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Fluency in Stuttering — 4 Comments

  1. Thank you for you interesting question.

    I started stuttering at the age of 9. The reactions towards my stutter made me stutter a lot. So I became quiet and became a covert PWS. Than I met the stuttering community and started to realize I was ok, so I let my stutter out and I stuttered way more. I started to challenge myself and got a job as a teacher, and my stutter became way less, at least in front of the class, but my stutter increased when f ex talking on the phone. I got ill and am at home a lot, so I don’t talk much, and thus don’t stutter much. Than corona showed its ugly head and with all zoom meetings I stutter a lot more. But the advantage of growing older is that we don’t care as much, as we’re confident within yourself.

    So I’m sincerely interested to hear how you would grade my stutter or my fluency. Is it when I have less stuttered words, or when I stutter more but care less. 😉

    The problem with research and old-fashioned treatment is that stuttering is rated and treated according to the amount of stuttered words, where fluency is the goal. To me, being a PWS my measurements come from the words uttered (no matter how), how I communicate, and the way I feel about my stutter, as these outcomes tell me about my quality of life and the quality of therapy.

    So, to answer your question, my stuttered words get less the older I am (apart from all the zoom meetings during this pandemic ;-)), and the part below the iceberg has almost melted completely. (See my paper in this conference.)

    Stay safe and keep asking

    Anita Blom

  2. In my case, my stuttering did not decrease as I got older. My fear of stuttering decreased a whole lot as I entered the “I don’t give a f**k” stage in my life.

    Once I stopped caring so deeply about what others thought about how I talk, I was so much more accepting of myself and much more willing to put myself out there and stutter openly.

  3. In general the answer to this is probably no although some would say yes. Mostly those who would say yes would make such a statement if they had had some effective stuttering treatment intervention in their adult life that has been successful either in the form of speech therapy aimed at reducing, modifying or eliminating the physical stuttering or the intervention has been working on the psychological side of stuttering and has been successful. That psychological intervention can be either professional or self applied. When the person who stutters (depending on their severity) is in school or tertiary education the consequences of their stuttering tends to be less than when they enter the workforce, depending on the career one chooses. If the job requires a lot of verbal communication and the individual believes that fluency is critical to them holding the job, one can get highly anxious about episodes of stuttering and as a result some of those episodes can engender anxiety that borders on a panic attack. As a result of this increased level of anxiety and panic the expectation that one will stutter becomes greater and the episodes of stuttering can become more severe and so the problem becomes greater. Once again it depends on the original severity and how one sees the stuttering in their life as they age. As the person who stutters ages and goes into retirement the stuttering can get either better or worse. Those who report that it gets better say this either because their life can become less stressful or they do not worry about their stuttering as much. In both cases these factors can reduce stuttering as a “problem”. Those who report that the stuttering gets worse in retirement state that it is because their leaving the workforce can sometimes reduce the person’s self esteem and reduce the frequency of speaking situations. Such people can become quite reclusive in their old age. Anyway, in general stuttering does not get better with age especially if the person has never been effectively treated at any time in their life.

  4. I would say it depend on the way you live your stutter:
    Time can affect positively your stutter if you accept it more and you work on it.
    The effect of time can be negative if you avoid stuttering and struggle more and more with it (instead of accepting it)

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