Stuttering, which affects about 1% of all adults, is a frequently misunderstood disorder that can be uncomfortable for the listener as well as the speaker.
The National Stuttering Project offers the following suggestions on how to react to someone who stutters:
* Do not finish sentences or fill in words for stutterers. No one likes words put in his or her mouth. Furthermore, if you guess the wrong word, the difficulties multiply.
* Refrain from making remarks such as "Slow down," "Take a breath" or "Relax." Such simplistic advice can be felt to be demeaning, and is not constructive.
* Maintain normal and natural eye contact and try not to look embarrassed or alarmed. Just wait patiently and naturally until the person is finished.