Cognitive Issues That Affect People Who Stutter - Part 1

Newsletter 64: June 2015

Part 1 of a two-part discussion of cognitive issues that affect people who stutter (PWS) and their ability to transition to real-world situations.

A Discussion about the Cognitive Issues

Cognition: mental processes such as 'attention, language use, memory, perception, problem solving, creativity and thinking'.

Humans have a strong desire (or most of us) to be part of an accepted group - eg peer or social. To be cut off from human contact, for some, can be one of the worst forms of torture. Perhaps this goes back to when we lived in caves - belonging to a group was important for physical survival. Today, the feeling of belonging to a group is important for our psychological wellbeing.

“Stuttering stops me from being accepted.” This is a negative self-perception or a perception of what others are thinking about you. This happens in the MIND. The MIND is telling you that you don’t fit in...that you don’t fit the group.

We are all different in terms of how we perceive ourselves and our stutter. How do you feel about your stutter in terms of severity and anxiety?

How does stuttering affect you?


Social anxiety                                            

Social avoidance

General fear

Childhood and adult bullying

Health and bodily stress

Low confidence level

Can’t get the point across

Word avoidance and substitution

Phone phobia

Poor personal perception

Poor future personal perception

Learned helplessness


Fixed negative beliefs

Incorrect perception of others

Incorrect perception from others of you

Hides personality

Poor listening

Poor breath / phrase control

Rearranging your day around your anxiety

Increased tension

Anticipation of anxiety

Perceived career limitations

Actual career limitations

Poor information transfer

Unwanted sympathy

Some people complete phrases

Others speak for you

This list of psychological symptoms and effects are not limited to people who stutter but actually affect most members of society to some level.

Many of these symptoms and possibly the stuttering itself can be initiated or worsened by early bullying or negative reinforcement when the individual is young.

So, we can see the list of NEGATIVES is vast and for some, psychologically soul destroying.


Personal strength
Empathy towards others
Motivates change and self-discovery


The development and use of the technique of PROLONGED or SMOOTH SPEECH proved that in a clinical environment PWS could maintain the technique and manage their fluency to a very high level, without actually being cured.

From early SUCCESS, the MOTIVATION to undertake an intensive course in Smooth Speech was high.

These intensive courses provided individuals with initial change in positive SELF-BELIEF and PERCEPTION. The near eradication of the stutter, or high degree of fluency management, saw positive improvements in some of the psychological issues we have discussed.

These PWS experienced the FEELING of being fluent, sometimes for the first time in their lives. By addressing the cognitive issues associated with the stutter as well as the fluency technique, fluency can be sustained.

Members of the Queensland Speak Easy Association attending the annual camp at Boonah this long weekend will provide their personal insights into what they feel are the most useful tools to use when transitioning fluency management to real-world situations.

Next month we will provide the results of this discussion.

Ezy-Speech Affirmation of the Month


I no longer hold on to negativity; I move forward with a positive attitude.

The Ezy-Speech Team

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