For people who stutter speaking often feels like going from one hard word to the other. So, why are these words or sounds so difficult, what's so special about them and what can we do about them?
Let's find out.
People who stutter often start sharing their story with saying on which sounds or words they stutter.
Stutter is deep inside, but what we see outside are hard words and sounds. We try to avoid them, replace them, we fear and dread them.
There are vowels and consonants. Vowels let the air flow go, consonants kind of stand in the way. So, more often we have issues with consonants, especially with several consonants going together in a certain combination.
Once we have an impediment on a word or sound, especially in a highly emotional environment, our body and mind put this experience to our muscle memory. We start to fixate on it creating further expectations about this or that word or sound labeling them "hard."
Vowels serve as support for our speaking. What we want to do is to feel that support.
For this, we want to do the "balloon" exercise getting a bit tense and then deflating like a balloon, letting air go through our loose and relaxed mouth.
We also want to play with detaching the consonants in the beginning of the word. Trying to feel the support that we get from the vowels. Then we attach the consonant back in a reduced form. We don't want to give too much attention to the consonants.
Any kind of singing practice, belly breathing, any exercises developing our diaphragm muscles also work great.
We do fine in the classroom, but then get totally messed up in the real life settings.
We want to put that relaxing way of saying our hard words and sounds on a solid foundation. So that it stays there even in a highly emotional situation.
For this, we're using the hand stuttering technique inside the Improve Program. Using hand provides external synchronization to all the processes that go along as we speak.
This way we make sure we can say hard words in a relaxing way in real life settings. Which in turn starts to create new expectations about our speaking from our mind and body, and begins to build a new automated speaking pattern.
How do you deal with hard words and sounds? Would love to know! Leave a comment!