When I used to stutter I would block mostly on vowel sounds at the beginning of words. I would struggle with “iyaiyaiyaiiyai” just to begin with the word “I”. Needless to say, this sounded very odd and I was very embarrassed. Somehow I changed the format of my stuttering to stutter on consonants rather than vowel sounds. I don’t know how I did it is, it just came about, but it did sound a little more acceptable when I said b-b-b-b-but Instead of “but”.
Eventually, I morphed into using hesitations that prepared for me to say a feared sound. This sounded even better and I stuck with it for years. So not only the sounds but the types of my stuttering changed over the years. But these were all tricks. My stuttering was still there!
The Hardest Sounds In Stuttering
After I went through my own Intensive Stuttering Treatment, I became involved with the National Stuttering Association (or the National Stuttering Project) as it was known then. During one meeting that I was leading in Orange County California, I asked the members who stuttered to form a circle in the middle of the room. I went around to each individual asking them what were are the hardest sounds for them to say. Surprisingly, each individual came up with a different hard sound. Some said “p” some said, “m” and some said all of the vowels. They were all different!
So, it’s obvious to me that the sounds that people who stuttering think are the hardest are all different from person-to-person. There are no sounds that are universally harder than others. I know, I could’ve sworn that the “d” sound was absolutely the most difficult. It was the most difficult for me, but probably not for some others.
This is why stuttering treatment that focuses on resolving the production of individual stuttered sounds is missing the point. All of the stuttering needs to be replaced by a new way of talking. This can be done easily through Intensive Stuttering Treatment. This is what I do and I love to see the changes and my clients. They remind me of the changes I went through years ago.