Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Can’t speak

hi sam

im really worried because sometimes i just cant speak. it feels like the words are stuck and i feel like theres nothing in my throat. it really hard when someone askes me a question because sometimes i just cant answer. its embarasing im a teenager but people speak to me like im stupid or mich younger than i am. i open my mouth but i just cant speak sometimes what should i do?


Ask Sam


Hi there,

Speech disorders are a range of conditions that affect how someone speaks. They can range from stutters and lisps through to problems getting words out. This can make you feel uncomfortable speaking at all. Whatever the problem you're having with speaking, there is help available.

Having a speech disorder can affect many different parts of your life. It’s easy to take talking for granted but when it’s taken away, it can be very hard to make yourself understood. It might be that you feel unable to talk about how you're feeling, say your opinion, join in conversations or make new friends.

If you’re worried about something medical, your GP is usually the first place to go. There could be a lot of different reasons why you're finding it difficult to get words out. Your GP is there so that they can help you decide what treatment would be best for you.

Speech therapy can take time and effort before progress is made. This might feel really frustrating but if you have patience and determination, you can start to communicate more freely again.

Research suggests that around 1 in 10 young people have a speech problem - so in an average classroom there'll usually be around two people who experience problems with talking. It might help to find other people who have had these experiences and see how they cope with it. Our message boards might be a good place to start.

It might also help to think about telling your friends and family that this is a problem for you. The more people who know and understand, the more help they can give you. Childline has advice about how to have ask an adult for help, and you can try their conversation starter tool to help.

If you want to talk more about asking your GP for help or how this is making you feel, Childline are here. You can talk to Childline counsellors online so you don't need to speak out loud, but you can also talk on the phone if you want to practice using your voice.

Thanks for sending me this letter, I hope it’s helped.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter