I know that it isn't easy to tell others that you stutter because disclosing or "self-advertising" my stutter took me many years. But thanks to the amazing support and encouragement that the speech therapists at Circle Creek Therapy gave me, I now feel much more confident to "self-advertise" my stutter.
Read more tips below on how I have learned over the years to effectively tells others that I stutter.
1. When you start to stutter, or while you are introducing yourself, tell the person that you are communicating with that you stutter. Often times when I can feel a stutter coming I can say something like, "Hey I stutter so that's why I'm taking a little longer." More often than not, I can see the other person's shoulder relax, and a smile spread across their face. If you start off the conversation with disclosing that you stutter, then the other person's confusion will disappear, and the awkwardness will wash away too.
2. You can print out a stuttering ID card and put it in your wallet or purse! The National Stuttering Foundation made a free ID card for people who stutter. This way, people who stutter don't have to tell others they stutter. Instead, people who stutter can just show them their stuttering ID card. Or, if you find yourself in an emergency situation, you can show this to the police, firemen, or any medical professionals without having to also worry about how you're going to tell them that you stutter.
For more info, check out this link to the National Stuttering Foundation's website.
3. If you know that you are going to stutter on a certain word, try stuttering in a different way. This way, you can feel like you have more control of your speech in any situation. That's right, I'm telling you to stutter on purpose! For example, if you are at a restaurant and you know that you will stutter on the word "burger", try stuttering in a way that you don't normally stutter.
If you normally have a lot of repetitions at the beginning of a word, then try blocking instead of repeating the initial sound. For instance, you could say, "I would like to order a (pause) .... burger", instead of saying, "I would like to order a b-b-b-burger". But if you don't feel comfortable doing that, you could always work on making eye contact with your server, or stuttering on a different part of the word (like at the ending instead of at the beginning of a word).
No matter what you try, just be comfortable and confident with whatever you are doing. Telling others that you stutter can be a very empowering experience, and I hope that you find it to be helpful.
But if you are looking for more help, contact the speech therapists at Circle Creek Therapy. Our number is 253.237.3405, and we would love to help you.