Stammering Thought

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 Mr A and Mr B

Imagine a scenario-Mr A and Mr B are both pws who go to the same college.At the end of the semester each student has to give a presentation about a pregiven topic.Now let us go and see both the guys’ presentation:-

 We will take up Mr. A first:

Mr. A wakes up in the in the morning feeling as abysmal as ever.First thought in his mind-”Can I bunk this ????”Deep inside he knows he cant but still he likes to keep the option open by coming up with various plans.He spends a large chunk of the day brooding and cursing  and then spends some more time cursing the professor for coming up with presentation idea !!!! How unfair,he thinks !!!!(Mind you,he hasnt started his preparation even a bit).He spends most of the day thinking about the various scenarios which could happen tomorrow.Finally ,late at night he opens wikipedia and just copies the content thinking why even bother with it.He already knows whats gonna happen tomorrow.When arranging it in a presentable format,the focus is not on the quality of content but on the maximum inclusion of words he can speak with relative ease(relavant or irrelavant,doesnt matter).He completes the whole exercise in less than an hour,practices it once just for formality sakes and goes to sleep.Oh I forgot-He curses God and the professor again before drifting off !!!!!!

 Enough of Mr A,now lets see what Mr B has been upto:

Mr B wakes up in the morning with anxiety.He is also nervous,very nervous for tomorrow.He freshens up and tells his anxiety to give him some rest while he gathers the contents of his speech !!!Anxiety half heartedly replies-”OK FINE !!!!!”Mr B now leaves no stone unturned in collecting the data.He browses every relevant site he can lay his eyes on.He goes to the local library to get some ideas.He even calls the professor to clear some doubts.The Anxiety on the other hand is like-”Hello !!!!

I am getting bored in here !!!!!”He finally finishes after arranging it in the desired format !!!! Anxiety is thrilled now to be back again !!! But Mr B says-”Please be patient !!!!I also need to practice it a few times !!!”Anxiety sighs and replies”Ok fine ” all the while thinking how long could it possibly take.Now Mr B executes the final portion of his preparation.He practices,practices and practices some more .He practices alone,in front of a mirror,then with his dog,then goes to bother his mom and then goes to a friends house to practice with him !!!!Late at night he finally finishes being extra sure that he has done all that he could !!!!Anxiety,finally relieved says-”Can we play now ????? “Mr B just pulls the covers of his bed and says half asleep-”Are you kidding me ??? I am very tired !!! Let me sleep !!!!”Anxiety feeling very cheated decides to leave his long time friend for the night and hopes it can come some other day.But seeing Mr B’s attitude it knows they will never be the friends they used to be and after some time it may have to say goodbye to him.Mr B on the other hand sleeps like a log not before praying to God for tomorrows presentation.

 Now I wont tell you what happened the next day,you probably know that but I can tell you that after the presentation the expression on both of their faces were quite contrasting !!!!! Thanx for bearing up with such a long story !!! Before I forget I would like to share a quote with you which probably will have a long lasting effect on me for life-Success and Excuses never go han

what do you think?

30p

Unlearn fear

A reader asks:

Is it possible to reduce your autonomic response to moments of stuttering? I mean the pounding heart, tightness in the stomach, etc. If it is possible, how does one go about doing this? By just entering into more situations that evoke the “fight or flight” response?

The pounding heart, and tightness in the stomach is due to a reaction to the situation you are in. Your brain has learned to associate certain situations with fear and anxiety. So the next time your brain encounters a similar situation, it automatically triggers fear and anxiety TO HELP YOU TO BE PREPARED FOR THE DANGEROUS SITUATION. The reason your brain has learned to associate certain situation with fear is because your belief system has said that the situation is dangerous.

 Two things you must do:

1) Re-visit your beliefs (Is stuttering in front of people dangerous?), and change your beliefs. At the end of the day, you need to have a belief like “It is not my fault that I am stuttering and there is no reason to be scared, embarrassed, or uncomfortable.”

2) Unfortunately, changing your beliefs is not enough, because your brain has learned the association and you can only undo it by learning a new association. This means that you need to enter the situation over and over again, so that your brain realizes that it’s not a dangerous situation. There are several techniques to achieve this effectively: here is a

Finding confident

Today’s post is from a special guest writer, who has inspired me with her words and courage. The following was written by Amanda Schott.

(Amanda gave me permission to slightly edit her piece for length. This article will also be printed in the next issue of the FRIENDS newsletter, Reaching Out. Amanda’s mom also gave consent for her piece to be published here!)

Stuttering is a setback that affects me every day of my life. Last year, when I was in eighth grade, I began to stutter. It happened overnight. There wasn’t any gradual thing where I did it once or twice and then it grew to a full-on problem. It hit me suddenly, and since I had never stuttered before, people noticed it big time.

I’m Amanda, a fifteen year old with a bubbly personality and an awesome sense of humor. But most people don’t see me that way. They only see the tourettes, ADHD, depression, and the stutter. They see a twitch that can’t control her emotions and acts like a two year old sometimes. I’m innocent and wise at the same time. Through it all, I grin and bear it, but the insults hurt all the same whether I show it or not.

My little brother and sister have both been through speech therapy for a couple years. They both went to two preschools at once for their speech and continued therapy in elementary school. It was a classic case for kids their age: talking too fast and dropping sounds mostly. So, when they learned to slow down and enunciate, they graduated from the speech class and talk fine.  Neither of them have ever had a stutter.

 I talked to my siblings’ speech therapist, and she said that there was no way I just got a stutter out of the blue. I did, though, and now I still have it a year later. I don’t stutter sounds, really, but I repeat words, especially short ones like ‘its’. ‘I think it’s, it’s’ it’s’ (long pause while I grit my teeth and force the next word out) ‘it’s because I…’ is something I do all the time.

 Hey Amanda, do you st-st-stutter?’ I hear CONSTANTLY. What’s sad is that I get that from my friends who know that I don’t even stutter like that!

 found out about an organization for teens who stutter while I was just searching the internet for anything that could help. I searched for ‘teens who stutter’ and clicked on a random link. It led me to the FRIENDS website and I saw there was a mentoring program for kids and teens. I printed the application and filled it out, thinking it could be good for me to be able to meet other kids like me.

  got an email from Gracie not too long later. I could tell right away that we would be amazing friends.  We email almost every day and talk about everything from stuttering to boy problems. We haven’t gotten around to calling each other because she doesn’t like talking on the phone. I want to talk her into it and show her that some people don’t care whether she stutters or not.

Talking to Gracie is so fun and I’m lucky to have her. We support each other and we’ve gotten really close. It’s helped a lot to have someone to talk to who understands what I’m going through and can relate to what I’m saying. Seeing a new email from Gracie always makes me smile and brightens my day.

I started to lose my passion for speaking when I got my stutter.  I got quieter, I held things inside that I wanted to say because I was afraid it wouldn’t come out right, I even avoided people that I talk more around! My best friend Chrissy was hurt because I didn’t talk to her for a while, and it wasn’t good at all. Now that I know a bit about stuttering, I’m more confident about it.

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I started to lose my passion for speaking when I got my stutter.  I got quieter, I held things inside that I wanted to say because I was afraid it wouldn’t come out right, I even avoided people that I talk more around! My best friend Chrissy was hurt because I didn’t talk to her for a while, and it wasn’t good at all. Now that I know a bit about stuttering, I’m more confident about it.

The most frustrating part of my stutter is when people finish my sentences! I hate that so much! It makes me feel bad to say anything though, because my friends are ‘just trying to help’, but it makes me feel incompetent when I can’t even talk for myself. So I decided to tell them all to stop. Now, whenever I can’t say something, I make a joke, like, ‘Hang on! I’ll get this!’ or I try to rephrase what I was going to say. I also remind my friends that ‘I can speak for myself if you’ll let me’ in nice tones.

It also bothers me when people interrupt me while I talk. I’m very talkative and I like to tell stories, but if I stutter and stop for a second, my friends will just launch into another story when I’m not done with mine. I’ve learned this is the line I don’t like having crossed, so I remind them ‘That was rude’. I still try to be humorous about it, but I can’t stand it when people are rude to others who are talking.

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                           Neurotic stuttering

Neurogenic stuttering is a type of fluency disorder in which a person has difficulty in producing speech in a normal, smooth fashion. Individuals with fluency disorders may have speech that sounds fragmented or halting, with frequent interruptions and difficulty producing words without effort or struggle. Neurogenic stuttering typically appears following some sort of injury or disease to the central nervous system i.e. the brain and spinal cord, including cortex, subcortex, cerebellar, and even the neural pathway regions. These injuries or diseases include:
•    Cerebrovascular accident (stroke), with or without aphasia
•    Head trauma
•    Ischemic attacks (temporary obstruction of blood flow in the Brain)
•    Tumors, cysts, and other neoplasms
•    Degenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis
•    Other diseases, such as meningitis, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, and AIDS
•    Drug-related causes such as side-effects of some medications
In the majority of cases, the injury or disease that caused the stuttering can be identified. In a small number of cases, however, the individual may only show evidence of some form of speech disruption without any clear evidence of neurological damage.
Who is at risk for neurogenic stuttering?
Generally individuals experiencing neurogenic stuttering have had a history of normal speech production prior to the injury or disease. In a few cases, neurogenic stuttering may occur in individuals who experienced developmental stuttering in childhood but had apparently recovered. Neurogenic stuttering can occur at any age; however, it appears more often in adulthood, and the highest incidence is in the geriatric population. This profile is quite different from developmental stuttering which is not typically seen as a result of brain damage and which most commonly appears in early childhood in children between 2 and 5 years of age.
What are the primary symptoms of neurogenic stuttering?
Because it results from a very diverse set of diseases and disorders, the symptoms of neurogenic stuttering may vary widely between different individuals. Neurogenic stuttering might be considered as a possible diagnosis if one or more of the following symptoms are observed:
•  Excessive levels of normal disfluencies or interruptions in the forward flow of speech, such as interjections and revisions;
•  Other types of disfluencies, such as repetitions of phrases, words, and parts of words (sounds or syllables, prolongations of sounds), etc;
•  Hesitations and pauses in unexpected or inappropriate locations in an utterance;
•  Cessation of speech during the production of a word without finishing the word;
•  Intrusive or extraneous additional sounds during speech production;
•  Rapid bursts of speech which may be unintelligible;
•  Extraneous movements of lips, jaw, or tongue while attempting to speak, including posturing.
Many individuals may appear to be unaware of or at least unconcerned about the disruptions in their speech. Others may show awareness, and possibly express anxiety and even depression about the difficulty they encounter in speaking. This may be accompanied by other behaviors, which may include:
•  Secondary or associated behaviors, such as obvious tension and struggle in speech production; movements of head or limbs while speaking; reduced eye contact;
•    Postponement or delay in attempting to say a word or avoidance of words or speaking situations.
These behaviors may arise out of the speaker’s attempts to overcome or force his way through the disfluency, or from attempts to hide or disguise the fact that he is having difficulty producing normal sounding speech.
How does neurogenic stuttering differ from other types of fluency disorders?
The symptoms of neurogenic stuttering can be similar to those seen in other fluency disorders. Some communication disorders such as dysarthria, apraxia of speech, palilalia, and aphasia may impair the speaker’s ability to produce smooth and flowing speech production. These problems result from the same types of neurological injury or disease as neurogenic stuttering, and the disorders often co-exist. A diagnosis of neurogenic stuttering might be considered when the disfluency pattern includes the symptoms described above.
Occasionally, some individuals may experience psychogenic disfluency. This disorder results in a disfluent speaking pattern but no medical factors or history of developmental stuttering are present. Its appearance may be linked to emotional stress or trauma that the individual has recently experienced.
The disorder whose symptoms most resemble those of neurogenic stuttering is developmental stuttering.  Developmental stuttering may persist into adulthood. In some cases, its symptoms may be noticeably worsened following injury, disease, or trauma, possibly making diagnosis between the two disorders more difficult. Similarly, an individual who had recovered from developmental stuttering in childhood may experience a re-emergence of stuttering following neurological injury or disease. In the vast majority of cases, however, the sudden appearance of disfluent speech in an adult should be considered abnormal. Developmental stuttering should only be considered as a possible cause when there is a prior history of childhood stuttering. Apart from the obvious difference in age of onset, differentiating between the two disorders is often difficult.
Some of the patterns that set the two apart include:
• Neurogenic stuttering may occur at any point in the production of a word, rather than primarily at the beginning, as is common with developmental stuttering.

• Neurogenic stuttering often occurs on any type or class of word anywhere in a sentence rather than being linked to content words such as nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs.

• Neurogenic stuttering may occur in any type of vocal behavior, including singing and repeating well-learned passages, such as the pledge of allegiance. The disfluencies may occur with equal frequency in any type of a speaking situation.

• Neurogenic stuttering is often not alleviated by the same conditions that significantly lessen developmental stuttering. These include choral reading, singing, adaptation (repeated oral reading of the same passage) or speaking while under auditory masking or delayed auditory feedback.
The aforementioned patterns, however, are not universal for all individuals experiencing neurogenic stuttering, and patterns may vary widely across individuals depending on the nature of the neurologic injury or disease.
Can other types of communication problems accompany neurogenic stuttering?
It is not uncommon for individuals with neurogenic stuttering to experience several other types of communication impairments. These might include:

• Aphasia—complete or partial impairment in language comprehension, formulation, and use

• Dysarthria—errors in the production of the speech sounds, such as slurring of sounds and words that affect the intelligibility of the individuals speech

• Apraxia of speech—irregularities in the timing and inaccuracies in the movement of the muscles used in speech production

• Palilalia—speech disorder in which a word, phrase, or sentence may be repeated several times, generally with increasing rapidity and decreasing distinctness

• Anomia—difficulty in finding the appropriate word to use

• Confusion—uncertainty as to their own identity and that of others, their location, current time period, etc.
How is neurogenic stuttering diagnosed?

Before getting treatment, it is important that someone suspected of neurogenic stuttering be diagnosed accurately. It is advisable to consult with a speech-language pathologist who specializes in stuttering to make the diagnosis. The SLP will want to seek input from the physicians involved in the clients’ care. The evaluation will include consideration of the fluency problem and the individuals’ case history, current medical status, and the presence of other communication impairments. The diagnosis should determine whether the disfluency is neurogenic in origin and whether any other communication impairments are affecting fluency.

How is neurogenic stuttering treated?

Because many conditions can cause neurogenic stuttering and affect the frequency with which it co-exists with other communication impairments, there is no single treatment approach that is effective in alleviating its symptoms. Treatment is often carried out by a speech-language pathologist working in conjunction with the clients’ physicians. Some therapy techniques that help reduce the symptoms of developmental stuttering may also be effective with neurogenic stuttering.
These include:

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