Covert stuttering can be defined as a condition where the person who stutters tries to hide his stuttering problem by avoiding it or by masking a few words. This attempt to conceal their problem by the stutterers is an effect of the treatment meted out to them by the society. If a stutterer had been subjected to mockery during his childhood, he would feel the pressure to hide his stuttering from others so as to avoid being the most ridiculed. Sometimes this type of covert nature is triggered in stuttering children because of the parents' refusal to accept the problem in their children.
Covert stuttering is more prominent and most probable only among mild stutterers as it is not possible to conceal a severe stutter. Most stutterers use filler words to do so; words like 'ummm' or 'I think' precede their sentences to give the listener the impression that they are just thinking and taking their time to speak rather than stuttering. Some others avoid from using certain words and substitute them with their synonyms so that they do not have to stutter on the difficult word. Most of the times, the avoidance extends to their speech too. Stutterers tend to speak less in a crowded environment and eventually avoid speaking much.
This denies the stutterers an opportunity to speak themselves out; it is something which they do to themselves and due to this they suffer emotionally. The fear of being exposed to the world as a stutterer looms large and this causes a great deal of emotional stress to the stutterers. In the process of hiding their disability, they speak less and sooner or later end up restraining themselves from achieving better results. Constant fear coupled with the inability to accept their problem forces them to withdraw from the social scene making them susceptible to loneliness.
In order to avoid stutterers from being covert about their problem, they must be treated rightly in their surroundings. Parents must never encourage their children to practice covert stuttering as it will not only affect them emotionally but will also serve as a deterrent to any chance of recovery that the child may have. Instead of practicing it as a way of life, stutterers must use it only under necessary circumstances so that it boosts their confidence. But it must be remembered that it always better to accept one's disability than having to run away from it.Covert Stuttering