What to do if someone has a stutter or a stammer?

October 22 is designated International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD) in 1998. This day is intended to raise public awareness of stuttering, which affects one percent of the world’s population.

According to the westutter.org website:

  • Stuttering is a difference in speech pattern involving disruptions, or “disfluencies,” in a person’s speech.
  • People who stutter may experience repetitions (D-d-d-dog), prolongations (Mmmmmmilk), or blocks (an absence of sound), or can experience some combination of these sounds.
  • The severity of stuttering varies widely among individuals.
  • It’s estimated about one percent of the adult population stutters, 
  • Stuttering is about three or four times more common in males than females.
  • There is no reliable, research-backed “cure” that works consistently, over time, and for all people who stutter.
  • Although there is no simple cure for stuttering, people who stutter can learn to speak more easily, feel better about themselves and their speaking ability, and communicate more effectively.

Claire Buckle, the founder of Ability Consultancy knows full well the impact of having a stammer has on trying to communicate with someone. Due to having a stammer, she knows that it is sometimes even a struggle to ask a question or to ask for help. That’s why she credits herself with being independent as often it was much easier for her to do things on her own.

Claire’s top tip for communicating with someone with a stammer is:

If someone has a stammer, try not to help them by finishing words if they are struggling – they want to speak for themselves

To find out more about stuttering or stammering click here