Information for the partners and spouses of people who stammer.This is the text of a leaflet put together by people who stammer, their partners, and speech therapists, to give you information about stammering and guidance about how you can help your partner who stammers.
The hidden aspects of the stammer include avoidances such as those mentioned above, fear and anticipation of stammering, and other difficult - often strong - feelings about stammering such as frustration, anger, sadness, embarrassment, and shame.
Stammering can affect people's sense of self-esteem or confidence.
It can also be an important aspect of how they see themselves as people - it affects their sense of identity.
Most people who stammer agree that there is much more going on "under the surface" for them than other people realise.
An American speech therapist called Sheehan, who himself stammered, described stammering as being like an iceberg.
Only the tip of the iceberg shows above the surface while the bulk of it is hidden under the water.
Most people who stammer agree that there is much more going on 'under the surface' for them than other people realise.
Stammering varies tremendously from person to person. Stammering is typically recognised by a tense struggle to get words out.
Commonly it involves repeating or prolonging sounds or words, or getting stuck without any sound (silent blocking). This makes it different from the non-fluency we all experience which includes hesitations and repetitions.
Some people who stammer talk their way round difficult words so that you may not realise they stammer at all.
This avoidance of words, and avoidance of speaking in some or many situations, is an important aspect of stammering.