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Answers for Adolescents who Stutter


If you are an adolescent or youth who has a stutter you will be well aware of the frustration that you experience from time to time as a result of this unusual speaking problem. I say unusual because it may seem that way to you as you do not see too many other people who stutter so there is a tendency for us to feel a bit strange or even "weird". The fact of the matter is that research has revealed that about 1% of the population has what they would describe as a stutter. That is 1 in every 100 people. Now I know you will be thinking that you do not seem to meet or hear a person stuttering in every 100 people that you come in contact with but the fact still remains that 1 in every 100 people have this problem. The reason that your experience does not bear out these statistics is that, like you and me, most other people who stutter have become very good at hiding their stuttering by avoiding words or situations where they believe they will have difficulty. What this means is that there are people that you meet that you will not know are people who have a stutter. By far the majority of people who have a stutter are able to hide that fact in most situations and these people are often referred to as "covert stutterers". Some covert stutters live in constant fear that their hidden stuttering problem will surface at the most inopportune time like when they have to say their name or address, introduce someone, make a speech, talk to an authority figure or speak on the telephone. These are just a few situations where  a person who stutter tend to have varying amounts of difficulty and where stuttering tends to reveal itself more often. Many people who stutter are able to hide the fact very well even to the point where they believe that no one actually knows that they stutter or no one has ever really seen the full extent that their speech dysfluency can reach.

So if you stutter you are definitely not alone and one of the best ways to realise that and to help to accept your stuttering a little more is to make contact with others who stutter in your area. This has been a big step for all of us but it is one of the first steps you will have to take if you are to start to tackle your speech dysfluency problem. One of the best places to track down other people who stutter in your area and a stuttering support group in your country is through Facebook ( If you do not already have a Facebook profile I encourage you to establish one as it is very simple. There are very many stuttering support groups on Facebook so choose one or a few that sound right for you. If you need some help in finding a stuttering support group or other people from your country to make contact with, one of the best ways to do this is to go and add "Stuttering Jack" as a friend on Facebook. He appears to know every stuttering support group on Facebook from all countries and has contacts with other people who stutter from most countries of the world. You can also use the resources of this website where we also have information on all support groups and clinics that treat stuttering around the world.

Now I guess the question that you want answered is can I get rid of this stuttering. Well the answer to that question is, "it is now up to you" but it is more likely that you will be able to learn to control it to varying degrees rather than completely rid yourself of all traces of stuttering. Having said that, there are many people who have rid themselves of the effect of stuttering on their life and you may be one. Stuttering starts to effect many parts of your personality so you must learn to minimise the effects that it is having or has had on you. As you may be finding, stuttering is made worse when your confidence levels are low, when you are feeling anxious, when you are feeling tired and sometimes when you are excited. It also occurs when you have to speak in class, talk to teachers, answer the telephone, talk to girls/guys .... need I go on. So here are some tips that will help you.

1) If reading in class is a problem, practice doing it at home by yourself then progress to reading to yourself in front of a mirror. Finally do some reading in front of one of your parents. Do this until you feel comfortable with performing in this way in front of others.

2) You will probably have noticed that you don't stutter when you act another person or put on another accent or sing. It will help your speaking confidence in front of people if you can begin to be involved in drama/acting even if just at a small level but the more the better. 

3) Don't try to hide your stutter if it is at all possible. I know that some people may choose to make fun of anyone and everyone who has a little bit of a disability but you must not show that you are concerned if this happens to you. It is best that you show that you are OK with speech difficulty.

4) Don't ever let anyone tell you that you cannot achieve your dreams because you have a stutter. There is a lot more to the human spirit than how the words come out of their mouth. Communication is a lot more than speech. You CAN achieve what ever you set your heart to.

5) It is only natural that when you have a speech block other people will often say the word for you or start to speak before you have said what you want to say. You must understand that communication is about getting what is in your head into the other persons head. When the other person "believes" that they have received the communication they respond to it. In many situations, people who have an understanding of the nature of stuttering will wait for you but in more cases they will not. Understand that this is not anything to do with YOU. We all speak to people who do this when we faulter in our thoughts or pause for a breath. It is about THEM not you and how they think and react to similar situations. Do not take it personally if strangers do this.

6) You may from time to time find that people laugh when you stutter. Once again this should not be taken personally. This is not about YOU it is about the other person. Many people think that you are trying to be funny or are not sure what is going on so they react in the best way they know how. For some people that is to laugh. While most people do not laugh many, people do. It is THEIR way of handling the situation before them. Understand that they may have never seen stuttering before. Once again their laughter is not about YOU it is about them and how they handle such situations so don't internalise a memory of such a situation. It is not a reason for you to think thoughts about yourself as an individual that are not resourceful to you.

Understand that stuttering can be treated. There is a lot of information on this website so use it to research where you will head with your search for what is going to work for you.

If you have any questions you would like answered or have any suggestions of what should be covered in this section, please email

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Redifining Stuttering: What The Struggle To Speak Is Really All About

Redifining Stuttering - Harrison