World Stuttering Day: Striving To Overcome Stammering!

As the world focuses on those with speech disorder, victims share their experiences on how they manage the situation.

Stuttering, also known as stammering is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases as well as involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which the person who stutters is unable to produce sounds.

Information from the World Health Organisation (W.H.O) indicates that approximately four times as many men as women stutter, encompassing 70 million people worldwide or about 1 per cent of the world's population.

For many people who stutter, repetition is the primary problem. But sometime stuttering is chronic conditions that persist from childhood into adulthood making life difficult for such persons. There are people who will not only temporarily have their face deformed because they are struggling to pro nounce a phase but will take close to two or three minutes just to express themselves in a phrase. This type of stuttering can have an impact on self-esteem and interactions with other people, says a speech therapist.

The disorder is also variable, which means that in certain situations, such as talking on the telephone or in a large group, the stuttering might be more severe or less, depending on whether or not the stutterer is self-conscious about their stuttering. A stammer in Yaounde recounts her story “I cannot tell you guys how many times I have had to avoid conversations, simply because I was not able to get that one word out.

My stuttering happens unexpectedly, but mostly when I get nervous. An example is when I was in school and we would read out loud in class, that was the worst moments for me. Or when we had to present a project we did for the class. I would seriously miss school or just not do the project to avoid any embarrassment.” Emmanuel, who is a Servant of God, seems to be a chronic stammer.

But this has not deter red him from his call to preach the word of God. Although Emmanuel can sing fluently without any problem, he however says he stammers when preaching. But his condition is worst when he is in a one-to-one conversation. Emmanuel is one of those who have never attempted to treat his speech disorder and hopes for God’s intervention.

However, others like Daniel had to drink sea water from a cup or snail shell in order to curb stammering. There are other people who have used other methods to have speech disorder eliminated.

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