Comm WS Pune: Q & A part 2

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Some more questions. If you are not satisfied, feel free to send me an email or phone. (sachin)

Underlying causes
I want to know about causes of
stammering?
Current
understanding is: The responsible genetic trait is inherited by some
children (not all; often eldest or youngest male child; girls
occasionally) which leads to certain changes in speech nerves in the
brain. This leads to irregular transmission of nerve impulses from
brain to articulators (tongue, jaw, lips) leading to dis-fluencies or
blocks in speech. As we grow, we develop an elaborate set of
avoidance behavior, beliefs, emotions and attitudes, as a defence
mechanism against negative social reactions.

Childhood illnesses,
infections, fears, injuries, tongue tie etc. has popularly been
blamed but these reasons have been ruled out, since if these were
really true, number of pws in different cultures would have been much
much more than the standard 1% seen in different countries.

So,
neuro-biological reasons may initiate the process, but in the long
run, more than 90% of the problems constitute of psychological
issues- distorted perception, feelings, attitudes.
To learn more check this research page. This too.
What is different between stammering
and stuttering?
Both are same.
Does Vitamin A help? Not
in our knowledge.
Does stammering has any connection
with mood or situation? I am fluent when I am on stage of mass
communication.. How so?
Stammering
has a big variability factor. It varies from person to person, and
from day to day in the SAME person. Our “feared” words,
situations, people etc. keep changing. There is no way to predict
whether you will stammer during a certain interview or during a
particular stage performance. You may be scared but suddenly, as you
come on stage, you may see all the audience and realize that their
expectation from you is a certain performance- not this or that kind
of “speech”. You may suddenly get carried away by the moment,
forget all about stammering and give your best performance! Some
time, the reverse may happen. Too much expectation from yourself may
break you down. But by
and large, many pws have been able to conquer their fears on stage
and become good communicators. Banglore SHG can tell you more about
it.
Regarding
situations, it has been seen that “power equation” in a given
situation can sometime decide whether you will stammer or not. If you
are in a “dominant position”, you may stammer less or not at all.
You may stammer more when you go to Boss’s cabin to discuss
something- but if he comes to your cabin for the same discussion, you
may not stammer much. But the fact is- fear gets associated with certain words, situations, people but in truth, it actually lives inside us, in our minds,
not in external words, situations, tasks or people. Therefore, it is
possible for you to remove your fear by working on yourself (through
desensitization) rather than expecting the world to change.
Why is it that we stammer less with
our family and more with strangers?
We know that family
accepts us and will not be judging us for our speech. With strangers
we often feel that we are being “critically judged” for every
failure. So we try hard NOT to stammer. The harder we try, the worse
our speech becomes. Remember, stammering is what you do, in order
not to stammer
. But some people may stammer more with family and
less with strangers (at least in the first few meetings). They
subconsciously feel no need to hide their stammering from the family.
They speak more spontaneously with family and hence “stammer”
more. There is no uniformity in our experiences.
Here is an interesting study on the experinces of pws.

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