December 26, 2013

Comm WS Pune: Q & A part 4 and last

Friends, here are the last set of questions from Pune Comm WS.

After what age, can we guarantee that the child will not stammer?
If a child is going to recover (with or without therapy), he would do so by 10-14 years of age. Sometime, though rare, a child who stammers from childhood may become alright between 14-20 years. If stammering has persisted till 20, in my opinion, chances of recovery on their own is very rare. Sometime, later on in life, due to stroke, a non-stammering adult may develop stammering suddenly. So, giving guarantees is difficult.

To judge whether a child needs early help:

How to help a child to overcome stammering?
Here are detailed description of what you can do to help a child who stammers:
Also check this at BSA:

Life style issues
If we be stammering free how our life will change?
You may feel more in control of conversation but on the whole things may not change very much. You may still have to work hard at that presentation (fluency does not fool anyone), at your work (your colleagues may expect even more from you); you will still have to work hard to have a successful meeting with the client. Dating may still pose problems- but of other kinds. You may still get fired for poor performance.
Because, judge for yourself: will you buy a washing machine just because the salesman is fluent? Will you hire a typist just because he does not stammer?
But yes, where we are at the moment, it may seem very romantic: If I could just be free of stammering, life will be so easy and beautiful.
I think we can learn a lot from people who win jackpot (big lottery). Life becomes quite stressful, instead of becoming “easy” after winning it (link).
But if you become a good communicator, using a self-therapy approach, you may become more self-confident; you may understand that communication is more than fluency and therefore, may become a very thoughtful and good communicator and conversation partner. You may feel more in charge of your life. Difficulties may still come, but you will feel: I have dealt with one big issue of my life already. I can deal with this too...

We can do practice but I wanted to know what behavior changes we need to bring in our life?
We need to be less fearful and more courageous, especially when it comes to communication: If we have made up our mind to maintain eye contact, smile and say “Gu- Gu- Goodmorning”, we should stick to the plan and not change it at the last minute out of some strange sudden fear.. We should become more and more courageous in these interactions with others and we should also be at peace with ourselves: if someone asks- do you stammer? We should be able to calmly say “yes”- because that is a fact and there is no point in fighting what is fact. These qualities will bring in other behavior changes gradually.

Why do we give more importance to speech and tend to speak more (than necessary)? How to control that?
Silence is integral part of speech. But, we often develop an obsession to prove that I can speak as well as that other person. Driven by this psychological urge to prove, we overdo it and kill the spirit of communication in the process. To deal with this- one could observe carefully how others and good speakers talk, use pauses in between and listen to the other person as well. Vipassana is another good method to “see” your psychological urges, obsessions and drives- and change them for good.

Whenever we fail – we give stammering as the drawback..
Yes, that is right. We do it all the time. There are websites, cure centers and therapists- who help us in this process. They assure us: Once you cure your stammering, you will easily earn lakhs of rupees... or emotionally blackmail parents: One day your child will blame you that you did not get his stammering cured etc.
No one denies that stammering does cause some problems, to some people, some of the time. But there are many people, with bigger problems (like paraplegics), who are achieving every worthwhile thing in life. If you look around, there are many pws, who have been successful in life, WITH their stammering. An American SLP once highlighted this and said: Your stammering is not the problem as you may think, nor your fluency the asset.
This is because of cognitive distortion, affecting our brains as we grow up; this term means the bias with which we tend to see and interpret the world around us and the various events: If we fail an interview, we rarely stop to analyze the reasons objectively. We just blame it on our stammering and panels' reaction to it. We do not take notice of the fact that there were thousand others, who did not stammer, and yet, were not selected.
I think it is time, we stopped blaming “poor stammering” and the world, and began to work on ourselves: our technical and communication skills, our soft skills, our mind-body, our attitude to life and others etc.

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