Anyone stutter...advice needed!

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by Teacherella, Jul 15, 2006.

  1. Teacherella

    Teacherella Habitué

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Messages:
    769
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 15, 2006

    I am a graduate student pursuing a MAT in Elem. Ed. Throughout my life, I have mildly stuttered. My stuttering does not consist of saying m-m-m-mom, for example. But, it's called "blocking". I have longer pauses than usually or say 'um' or 'uh' to fill those pauses.

    I am am very confident in my ability to teach and once I get in front of the classroom, my stuttering/blocking almost disappears. It's when I have to do presentations in front of my classmates that I get nervous. I'm petrified to student teach and get observed (even though it's a year away). I don't want anyone to think I'm not intelligent or overly nervous. It's just that some words get stuck when my neck and vocal cord muscles tighten up. Do you think this is something I should tell the person who is observing me before hand? He or she would be from the college I attend, not from the school district I'm student teaching in (I think). I just don't want them to give me lower points on my presentation because of it. What do you think?

    Also, I'm looking into the possibility that I might have spasmodic dysphonia (tension in the vocal cord muscles, which cause a strain on your voice and makes you have many pauses), which sounds more like my symptoms in comparison to stuttering. I'm going to a speech therapist soon to get evaluated. Thanks!
     
  2.  
  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,935
    Likes Received:
    679

    Jul 15, 2006

    Have you had speech therapy in the past?

    Yes, I would mention the kinds of speech pattern they might notice - unapologetically. Merely inform them then go about your interview/lesson whatever it is. At some point you could let them know how this benefits your teaching with compassion for those with disabilities, a message to teach your students about differences and acceptance.

    I always think I speak too fast in the classroom. More slowly can be an asset.
     
  4. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2004
    Messages:
    2,612
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 15, 2006

    Suggestions to help a stutterer are:
    • The scrupulous elimination of refined sugar reduces and sometimes totally eliminates stuttering for a substantial number of children.
    • Eliminating caffeine --- coffee, Cola drinks and chocolate
    • Twenty milligrams of Vitamin B1 each morning may reduce muscle tensions in the vocal cords.
    • Speak softly and slowing -- You and the stutterer Never make a stutterer feel rushed to speak quickly
    • Reduce stress
    • Encourage saying the first word of a sentence slow.
    • Never let anyone make fun of a stutterer.

    Some unsuccessful treatments to be aware of are:
    Drugs – because of the large amount of any drug necessary to reduce vocal-cord tension is so great the side effects are unpleasant and unsafe. Surgery, CO2 and Electric shock are not effective. A common practice today of many well-meaning physicians is clipping tissue holding the tongue to the mouth. This practice also needs to cease, as it does absoluately no good. Singing, speech timed to the rhythm of a metronome, shouting and whispering are all largely ineffective, one reason being patients reject talking in a matter perceived as strange.
     
  5. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2002
    Messages:
    6,123
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 15, 2006

    Newbie, I stutter myself... usually when I get excited/passionate about something so my brain starts going faster than my mouth. It's far better than it was when I was little (and I was in speech therapy through high school, but never worked very hard because I resented going!), but I notice it, and other people do, too (whether or not they say something about it).

    I know there are words/phrases that tend to trip me up (for instance... I can never say the term "social studies" without REALLY concentrating it, that's one that tends to block me. I try, especially in interviews, to really concentrate on THINKING before I talk, which naturally slows me down. My mom suggested wearing a particular bracelet (I'm not a big bracelet person, so I notice it!) that every time I notice it, it helps me remember to slow... that has helped me!

    Or, when I get really tripped up, I tend to make light of it ("ooh, I just can't talk today!" and laugh)... I don't know, though, if that's the best way to handle it!
     
  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,642
    Likes Received:
    1,159

    Jul 15, 2006

    I took speech classes for about a half a year in elementary school. I had knocked my front teeth out when I was three, so I developed a lisping problem when my permanent teeth came in. The therapist noticed that I also had a blocking problem. I don't "fill" the space with any extras, I just pause. I've noticed that it's worse when I'm nervous/unprepared or when I'm angry. The kids really haven't ever said anything about it, but I've had a day or two over the years when something unexpected comes up and I'm trying to "wing it" . . . which triggers the pauses. I've told them about it then just in case there were wondering. I also have a hearing problem. I have to tell the kids to make sure I can see their mouth when they're talking to me or I have trouble understanding what they say.

    We had to pass a speech & hearing test in order to get into the teaching program. I did fine, even with both problems, because I knew "tricks" for compensating . . . which is, apparently, what they would have taught me had I NOT passed the test.

    Our principal has a bad blocking problem. She fills gaps with "uh". Some days its really, really bad . . . expecially when she's distracted or something is going on to cause stress. I DO have to explain that to the kids because some of them have made rude comments or counted the number of times she said "uh" during the announcements.
     
  7. Teacherella

    Teacherella Habitué

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Messages:
    769
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 15, 2006

    Clarnet, I often say "I just can't talk today and start to laugh it off". I guess that's our way of avoidance, which is really the worst thing people who stutter can do! But, when I say it, it is always around people who know I stutter.

    Also, to the previous poster, I have been in speech therapy and am planning on going back again. Again, I do not stutter by saying m-m-mom, but instead, by pausing or replacing the pausing with uh and um. That is why I found the condition called spasmodic dysphonia so interesting. I'm going to ask my speech therapist (when I go to my first appointment) if this is a possibility.

    Thanks!
     
  8. TheConspiracy

    TheConspiracy Companion

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jul 15, 2006

    I had an ex-boyfriend years ago with a bad stammer. He suffered from both blocking and stuttering on not just letters but letter groupings. So "mom" would come out as "mmm--mmmm---mo ---mom." He also suffered from facial twitches associated with stammering (I found them quite adorable actually). He compensated by working in a highly technical field where his expertise outweighed the importance of the stammer. One thing that helped him witht he stammer (but not the blocking) was wearing a hearing aid that gave a soft echo in his ear. I guess there is something about hearing the words echoed that stops the stammer (hence why he had no problem singing in a chior as well).

    David did quite well in public simply telling people he had a stammer and explaining to people that he doesn't like people finishing his thoughts for him (this was always necessary at restaurants where impatient waitresses would rush to fill in the gaps - usually guessing wrong. There is a big difference between medium rare and medium well...lol).

    For the blovking David was fitted with a pressure device that strapped around his chest that would give a buzz on his sternum when he held his breath (which I guess is associated with the blocking). It was somewhat helpful - but not as helpful as the hearing aid.

    Hope this helps at all.

    ~J
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. alentaught,
  2. Luther Whitney
Total: 366 (members: 2, guests: 346, robots: 18)
test