Students who stutter face extra challenges in their academic life as disfluency can affect their social interactions, academic engagement and even their grades.
Classroom tasks such as reading aloud, giving presentations, or asking or answering questions can be a daunting experience that may lead to anxiety, embarrassment and bullying. Some students who stutter will do all they can to avoid being noticed. They might sit at the back of the classroom and answer “I don’t know” or another short sentence to avoid speaking.
It is important to educate schools and universities on how to better facilitate learning for students who stutter. For instance, in addition to educating faculty staff about speech disorders, educational institutions should consider offering support services such as speech therapy for students with speaking difficulties. Speech therapy might not eliminate stuttering completely but it can help to decrease the severity of stuttering, improve communication and boost self-confidence.
If you are a student with a stutter, don’t let your stutter stop you from making the most of your education. Ask your school or university what support they provide. Often, teachers and professors will not realise that you have a communication disorder, so tell them. And ask for help whenever necessary, explaining how they can better support you.