Child healthLifestyle and Health

Listen lis li…li st…listen listen up

You might become a stutterer, for two reasons; one, for being a son, and two, for having me, a stutterer for a father.

Stuttering/stammering as is commonly known is a speech disorder characterized by frequent repetitions or prolongations of sounds or syllables, or other types of speech dysfluencies, such as sound and syllable repetitions, broken words (pauses within a word), audible or silent blocking (filled or unfilled pauses in speech), or word substitutions to avoid problematic words. Studies have shown that sons are likelier to stutter than daughters and that this condition tends to run in families.

I always know exactly what I want to say. The words are always there ready to pop out, but somehow, they just become stuck somewhere between my vocal folds and my mouth. Sometimes, they just rise up; sit in my mouth and cross their legs comfortably. Instead of coming out of my mouth steadily, they come in spurts. Then I find me saying something like, I …. I … am a… I am say—-say say sayiiiing, your- —your—– your —–dressssss is smaaaaaart, to the amusement of my age-mates.

Like every stutterer, I don’t know why words fail me. I don’t know why these words refuse to come out as fast as I will them. I am always wondering why I spend so much time saying I, over and over again while what I want to do is to say the next word.

Stuttering is not exactly a handicap. The problem about stuttering is; society. It doesn’t know how to deal with stutterers. Children listening to a stutterer find them amusing, so they laugh, make fun or sometimes jeer them. A child who stutters avoids talking, she/he avoids other children. Adults listening to a stutterer become bored, try to complete sentences for them or just become embarrassed on their behalf. They tend to listen with guarded smiles, suppressed laughter and avoid questions that could make a stutterer talk longer. The result, these people shy away from the public. They avoid careers like teaching, lecturing, salesmanship, and other careers that require them to talk.

It’s possible that every person who stutters grows up knowing that they can never become great (I mean, how now and they can’t even express themselves?) This is a great lie though. Vice president Joe Biden says stuttering and politics do mix. He was a stutterer. He became a politician; he became the vice president of The United States of America. King George the sixth was a stammered (The movie, The King’s Speech tells his story) The famous actress and singer Marilyn Monroe was a stutterer, so was the award winning musician Ed Sheeran, his song, Thinking Out Loud won Grammy award 2016-song of the year, best pop solo performance. Harvey Keitel was also a stutterer but he is one of the greatest actor and producer. He is an Oscar and Golden Globe Award nominee.

Apparently, Winston Churchill was a stutterer, and had to privately sing his speeches so as to practice them! Harvey Keitel, Marilyn Monroe, Ed Sheeran, Joe Biden and King George are just but a few of the people who did not let stuttering stand on their way to greatness. They are proof that stuttering can be overcome, and that being a stutterer doesn’t mean that here is something mentally wrong with you. It proves that people who stutterer are as intelligent as those who don’t!

In most people, stuttering reduces and disappears altogether with age. In some people however, it may persist for life. King George had to undergo speech therapy with the help of Lionel Logue. You too could overcome stuttering and pursue your career in media, teaching or even politics! Go for speech therapy, relax, relax your mind and body, breathe deeply before you speak, just remember it is not a matter of life and death. Practice, practice and practice some more. Behind the closed door of your bedroom, read out loud. Speak to self before a mirror. When reading, or giving a speech, try visualizing the words you want to say next. Remember to breathe when you stutter, and don’t forget to take it easy. You are not going to stop stuttering at once, but it will reduce and hopefully end with time. Parents with sons and daughters, who stammer, watch the film; The Kings speech, get a speech therapist for them, listen to them with all the patience they deserve, don’t make a big issue out of their stutter. Build their self esteem, and teach them how to get over stuttering once they are able to follow instructions.

Even stuttering is a mere detail in salesmanship if the fellow has really important qualities – How to Think Big

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Liz Ekakoro
4 years ago

Great. Thanks for sharing

Doreen Saringi
4 years ago
Reply to  Liz Ekakoro

Thanks for stopping by Liz.

4 years ago

“Sometimes, they just rise up; sit in my mouth and cross their legs comfortably.”

Doreen Saringi
4 years ago
Reply to  Mwongera

Yes. And refuse to come out, sadly.

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