In a sometimes fierce social sphere, society has come a long way at recognising the stigma associated with stammering.
Years back, parents would notice their child stammering; make an appointment with the GP, head there; only to be told it’s nothing to worry about as he or she will grow out of it.
Well, now we know that in many cases this is just plain wrong.
In fact, of the 5% of children who develop a stammer, 1% of those will carry that stammer with them into their adult life.
At least we know that, but we also don’t take kids to the GP only to be told they will grow out of it. There are more interventions taking place with speech therapists helping children to recognise their pattern of speech but more importantly to speak about it.
That did not happen in bygone years.
Decades ago it was a hidden aspect requiring those with a stammer to hide behind it. We had to go through life with social anxiety and the vast amount of the self-esteem problems stemmed from the issue being ignored.
It represented a sign of weakness; a sign that a person was flawed and to some extent, to have a disability.
Everyone is different. We all have our unique facets from how we dress, our sense of humour and how we speak.
Some of us are naturally gifted public speakers; others get stage fright when they need to speak in front of more than one person.
A stammer is not a distinguishing feature of anyone. It’s a unique personality trait that many have come to embrace and actually raise the profile of stammering in the public eye.
Look at many of the celebrities who have made it to the height of their careers and spoken about the problems they faced growing up. More people responded to public awareness and people listened.
No longer are people that have a stammer silenced by the stigma, but instead they know they have places to turn and it is a topic that is open to discussion.
In fact, statistics show that the first step in rectifying any speech impediment is to be able to openly discuss it.
It is a part of someone and ignoring it is like ignoring the person suffering from it. It causes isolation and the feeling that it is wrong not to be able to speak like everyone else.
The fact of the matter is that nobody speaks in the same way. You can listen to one person speak in public and not be able to help yourself from yawning when they speak in a low droning voice, and another speaks with nothing more than passion that inspires motivation, lifting our spirits and invoking a response in the form an applause and cheers.
There are people that have previously had a stammer that go on to be that public speaker; invoking the powerful applause that comes from speaking out with passion and flare.
The power is in every single person behind the voice. The voice is only the outlet to the words being spoken aloud. Speak with passion, and don’t be afraid to let the world hear what you have to say.
Create the voice of tomorrow and continue the practice to overcome the stammer. It will come with hard work and perseverance with the correct tools/techniques to hand.
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