Don’t you think you are too old to stutter?. Well, believe it or not, some people who are already adults still have this problem.
While many young children are able to outgrow stuttering with or without treatment, this is different for adults because this has already been going on for many years. But this doesn’t mean you should give up because there are some people who do with a little modification in the techniques used. But there is a danger because adults who get used to it may soon experience a relapse.
This brings the important question. Should practitioners who are teaching adults focus on how to help the clients improve their speech or should they help the client accept the fact that this is permanent.
Some experts will go one way while others will go with the other. The more challenging one is improving one’s fluency because this involves speech modification. Examples of these include easier beginnings, fluency shaping, prolonged speech and reduced speaking rate as well as pausing.
If you want to accept stuttering, a very popular technique is called stuttering modification therapy. It is done in four stages namely identification, desensitization, modification and stabilization.
In identification, you recognize the events that cause you to stutter. In the second stage, whenever you are able to speak, you already tell the public already to bear with you because you have a stuttering problem. In modification, you learn to talk and stop. This gives you time to look ahead for easier words to use. The last stage is an extended version of the third because you are already an expert and you occasionally stutter.
There is also fluency shaping therapy which teaches you to speak with relaxed breathing, articulation and vocal folds. You learn to breathe using your diaphragm, gently increase vocal fold tension when you start a word and stretch vowels. You will speak slower but at least your language is fluent.
Should you have a stuttering problem, you should be the one to decide which way to go. Yes you will be the one who will find a specialist so you have the right to dictate what you want to achieve when you get help.
But some doctors will not accept that and do their best to try and integrate the two. This means combining fluency techniques with those that will make the speaker accept that this is a part of his or her life.
Some adults have resorted to electronic devices that are designed to change how the speaker hears his own voice. The three most common are delayed auditory feedback, frequency shifted auditory feedback and masking auditory feedback.
The first two reduce stuttering from 70% to 80% and this is without the use of any training or therapy. No studies yet have evaluated the third device but it shows promise because it can pull users out of silent blocks.
Adults can also take a pill to help reduce stuttering which is better known as dopamine antagonist medications. The problem with using them is that there are severe side effects and it reduces stuttering by only 50%.
Unlike other disorders, there is no one sure fire solution to treat stuttering. The technique used in one patient may not work for the other. Given that you are much older, instead of working on fluency or just accepting it, you can bring balance between the two. As a result, you become a better speaker with occasional stuttering.