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Stammering

hi sam

I have problems with stammering quite a lot. I worry about people talking to me in case i mess up my words. i have to rehearse saying everything in my head to check it sounds okay. Sometimes i get to the point where i just cant speak properly for ages or i forget what i was saying. It makes me feel really isolated and anxious. Is there something wrong with me?

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Sam

Hi there,

Stammering is a type of speech problem where your words get stuck or you repeat sounds or make longer sounds. This can make you feel anxious and like you can’t express yourself or communicate with people. Lots of people are affected by some kind of speech problem – you aren’t alone and I have some advice to help.

Stammering can start suddenly, or build up slowly over time. It affects people in different ways, and yours might change over time. There might be times when your stammer is worse, like when you need to read aloud or talk to a teacher. It can be harder for things to flow when you’re under pressure or at times when you’re feeling excited or there’s lots you want to say . This might make you feel like you have to avoid certain situations or people, but that can make things harder in the long run.

You can ask to see a speech and language therapist who can help you understand why you stammer and learn ways to cope with it.  You can ask your doctor how to contact one or to make a referral for you. You can get this as a free service provided by the NHS.

You could also ask about getting extra support at school or college if you feel like your stammering is making school work harder. Try talking to your special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) so they help find support for you.

It can help to learn ways to feel calmer so that you feel relaxed and more confident about talking. Remember, your stammer doesn’t need to stop you from achieving your goals now or in the future.

Action for stammering children has more information and you can always contact a counsellor at Childline about how your stammer is affecting you.

Thank you for your letter.

Take care.

Sam

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