By Hear In Hull – A City of Culture Creative Communities Project
An animation produced by young people in Hull, explaining what is is like to have a stammer.
Being a teenager AND having a stammer can be especially challenging at times. The transition between childhood and adulthood is generally acknowledged as one of the toughest and most frustrating times of life, and having a stammer can make you feel particularly isolated. It is certainly a time of considerable challenge and your family might not seem to understand or appreciate your growing need for independence. You might feel strong and independent one day, yet on another day you have real self-doubts. Maybe you feel like the only person in the world who stammers.
We know that it is not always easy to find answers to your questions, or to speak to people about something as personal as having a stammer. In this section, we hope you will be able to find information which is relevant to you as a young person who stammers, to learn about well known people throughout history who have stammered, their success and where you can get help.
People in general who don’t know about stammering will try and finish your sentences for you. The majority of people want to finish their own sentences.
Sometimes people do try and hurry me up. It’s worse when I’m put on the spot because it makes it feel like everyone’s watching me.
People make me happier and more confident if they encourage me. They can encourage me by saying nice things, saying things that I can do.
I was desperate to speak. I wanted everything, I didn’t want to miss anything and I felt like I was missing out – Emily Blunt
1% of adults in the UK have a stammer
I have a stammer, that’s who I am – Ed Balls
A stammer can vary from person to person. Sometimes it is there and sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes you can predict a stammering moment, while at other times it seems to come completely out of the blue.
As a kid, I used to stutter. I think that’s why I put my energy into making music. That’s how I get my thoughts out, instead of being crazy all the time. – Kendrick Lamar
Stammering is more common in boys than girls.
When you commit yourself to a goal and when you persevere in the face of struggle, you will discover new strengths and skills to help you overcome not only this challenge, but future life challenges as well. – Joe Biden, 47th Vice-President of the United States
About 5% of children will develop a stammer during childhood.
I wanted to not necessarily to shed light on stuttering or make it a thing, but stress to kids in general to just be yourself, because there’s no one in the world that can be a better you than you. – Ed Sheeran
No two people who stammer do so in the same way.
I could hardly talk, it took me three minutes to complete and sentence. It was crushing for anyone who wanted to express themselves. – Bruce Willis
A person might develop a stammer due to them having a family history of stammering in blood relatives.
One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can’t utter – James Earl Jones
When there are no demands or pressures to speak well, the chances are that the stammering reduces.
I think because I struggled with my speech, and I still am doing so, my love for music was so vast and grew so quickly that I didn’t mind putting the hours in – Gareth Gates
Stammering is different from other early speech and language problems because it can start at different stages in a child’s life.