However, as an adult I was diagnosed with ADD and started to take a low dose of Adderall. Of all the ways this was a positive influence in my life the largest change was that as long as I am medicated the stutter completely disappears. I don't know if I can put into words what a sense of relief this was :). I will always remember the first time I spoke without analyzing and organizing every word before hand, one day a sentence just came out without a single thought. I've actually had to relearn having a filter on what I say. If I go off the medication for more than a day, the stutter comes back in full force.
Absent the context afforded by weekly papers and emails, silence acts as a blank slate onto which people tend to project their own insecurities, expectations, even paranoia. It can masquerade as apathy, or rudeness
I've always found that keeping quiet was just easier in so many ways. Consequently I've always been seen as quiet, reserved, stoic at best or cold and judgemental at worst. I've only recently come to realize what a disservice I've done myself by keeping quiet all these years. No one knows what I'm about if I don't tell them. If I'm kind and generous, I have to tell people what I'm about, who I am, through words and actions.
Later on, I became a bookworm in part because through reading I found that I could pick out words and phrases to reuse in normal conversation.
1) the device works on the chorus effect, echoing a person's voice to help smooth out fluency.
2) its not gurranteed to work, won't work for most people, and likely beneficial effects will wear off within 1-2 years.
3) Minimum price: $3,000
4) Not covered by most insurance companies.
SpeechEasy like devices and other fluency technology is ripe for disruption. I encourage all engineers and software developers to consider how low cost technology can be made to assist people with disabilities.
Well my childhood speech therapist was ironically located in a mental hospital. So in order to attend the session my mom had to drag me through "a hallway of horrors" where having to pass by patients there either staring catatonically into space, mumbling nonsense, or doing other weird stuff. Needless to say I didn't attend those for too long. But I do remember them trying the latest research techniques on me, which was a delayed audio feedback loop, not sure how effective it was, because we didn't come back after a while.
Another thing I noticed is that my cousin also stutters, wonder if it is genetic in any way. His stuttering was triggered by being scared by dog once. Don't remember why mine started.
> I substituted in place of “trouble words,”
Heh, you'd be surprised how many synonyms I know because of that. Some words don't have good synonyms, those words are to be feared and they cause extreme anxiety ... which causes even more stutter.
> and my classmates were quick to assure me that it sounded just as ridiculous as I thought.
Yeah on the plus side I guess I developed a pretty thick skin against being made fun of, as I've been made fun of constantly, well since as long as I remember.
What are those?
I almost always stutter on the word "but", so I say "though" instead if it fits.
Same as "but", I can't say "butter" easily. In a restaurant if I ask for butter I'll usually say "Could I have some vutter?" which sounds close enough to 'butter' if you slur it just right.
I have trouble saying "dad" so I say "father" instead.
I'll get stuck on the 'm' in "money" so I'll use "cash" instead.
There are hundreds of implicitly defined rules that I've learned over the years. When I was a kid, my stutter was really, really bad. As I've aged, I don't think it's necessarily gotten better, but I've learned all of these rules that let me hide it. So it can usually take people several hours of being around me before I encounter an unavoidable word.
The most awkward part is I occasionally stutter on my own name. But I can mitigate this by leading into it with something else, which makes it easier to say. So when someone asks what my name is, I don't say "Foo", I say "My name's Foo" -- the 's' from "name's" helps soften the first letter and slide into it easier.
If you haven't seen it, watch the movie "The King's Speech". As a stutterer, I found the portrayal quite accurate. Also, the strategies the speech coach gives the king are similar to what I do. For example, there is one line where the king must give a speech and use the word "people", but stutters on the 'p', so he "bounces" into the word by saying "uh-people" which is a lot better than stuttering on the 'p' for 10 seconds.
All this being said, the only time in my life I have been really angry about having a stutter was during an quiz bowl (competitive trivia) match. I buzzed in immediately, knowing the answer, but was unable to say it. I stuttered on the first letter for a solid 5 seconds, and as the judge called time-out I finished the word, but they deemed it past time. And then because I'd said the answer, the other team just buzzed in, used my answer, and got the point.
The way around that is to find some other word to use to express yourself. Or stop talking as much as possible.