The answer is “yes you can!” Like biting your nails, changing your stuttering “habits” is NOT easy, but can be done. It’s about replacing old habits with new habits. The new habits may be the use of “getting on the sound” and stretching out of a block or repetition (pullouts) or it may be inserting pauses. There are a lot of strong opinions in the “stuttering world” on how to control stuttering, however the one thing we can agree upon is that stuttering treatment is about change!
But what about your feelings and emotions involving stuttering? Are there habits there too?
Your old “habits” may involve feelings of frustration, embarrassment, shame, etc. A huge aspect of progress should be about changing those old feelings to feelings of confidence (whether you speak with a stutter or you speak with your speech tools), determination (to participate and not shy away from situations involving speaking), and acceptance of yourself no matter what kind of “speech” day you are having. Give yourself credit for this change, just as you would give yourself credit for a “good speech” day!
This is a journey and it does not and can not occur over night. Even people who have, in general, changed their old “habit” feelings will have days or even weeks where they go back into their old mindset. That’s okay too! It is a sign of change if you can allow yourself these days , but then know how to more quickly get yourself back to a place where you’re new “habits” and feelings prevail!

For parents – allow your children to feel those feelings of frustration and embarrassment. Just as you wouldn’t expect them to wake up the next morning and be stutter-free, don’t expect them to change their “feeling” habits overnight either! The best you can do is listen, validate their feelings, and recognize their achievements (both in their stuttering and emotionally) as they go along their journey of changing their habits!

Above is a clip from an interview with Carly Simon (for those too young to recognize her name, she is a famous american singer-songwriter who rose to fame in the 70’s). Carly and her interviewer, who also stated he stuttered as a child, discuss some of their changes in habits. The interviewer, Tavis Smiley, spoke of emulating Dr. Martin Luther King’s cadence…..sounds a lot like pausing, doesn’t it?