Did you know that about 1 in every 100 people has a stammer?
Stammering is where you know exactly what you want to say, but despite your best efforts, the words will not come out smoothly. There are many famous people with stammers, like King George VI (the Queen’s father), Marilyn Monroe and Bruce Willis.
Know someone at school who stammers? There are 3 things that STAMMA (previously called British Stammering Association) think you should know:
- It doesn’t help to finish a person’s sentences
- Don’t put a stammerer down by making fun of them
- Give stammerers enough time to talk and don’t say things like “spit it out”
“I think going back I would’ve liked people to be more understanding of my stammer and to know what and not to say.”
3 top tips to help you embrace your stammer
Here’s some advice from 14 year old Fraser, who after a tough start is now thriving in school thanks to the support he’s had.
- Be proud of who you are: “Don’t fight your stammer. Embrace it because if you do your stammer will not always be as bad”.
- Ask your school to help teachers understand what it’s like and what helps: “My teachers sent my awareness video to every staff member in my school. Teachers should always give the stammerer time to speak and if the person is not confident to speak then don’t force them and ask them at a later time. Also dealing with bullying issues should be a top priority.”
- Remember that your stammer doesn’t need to stand in the way of your dreams: “Someone who helped me believe in myself and boosted my confidence was Kelly Brown, the ex-Scotland rugby captain. He told me how he knows he has a stammer, so what?!. That really inspired me to not let people annoy me over something that no one can change.”
Watch Fraser talk about embracing stammering and being proud of who you are in this film #HearThePerson:
The Scottish Stammering Network supports and empowers people who stammer. They help build confidence and manage the strains that stammering can bring in daily life. Their support groups and open days help raise awareness of the reality of living with a stammer.