Reflections on Neurodiversity and Stuttering

Learnings from the 2019 Annual Conference of the National Stuttering Association of the USA In 2019 I was surprised to receive an invitation to address the annual  pre-conference of the National Stuttering Association of America (NSA). To this day, when it comes to neurodivergent conditions, people tend to think of Autism, ADHD, the Dys “sisters”, Lexia, … read more…

A parallel journey to realising the power of stammering as an art form

When I was growing up I was always given the impression that my stammer was a sign of weakness, something that should be cured or fade away. I turned to art to drown out these expectations and, in a way, give me a second voice people actually listened to. It wasn’t until I was an … read more…

The Fluency Questionnaire

To celebrate International Stammering Awareness Day 2021 and to contribute to the International Stuttering Association online conference, we developed The Fluency Questionnaire.  Inspired by The Heterosexual Questionnaire attributed to Martin Rochlin (1972), it is based on fluency-phobic premises, rather than the fluency-philic premises currently dominate in today’s society. The Fluency Questionnaire aims to upend the typical dynamics … read more…

Stuttering and masculinities

It is estimated that the prevalence of stuttering is four times greater in males than females. Yet, little is known about the masculinity experiences of men who stutter. I, myself, am man who stutters. I have been stuttering since I can remember. I have been bullied, teased and discriminated against as a person who stutters. … read more…

A stammer: in a class of its own

I have been wondering of late, what it is about a stammer that seems to rumble the core of the whole communication experience. Compared to other speaking differences, such as speaking fast, hesitating, or needing time to find a word, a stammer above all else sparks stigma. In recent years, emphasis has been placed on … read more…

Acts of resistance: how one speech and language therapist found a new tribe

What happens when we view speech and language therapy for children who stutter as a celebration of difference rather than a process of chasing fluency? Is it possible to throw a party announcing we stutter, loud and proud? About three years ago I sat in a room with six 10 and 11 year old boys … read more…

Stammering: Difference Not Defect

Having presented together at the online Oxford Dysfluency Conference in January 2021, we wrote up the talk for publication. In accord with Elsevier’s pre-print policy, please find the article here: Stammering – Difference Not Defect We hope that this enables broader access to our talk and write up, and that it also encourages an ongoing … read more…

Power Imbalances and Stuttering: The Double Empathy Problem

Perspective-taking – the cognitive ‘deficit’ in autism: Professionals have characterized autistics as having impaired Theory of Mind – the ability to imagine the feelings and thoughts of others in order to comprehend and predict their behavior (Baron-Cohen, 1997). It is also called “perspective taking”, and can explain to neurotypical people why an autistic does not … read more…

Ableism within the Speech and Language Profession

When I tell people that I am a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), their initial reaction is either one of understanding and encouragement, expressing something along the lines of “Wow, I bet you’re great at that because you really understand what your clients are going through!” or one of doubt and questioning, going something along the lines … read more…

Spontaneous Stuttering

What does speech feel like when it feels good? When it feels bad? What does it feel like when we’re struggling? When we’re not struggling? Can we stutter without struggling? Can we be fluent while struggling? I asked these questions to groups of people who stutter. Their responses coalesced around a similar theme: when speech … read more…