Understanding ‘Stuttering Anticipation’ to Reduce Your Stutters

Most people who stutter can anticipate the words that will cause them to block, prolong, or repeat. Here’s what you should know about stuttering anticipation to enhance your fluency.

Understanding ‘Stuttering Anticipation’ to Reduce Your Stutters

How Does Anticipation Happen?

Mauricio Garcia-Barrera, associate professor at the University of Victory, and Jason H. Davidow, associate professor of Hofstra University, conducted a study on how PWS anticipate stutter.

The Varying reactions To Stuttering Anticipation

People who stutter, may react differently to anticipation. For instance, some might alter their volume before saying “Big Mac.” There will also be people who will avoid the situation completely and order another item instead.

  • Avoidance strategy — Here, we try to avoid the stutter by either stalling our speech, using sounds like “ah”, “um”, “er”, or by breaking eye contact and pretending to focus on a different thing.
  • Self-management strategy — These strategies are based on the traditional methods of speech therapy. For example, we might change our volume, breathing pattern, eliminate self-deprecating thoughts, and practice pseudo-stuttering.
  • Approach strategy — An approach strategy is where we are fully aware of the potential stumbling blocks in a sentence, but still proceed to say it.
  • Becoming anxious or nervous
  • Becoming less confident
  • Losing grasp of what needs to be said
  • Losing social awareness

The Challenge — Making Anticipation an advantage

Eric S. Jackson’s study showed that 77% of children have experienced stuttering anticipation at least once, while the number rises to 100% in teenagers.

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