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  • By Joanne Summer, MA, CCC-SLP

Be Patient and Send a Better Message


Have other people finished your sentences? If so, you likely found it irritating, especially if they said something you were not going to say.

When you finish sentences for someone who stutters, you are not only being irritating—you are also showing your impatience or annoyance at having to wait for him or her. You are putting extra pressure on that person to hurry up and spit it out, so to speak, and are conveying the subtle message that you are a much better communicator.

Instead of finishing the sentences of someone who stutters, you should wait and listen patiently while maintaining eye contact. This sends the much better message that you are a kind, considerate person who is very interested in what the other person has to say.

Isn’t this a much better message to send?

Joanne Summer, MA, CCC-SLP, a speech-language pathologist based in Morristown, NJ, has helped hundreds of children improve their speech sound production and language skills. She founded Well Spoken Speech Therapy, LLC, in 2014 after spending 12 years providing therapy to children (K-5) in the New Jersey public school system. In private practice, her clients also include younger children and adolescents. In addition, she treats people of all ages who stutter or otherwise find it difficult to speak fluently—an area in which she has received extensive specialized training.

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