There are some common myths about stammering problems and it is our duty to eradicate them by pointing out the facts. Some common bad habits that originate from these myths are keeping oneself in isolation, feeling guilty, feeling the need of hiding stammering problems, feeling inferior or socially backward or fearing failures. Let us have a glance at the popular myths and the facts about stammering (or stuttering) problems.
1. Myth: Stammering people are not smart.
Fact: There is no link at all between stammering and intelligence.
2. Myth: Stammering is caused from nervousness, anxiety or a traumatic incident.
Fact: Stammering is not caused from nervousness, neither is it a psychological problem. Also, it is not right to assume that stammering people are prone to be nervous, anxious, or shy. Even non-stammering people can be as shy and reserved as them. There are many stutterers who are very open and outgoing.
3. Myth: Stammering can be “caught” by imitating others or by listening to another person stutter.
Fact: Stammering is not a contagious disease that would be “caught”. Although the exact causes of stammering are not yet known, but recent research indicates that it might arise from hereditary or genetic causes, neuromuscular development, and the child’s environment as well.
4. Myth: It is helpful to tell a stammering person to take a deep breath or to think carefully before talking.
Fact: Contrary to helping the person, this advice only makes a person more self-conscious, making the stammering worse. The really helpful thing is to listen to the stammering person patiently and to give him ample time to finish what he wants to convey, without interrupting him.
5. Myth: Ignoring stammering problems is the best solution.
Fact: This approach will only increase the problem and not put an end to it. It is okay to have a talk about stammering problems. The parents of stammering children should make a positive approach towards it.
6. Myth: Stammering is a normal part of a young child’s speech development, and it gets cured naturally.
Fact: Although it is a common phenomenon in preschool aged children, stammering is a speech disorder and is not a natural thing in speech development processes. Sometimes it does go away by itself usually within 7 or 8 years of age. But if it continues till teenage, then it is most likely to continue till adulthood. However, it can be brought under control if timely attention is given to it, delaying which may make it worse.
7. Myth: Therapy for stammering is boring, slow and too hard for young children.
Fact: Treatment for stammering can be quite fun! The therapist and the parent work together to ensure that an enjoyable therapy is delivered to the child.
8. Myth: It is the fault of the stutterers.
Fact: Stutterers should not feel guilty at all, because stammering is a biological and neurological condition. They should openly discuss about the problem and try to sort it out.
Therefore, you should stop believing in these myths of stammering and get a treatment from a good Speech Language Pathologist without delay.