7 Ways to be a Stellar Stuttering Ally

7 Ways to be a Stellar Stuttering Ally

Stuttering affects millions of people worldwide. If you have a loved one, friend, or colleague who stutters, your support can make a significant difference in their confidence and well-being. Being a supportive ally not only helps them integrate stuttering into their lives, while promoting a more inclusive and understanding society.

Here are 7 ways you can be there for someone who stutters:

1. Listen Patiently: One of the most powerful ways to support someone who stutters is to be an active and patient listener. Allow them to express themselves without interrupting or finishing their sentences. Give them the time they need to communicate, and maintain eye contact to show your engagement.

2. Ask for Their Preferences: Every individual who stutters is unique in their experiences and preferences. Ask them how you can best support them during conversations, if someone interrupts them, or if they are having a hard time ordering food, etc. Respect their choices and autonomy, and adapt accordingly.

3. Educate Yourself: Take the initiative to learn more about stuttering. Understand that it is not a result of nervousness or anxiety but is a neurologically-based. Knowledge helps dispel myths and misconceptions and enables you to be a more informed ally. You can find great information here: 






4. Promote Self-Expression: Encourage the person who stutters to share their thoughts, ideas, and feelings openly. Help make them feel valued and heard for what they say instead of how. Stuttering is just one part of who they are. 

5. Be Mindful of Non-Verbal Communication: Your body language and facial expressions play a significant role in communication. Maintain relaxed body language, and avoid conveying impatience or discomfort. This can be a helpful model for others who might not understand stuttering, to show them that stuttering is ok and is just one way of talking. Treat them like everyone else. 

6. Redefine 'Success": Help foster the goals to have joyful and authentic communication with struggle-free stuttering, rather than focusing on fluency as 'success' (such as the ARTS approach). 

7. Raise Awareness and Advocate: Become an advocate for the stuttering community by raising awareness and challenging stereotypes. Encourage open dialogue about stuttering, and correct misconceptions when you encounter them, while respecting the autonomy of the person who stutters. Support organizations and events that promote stuttering awareness and acceptance.

In conclusion, being a supportive ally for someone who stutters involves active listening, patience, understanding, and empathy. Your actions and attitude can make a profound impact on their journey toward confident and empowered communication. Together, we can Normalize Stuttering, to create a more inclusive and accepting world for people who stutter.

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Vermont Stuttering Therapy

August 29, 2023


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