Stammering Awareness Day – 22 Oct 2020

International Stammering Awareness Day happens on 22 October every year. Stammering associations, individuals and groups around the world organise events to mark the day and to raise awareness of stuttering.

Above the water: what we can hear and see…

Core behaviours:
Part word repetitions; ‘I w w w want you to listen’
Whole word repetitions: ‘and and I need a bit more time’
Prolongations: ‘I fffind talking quite hard’
Blocks: trying to speak but no sound is produced.

Secondary behaviours:
Body movements people use to help them get started or get a word out once they have already started stammering: blinking, whole body movements, e.g. feet stamping, finger tapping, head nodding.

Safety behaviours:
Word avoidance, situation avoidance, delaying tactics, and speaking more quickly.

Below the water: feelings about the stammer…

Frustration, Anger, Sadness, Doubt, Shame, Guilt, Envy, Fear, Despair

How can we help?

‘Give us time to think and speak’

‘Let us finish our sentence in our own time, don’t finish them for us’

‘We are more then just our stammer. Listen to what we say rather than how we say it’

‘Stammering is not linked to intelligence’

‘Certain situations make us stammer more. Many of us find being put on the spot or feeling under pressure the hardest’

If you are living with a stammer and would like support you can refer yourself to our Speech and Language therapists here:
Adult Speech and Language Therapy service.
Children Speech and Language Therapy service.

Useful websites and helplines:

The Michael Palin Centre for Stammering website:
Helpline: 0203 316 8100

Helpline: 0808 802 0002