Just recently I was reading an old diary of mine. On almost every page I wrote that I hoped I woke up the next morning and my stuttering would disappear. I wondered if I stayed up all night and prayed if I would wake up fluent the next morning. On New Years Eve, I would write my New Year's resolutions, which included I will find a way to stop stuttering this year so I could be free of the talking jail I lived in. I just wanted to say what I wanted to without struggling. I used to wonder what would that feel like? Would it change my personality? The truth is I was a teenager and my goals were too huge and unrealistic. I needed a speech pathologist who specialized in fluency. I needed to meet other teens who stuttered. (I did find some educated SLPs in my 20's who I will always be grateful to and taught me so much.)
I would like to share with you realistic goals to work on your stuttering. As I have said before, stranger things have happened and you can be free of the stuttering bondage. Here are some realistic goals to set. I am planning on writing goals with my clients as of the first of the year.
1. To find a speech pathologist who specializes in stuttering/fluency therapy.
2. To learn at least two new tools to improve fluency.
3. Learn to breath correctly with the help of a stuttering expert. Start by sitting in a chair and putting your hand on your stomach (below your diaphram). Breathing from your shoulders or while raising your shoulders will cause tension and tension leads to stuttering. Feel your diaphram expand.
4. Try and go into your first word easy.
5. Connect your words together.
6. Join facebook-The Long Island Stuttering Connection to connect with other pws.
7. Seek out a stuttering specialist. Some, like me, offer group therapy.
8. Believe in yourself. Even if you have had prior speech therapy and you felt it wasn't successful. Don't give up. Parents-never ever give up on your child-even if they don't seem motivated. Chances are they haven't found the appropriate person to work with.
9. Accept the fact that you stutter but don't give up on improving fluency. You have no idea how severely I stutttered. There were times I could not get a word out. I am grateful for the support and fluency therapy I have received in my life. I still do at times, but the fear of talking is gone (which I think added years to my life)
10. Post a comment on my blog and let me know how I can help you.
11. If you are a teen and are unsure how to decrease stuttering, have your parents contact me. I have had success with teens who stutter and have a great practice group. We have fun and use tools. (the adults have fun too!!)
Most importantly, my best wishes for a happy and healthy 2010. May the economy recover and we all find improved fluency, communication, confidence,good health and peace in our lives. Please post any questions and/or comments. I love knowing others are reading my blog.