When it comes to the subject of stuttering, some methods are very helpful to some people, while not as useful for others. This is because each person is an individual, and each person’s stuttering problem is unique to him or her. The only way to know for sure which techniques will work for you is to give them all a try.
Avoidance is a controversial issue. Some people insist it works quite well, while others do not find it as helpful. The controversy is in whether avoidance is an appropriate technique for controlling a stuttering problem. If you are serious about finding methods that work, it is a good idea to ignore the concept of controversy and try it for yourself.
The general way avoidance is practiced is to substitute words that are easy to speak in place of those which are not. If you have been troubled by your stuttering to the extent of reading this book, you are probably already aware of the difference. You have noticed that many words seem to flow rather easily, while others become “stuck” or repeat. You may have also noticed that certain sounds, or certain letters of the alphabet, are more bothersome than others.
When you are considering this technique, you may wish to look at both sides of the issue. This can help you to decide whether it is right for you, and what you may be dealing with when you try it. First, practicing avoidance can help you to feel more in control of your speech in general. When you know what you wish to say, and how you plan to say it, it can give you a decided advantage. Instead of wondering and worrying, you will be in control.
However, avoidance can also have negative implications. When you approach speaking to someone in this manner, you may become more self-conscious. For some people, this can backfire; for others, it is not a problem at all.
If you wish to give this technique a try, put a little time into the “demons” of your speech. When you know which words, sounds, and letters are most often at fault for causing a stutter, you can choose a different word that means the same thing. You will find that language is a wonderful thing indeed– there is a synonym, or a related word, for every word you want to say! For example, if the word “box” is one of your speech demons, try saying “container” instead. You can broaden your vocabulary, while learning a new technique to control your stutter.
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