on a given day. Thank you for responding to my paper.

        Jill

  17. Hello Jill!

    Thank you for sharing your story, it was very inspirational and eye-opening for me. I am currently a first year graduate student for Speech Language Pathology and I haven’t had a lot of exposure to stuttering. I found the tools you have used in therapy to be very interesting and helpful. I liked how they focused more on the individual’s perception and feelings about their stuttering. It makes me so happy that your speech therapist has allowed you to be more comfortable and confident in yourself. To me, that is the most important thing. My question is, have you had previous speech therapy that was not as effective in the past or is this your first experience?

    Thanks,

    Molli

    • Hi Molli,

      Thank you for reading my paper. Last August was the first tine that I went to speech for stuttering. I am still a covert stutter but my speech therapist is helping me and it is a process.

      Jill

  18. Hi Jill,

    Your story was very informational and inspiring. I am a first year graduate student in the Communication Disorders program at Minnesota State University, Mankato. I have a couple of questions for you: 1) How old were you when you first started stuttering, or noticed your stuttering? 2) Did you only start speech therapy in August of 2012 or did you ever try speech therapy before?

    Thank you again for your story. I think it’s so important for those who stutter to know different strategies that work for you so that they can maybe try one that they’ve never tried before or heard of before.

    Sincerely,

    Briana

    • Hi Briana,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my paper. I do not renember the age that I started stuttering. I wanted to go to speech for a while for stuttering but my parents wanted to find a sppech therapist that knew about stutteting and even fluency. Last August was the
      first time that I went to speech. I still go and love getting the help from my amazing speech therapist.

      Jill

  19. Hi Jill,

    I can relate you to you in so many ways. I identified myself as a covert stutterer for a long time but the term “passing as fluent” has resonated with me the last few months. I basically lived my whole as a false person by adopting a false identity ( fluent person). I realized through therapy and reading about stuttering that hiding stuttering and trying to pass as fluent is what keeps the problem of stuttering going. The suppression hypothesis by Joe Sheehan states that suppression of stuttering is what perpetuates and maintains the problem. In therapy, I am working on self acceptance and truly adopting the identity of a person who stutters. This is something that is very hard to do and takes a long time to fully understand. I am on the road to self acceptance and its a daily conflict to choose to be a person that stutters that than to pass as fluent. I feel that self acceptance is healthy, especially with stuttering. There is still not a known cure. Stuttering is a disorder that one manages through life.

    Thanks for sharing your story!

    Sincerely,
    Nadia

  20. Hello Jill, great paper. Some great strategies. I have always had issues with PWS being classed broadly as either overt or covert. I personally do not see these clear liens of behaviour. I think PWS tend to favour a behavioural style over another, but at times float and swap between the two due to circumstance, confidence, situation etc. What is your opinion? Also do you see links between rated severity and behaviours?

    • Hi Grant,

      Thank you for taking time to read my paper. I am a covert in many ways. I keep to myself at work, do not have a lot of friends, and can be quite in front of my family. I am not familiar with rated severity and behaviors. I started going to speech last August of 2012 and still continue to go. I have an amazing speech therapist that I see once a week. I love going to speech because she helps a lot.

      Jill

  21. Hi Jill, I am a 2nd year Graduate Student who is aspiring to become a SLP.

    This paper was a fantastic personal story about covert stuttering and the ways to deal with it and it caught my attention based on the fact of the ways in which personal relationships were handled. Jill, you stated in your paper that you brought in both your mom and dad to initial therapy sessions to teach them and show them how therapy sessions were conducted and what was going on in therapy. You also mentioned that you discussed with your mother about giving no negative feedback, and that you had a close relationship with your father where there was no negative feedback given by him in your relationship. Van Riper accepts the possibility that disfluency can at first be positively reinforced and then negatively reinforced (Ward, 2012). My first question in that aspect is would your stance on your parents feedback be different if they first positively reinforced it and then negatively reinforced it?

    Also, you mentioned the emotional aspect of it where you stated you were very quiet in front of certain individuals (faculty, friends, family) and you used specific strategies to cope with that. The literature states “improvements in fluency often serve to increase a speaker’s sense of confidence and ability to communicate freely. Likewise, reductions in the speaker’s anxiety and fears about communicating result in notable gains in speech fluency” (ASHA, 2001), and “Once the emotional aspects of stuttering are met, the speaker can increase their fluent speech” (Stuttering Foundation, 2013). Based on that, my 2nd question is do you feel that if you stuttered and spoke only to your dad first before moving on to everyone else, it would have reduced the anxiety/changed anything at all?

    Thank you so much for writing this fantastic piece Jill. I truly learned a lot and it got me into some critical thinking in terms of stuttering as well as the social aspect of it and the reinforcement aspect of it.

    • Hi Neil,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my paper. My mom would tell me I put fillers in, talk to fast, and I talk too loud. It just came to a point that my speech therapist and I decided to do a session with only my mom. I told my mom the way I felt and we came up with a plan for my mom not to say anything on the way I talk and for me not to ask her. It is good. Since my dad says nothing it is easier having a closer relationship with him. I have a difficult time talking to my family members because I do not want to stutter so therefore at times I am quite. I go to speech once a week and have an amazing and wonderful speech therapist.

      Jill

  22. Hi

    Hhmm can I ask what could be the best thinng to do to lost your stuttering, because I decided to have own self therapy,… because if I go to speech therapist, it expensive for me.. so what I’m going to do

    • Hi Armina,

      I still stutter at times. The only thing that works for me is speech. I have an amazing and wonderful speech therapist that I see who helps me. I am sorry that I do not have the answer.

      Jill

  23. Jill, this was very informative! Thank you for being willing to share with others. I hope this will help a lot of people.:-)
    Your friend, Laurie

  24. Hi Jill,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! I see that you began seeing a speech therapist in 2012, were you at all apprehensive to begin therapy? And if so, why? If you don’t mind me asking this, was there anything specific that lead you to seek help in speech therapy? Also, you mentioned many self-awareness aspects about your stuttering, when you began therapy did you feel more in control after gaining this knowledge? I look forward to hearing back from you, and I’m so glad you have found a wonderful speech therapist to work with!

    -Mandy

    • Hi Mandy,

      Thank you for reading my paper. I told my parents for a while that I wanted to go to speech because I have a hard communicting because I stuttet and I am not fluent. I use the skills but it is difficult when I am with people
      I do not know and even my family members. Going to a wonderful speech therapist helps a lot. I love going to speech and I will never stop going because it is very helpful for me.

      Jill
      .

  25. Hello Jill Shamp;
    I am currently a second year graduate student at Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York. I am pursuing a master to become a Speech-Language Pathologist. I think you have created a wonderful paper, very thoughtful and with a lot of details. Thank you so much for sharing your personal story with us. As student clinician, I am currently working with a client who stutters. It is very fascinating and helpful to read about the different techniques that you are learning about in speech therapy. I think it is wonderful to read how you are implementing those techniques in your everyday speech. I wish my client could do the same. I have a lot of questions that I will like to ask you. Do you think that your parents made a right/wrong decision because they did not take you to a speech therapist when you were younger? Do you think that speech therapy at a younger age would have help you with your covert stuttering? You said that your mother went to one of your speech therapy. What else would you like your mother to do or say in order to help you to overcome your covert features of stuttering? What would be the best way to educate parents in order to help their children who stutter?
    Thank you
    Estefania Torres

    • Hi Estefania,

      Thank you for reading my paper. I was in speech therapy at schools for language but not for stuttering or fluency. I told my parents that I wanted to go to sperch therapy for stuttering and my mom needed to look atound to find the right person for me. My speech therapist is just amazing and I am so glad I.go to her. My mom is not allow to say anything to me about the way I talk. It helps because it bothered me for a while. Have the parents go to a speech session with their child.

      Jill

  26. Hi Jill,

    I really enjoyed reading your paper. Reading all these articles on stuttering made me aware of the different ways this speech disorder could affect someone’s life. Your article made me proud of the profession I’m going into. It’s great to hear your speech therapist is very helpful and is always there for you. I hope that’s the way my clients think of me when I graduate with my Master’s and start my career. It is heartbreaking that this speech disorder could have such a negative impact on someone’s life. It is wonderful that you found a variety of ways to deal with it and that you found different strategies that work for you to help you speak more fluently. At what age did you become a covert stutterer? Did you ever have speech therapy in elementary school?

    Thank you for sharing your story!

    Casey C.

    • Hi Casey,

      Thank you for reading my paper. I was a covert for a few years. I do not remember the age when I was a covert. I am still a covert at times because I do not want to stutter. I had speech therapy in public schools for language but nothing with stuttering or flurncy. Mu speech therapist is amazing and I am glad that I go to her.

      Jill

  27. Jill covert stammering is not easily understood (even by overt stammerers). Thanks for sharing your experience and glad you have found a therapy that suits you.

  28. Jill seeking help for your stammer obviously brought in to the open something you were keen to hide. How did you make this great leap?

    • Hi Paul,

      i decided to write a paper on covert stutter. I am still a covert stutter at times. I see an amazing and wonderful speech therapist.

      Jill

  29. Jill,

    I am a graduate student and taking a class on stuttering now. The topic of covert stuttering was a little confusing to my class because it does not present itself how other forms of stuttering does. The main question everyone asked was “how do I treat covert stuttering?”. Your story does so much to explain how it feels as well as therapy techniques. I think the combination of expressing your feelings to your parents, speech techniques, and lessening cognitive distortions will be a great resource for me in my future.

    Thank you for sharing your story and giving a description of covert stuttering that allows me to visualize it and get a very small idea of the importance of therapy.

    -Brianna

  30. Hi Jill! Thank you so much for sharing your paper with us. I am studying to become an SLP and I really appreciate your paper. I was wondering what the most helpful and important thing was that your SLP did to help you? Also, do you feel like getting your parents involved in your speech therapy was essential? Once again, thank you!

    • Hello,

      The most important thing is having my amazing speech therapist. I go to her once a week. Going to speech helps so much. My parents were able to see what I did in speech. Without my speech therapist it would not be the same.

      Jill

  31. Hello Jill,

    I am a graduate student and in my fluency class we have talked a lot about covert stutters. I am glad you have been able to make progress by finally going to speech therapy. I also liked how you shared the strategies you use outside of speech therapy.

    Why do you think there is a lot of shame and embarrassment associated with stuttering?

    -Jamie
    Graduate Student

    • Hi Jamie,

      Thank you for reading my paper. There is a lot of embarrassment with stuttering because people do not want to be made fun of the way that he or she talk. People can also talk about the person that is stuttering which can lead to shame.

      Jill

  32. Hi Jill,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am a second year graduate in the communication disorders program at Mercy College. This semester I am studying stuttering in my fluency class and I am very eager to learn more about stuttering because I can see myself working with individuals who stutter in the future. Your story is honest and insightful. It opened my eye to how individuals who stutter feel on a daily basis and how it affects their lives and relationships around them. I thought it was great that you were able to include your parents in a therapy session so that you could express your feelings and that your relationship with your mother is improving. I think incorporating parents into therapy is an excellent way to educate them and inform them about what is going. I also noticed that you are having a really good experience in therapy and seem to really like your speech-language pathologist. I was wondering if you could give me any advice/tip or anything that your SLP does that you find very helpful that a future SLP like myself should keep in mind?

    Thanks again for sharing

    -Joanne

    • Hi Joanne,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my paper. The different techniques such as slide-outs helps me when I feel I am going to stutter it helps me to slide out from the word such as apple. Having a speech therapist that cares and is always there makes a difference.

      Jill

  33. Hi Jill!

    Thank you for being so open about your past and present experiences with covert stuttering. Hearing about how much of an impact your speech therapist has had on you and your life is truly inspiring. Currently, I am a second year graduate student, pursuing my master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders, at Appalachian State University. Though my experiences with fluency is limited, yet growing, I am still learning about different strategies and ways to enhance a client’s feelings and awareness of their stuttering behaviors as well as gaining a client’s overall perspective of themselves as a communicator. Reading through your comments, I see that this past year was your first enrollment in speech therapy. Could you describe some of the characteristics your speech therapist exudes that allowed you to choose her/him? What makes the current therapist so unique and distinctive? As an aspiring SLP, it would be nice to get an idea of what young adults look for in a therapist/therapeutic services.

    In addition, I am currently working with a third grader (a PWS) who displays several nonverbal behaviors in various communication situations, outside of the therapy room. Do you think the “Personal Support Inventory” and the “Coping Survey Questionnaires” would be beneficial for younger students who exhibit covert stuttering? Do you feel as if this is something therapists should utilize after establishing rapport with the client? Or at the beginning of intervention services?

    Thanks for sharing your story!
    Danielle

    • Hi Danielle,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my paper. My mom’s friend told us about my speech therapist. When I met my speech therapist for the first time I knew it was the right person for me to see. I enjoy going to speech because she is always there and listens to me whenever I need to talk to her. Having a good rapport helps and it surely makes a difference.
      As far as the personal support inventory and the coping questionnaire survey is not appropriate for third grades. It is appropriate for teenagers and also for adults. It is not good to do those worksheets the first time you meet new clients because you want to develop a rapport with your client.

      Jill

  34. Hi Jill,

    I am a first year graduate student in communication sciences & disorders. I learned new techniques from your paper, that I have previously not heard of before, such as the eCBT Mood application for recognizing and changing cognitive distortions. My question for you is, do you regularly use this application, or have you became familiar with it enough that you are self-aware of the cognitive distortions you are using?

    Thanks for such an informative and honest paper,

    Shantel Williams

    • Hi Shantel,

      Thank you for reading my paper. I use the eCBT mood app regularly because it helps me to see how I am feeling for the day. When I am being negative the app helps me to change the way I think from being negative to trying to be positive.

      Jill

  35. Hi Jill,
    Thank you for sharing your story! I have heard that individuals who stutter often have negative experiences or perception regarding speech therapy, so it makes me very happy for you that you have had a positive experience. I also found it interesting that you discussed covert stuttering, as opposed to the more overt features. At what age did you begin stuttering? Also, how do you feel your relationship with your mother will change now that you have been honest with her regarding your feelings related to her expectations for your fluency? Thank you for sharing your story! I wish you the best!
    -Kelli S.
    Idaho State University

    • Hi Kelli,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my paper. I started stuttering as I got in my older 20s and I do not talk as fluent as I would like. It is a process with my mom and I having a better relationship. I am fortunate having a great speech therapist.

      Jill

  36. Hello Jill,

    Thank you for sharing your stuttering story for the rest of us! I am a speech pathology graduate student and it helps me have a better understanding of what people who stutter go through when I hear stories such as yours. You spoke a little about the therapy techniques that you use to overcome your stuttering, what techniques do you find are the most successful for you?

    Thank you,

    Luke Heckly
    Graduate Student
    Idaho State University
    Pocatello, ID

    • Hi Luke,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my paper. The techniques that help me are easy-onsets, slide-outs, and pausing. It also helps having an amazing speech therapist that cares and makes a difference.

      Jill

  37. Hi Jill,

    Thank you for your vulnerability and honesty in sharing your story. It sounds like it was very freeing to write the letter to your mother. I hope that opened the door to more of a mutual understanding between the two of you. I am wondering if this was your idea to write this letter or if it was the speeh therapist’s idea?

    Thank you again,
    Renee R., graduate student
    Idaho State University

    • Hi Renee,

      Thank you for taking the time to read the paper that I wrote. My speech therapist and I decided to do a session just for my mom and my therapist tnought it would be a great idea for me to write a letter to my mom saying the
      way I felt. My speech therapist is amazing.

      Jill

  38. Hi Jill,

    Thank you for sharing your story. As a graduate student and future SLP, it was exciting to hear about how your SLP has helped you. We learn in school many techniques to introduce in therapy and it was great to hear that you have found some of these strategies to be beneficial. Many of my questions have been answered by previous posts but I was wondering if anyone else in your family stutters and was there a certain moment or age when you realized you stuttered? Also, did you find that talking about your feelings toward your stutter was helpful and if it did in what way?
    Thanks for sharing!
    Colleen

    • Hi Colleen,

      Thank you for taking the time to read the paper that I wrote. No one in my family stutters besides me. I started to stutter and am not fluent as I would like to be. Going to speech helps a lot because I have an amazing speech therapist. Honestly, even though I talked about me and what I go through with stuttering it is difficult at times for me to talk because I am worried I am going to stutter.

      Jill

  39. Hi Jill,

    Thank you so much for opening up to us about your experiences and for the valuable insights. As a graduate student of speech language pathology I have gained so much from reading your paper. I think it is important for all future speech therapists to read first-hand accounts of people who deal with stuttering-since none of it can possibly be learned from textbooks.

    I was especially interested in your use of cognitive behavior tools and the techniques you used to change cognitive distortions. Is this something your speech therapist discussed and worked on with you in therapy? Or is the speech therapy mostly focused on your speech/nonverbal behavior and you worked on the cognitive strategies through your own initiative?

    All the best,

    Leah

    • Hi Leah,

      Thank you for reading my paper. I see a therapist and he introduced me to cognitive distortions. My speech therapist helps me with my speech and also nonverbal communication. She also goes over with me the cognitive distortions. My speech therapist is just wonderful! I love going to speech because it makes me feel better.

      Jill

  40. Jill, You have written a very inspiring story! You are quite open with what you have gone through and seems you are on your way to bigger and better thanks to speech and self discovery! Hopefully this encourages others to confront their obstacles head on as you have!

    • Hi Jen,

      Thank you for reading the paper and taking the time to comment on my paper. At times, I hide my stuttering but I am working on it with my amazing speech therapist.

      Jill

  41. Hi Jill! Thank you for sharing your story, I found it to be very honest and insightful. I am currently taking a fluency class as a graduate student studying speech-language pathology. I was interested to read about managing the covert characteristics of stuttering because so many people focus on the overt characteristics. As we learned in class, the covert characteristics can have such a significant impact on a person, effecting not only their fluency, but also how they feel about themselves. I thought it was beneficial for your speech-language pathologist to address both overt and covert characteristics. Which part of therapy did you find the most beneficial? I also found it very rewarding that you had such a positive experience with your speech-language pathologist so I was wondering if there was anything in particular that liked about her? I thought it was great that she allowed you to include your family members in your therapy session! In our clinic at school, we believe it’s very important to include parents/family members in every aspect of therapy.
    Thank you!
    Marissa

    • Hi Marissa,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my paper. It was helpful to use a combination of overt (speech techniques) and covert (thoughts and feelings). For example The CSQ mentioned in the article helps with the way I think and feel. My speech therapist is just amazing. I love going to speech.

      Jill

  42. Jill,
    Thank you for sharing your story. As a graduate student studying speech pathology I was very interested in the techniques that you shared. I am always looking to learn something knew and enjoyed reading about the techniques that have worked for you. I was intrigued by your use of cognitive strategies. Although I am not a PWS I believe that acceptance is a huge key to progressing in therapy and it seems like you have reached that point. Good for you!

    If there was one tip you could share to help speech language pathologists understand and help other PWS what would it be?

    Nicole

    • Hi Nicole,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my paper. One tip that I would share with other speech language pathologists and PWS is it is important to have a good rapport with the speech therapist.

      Jill

  43. Hi Jill,

    Thank you for sharing your story and the ways that speech therapy has helped you. As a future speech-language pathologist, it is so encouraging to hear that you have found therapy to lead to increased self-esteem and confidence. It’s inspiring that you have taken the initiative and made a decision to improve the way you feel about communicating; that takes a lot of courage. It is great to hear that therapy has also impacted your relationship with your parents!

    Lindsey

    • Hi Lindsey,

      Thank you for reading my paper. There are times I hide my stuttering so know one knows like at work or even when I am around my family members. My speech therapist is just amazing and helps to make me feel better. I have a good relationship with my dad but with my mom it is a process that takes time. Without my speech therapisy it will be difficult.

      Jill

  44. Jill,
    Thank you for sharing your courageous story! I’m a graduate student in a communication disorders program hoping to eventually become a speech and language pathologist. I’m very happy that you decided to see a speech pathologist. I know this must be a daily struggle that you’re trying to overcome but you need to remember that you have so much to offer. I recently learned from speaking to a panel of people who stutter in my fluency class that advertising that you’re a person who stutters would really help in dealing with all of your emotions. These people explained that once they accepted that they stuttered and expressed it to everyone they spoke to it made them feel better because then it wouldn’t be a surprise to a strangers ear. It helped them to feel more confident. I wish the best of luck to you and I’m glad that your speech therapist has helped you to come up with various techniques that work for you because as you said everyone is an individual. I’m also glad that she has helped your relationships with your parents =)

    Vanessa

    • Hi Vanessa,

      Thank you for reading my paper. I am so glad that I have a wonderful and amazing speech therapist that is always there for me. She helps me so much. I still stutter and at times I hide it but it is a process that I work on every time I go to speech therapy with my therapist. It is a process to have a better relationship with my mom.

      Jill

  45. Hi Jill,

    Thank you for sharing your story! I am currently a second year graduate student pursuing a masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology. It is so encouraging to hear about your positive experiences with speech therapy! You shared about one of your therapy sessions where you were able to share with your mom your feelings towards the feedback she had been giving you and how she could help you. My question to you is how beneficial do you think including family members in therapy is? Also is there anything your speech therapist specifically said to your family that has allowed for better communication? Looking forward to your response!

    Thanks,
    Kerry

    • Hi Kerry,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my paper. It is beneficial for parents to come to a session or a few. It is important for them to know what is going on in speech therapy. My speech therapist and I had my mom only come to one of my sessions so I could tell her the way I felt. Since that session my mom is not allow to say anything on the way I talk and I can’t ask her how I am talking. It is a process that just doesn’t happen overnight. I am so glad I still go to speech and have the greatest speech therapist!!

      Jill

  46. Hi Jill,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am currently a graduate student studying Speech-Language Pathology. It is great to hear that the speech pathologist helped you so much. It is great that you are sharing your experiences, in order to help others. Have you ever considered getting into the field of speech-language pathology?

    Thanks,
    Ellana

    • Hi Ellana,

      Thank you for reading my paper. I haven’t thought about getting into speech-language pathology due to me being a covert stutter and with me not being fluent and communicating well. I still see my speech therapist and she is amazing. She helps me so much and is there for me.

      Jill

  47. Jill,

    Thank you for sharing your experience with covert stuttering! It was really interesting to read about how you handled your stutter and how you’ve taken charge of your speech/communication. I am a second year graduate student at Idaho State University and I was so happy to read that you have such a great relationship with your SLP. As a future professional, what would you say has been the most beneficial aspect of therapy that you worked on with your SLP? I’m so glad that you’ve had so much courage to take control and how positively it’s affected you, as well as your relationships with other people! Keep up the good work!

    Courtney

    • Hi Courtney,

      Thank you for reading my paper. The most beneficial part of therapy is having a great relationship with my speech therapist by being able to talk to her about anything. Another important aspect of speech therapy is learning different strategies such as slide-outs. At times, I am still a covert and it is a process that I am working on with my speech therapist.

      Jill

  48. Hello Jill,
    I am a 2nd year graduate student at Idaho State University and am just now having my eyes opened to this complex communication difficulty. I wanted to say that I am very inspired by your courage to tell your story. Thank you for allowing me to get a mental picture of the vast emotional aspect of stuttering. Studying about covert features of stuttering has been informative but you story was truly eye opening.
    Thanks,
    Itxaso

    • Hi ltxaso,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my paper. I am so happy that you liked my paper.

      Jill

  49. Hi Jill,

    Thank you for sharing your story. As a graduate student pursuing speech-language pathology, it is very helpful to learn about the techniques you use in speech therapy. It is great to hear that you had a positive experience with your therapist. Do you find it challenging to apply some of these techniques outside of therapy? I realized that many PWS are able to do the exercises with the clinician during the therapy session, but have some trouble carrying it out by themselves. Do you practice a lot on your own time?

    Thanks,
    Michelle

    • Hi Michelle,

      Thank you for reading my paper. It all depends on the situation and where I am. At times I do not talk because I do not want to stutter in front of people I do not know or even family members. I say one or two words. It is easier talking to my speech therapist. I practice what I am supposed to. At times,I hide my stuttering. It is a process I work on with my speech therapist.

      Jill

  50. Hi Jill!
    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with covert stuttering. I think it is great that you were able to include your family in your therapy session and work on those relationships as part of your therapy. I am a second year graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology. I am currently working with one client on stuttering and I was wondering if you have any suggestions or tips for beginning to address feelings, emotions, and behaviors in therapy? I would like to introduce this with my client because I believe it would be beneficial to talk about how he reacts to his own stuttering and how it makes him feel when he stutters. Do you think it would be better to address this for about 5-10 minutes per session or just spend the whole session talking about attitudes and feelings? I don’t want my client to feel nervous or embarrassed, but open to talking about his stuttering. Thanks for sharing your story and I look forward to your response!

    Marissa