New places on the map – how ‘Stammering Pride and Prejudice’ changed my work as a therapist

I have been a speech and language therapist for 30 years now working with people who stammer of all ages. I like the idea that everything I learned about stuttering and its therapy resembles a map. When I  listened to Sam Simpson’s keynote talk at the ECSF Symposium in Antwerp in 2020, it felt that … read more…

Pride

I have grown up smothered by a veil of shame, too scared to speak or even open my mouth. My stammer was “crippling” or “disabling” and it defined every inch of my being and my experiences. There was not only a lack of pride (I never dreamt that pride and stammering could be used in … read more…

Cluttering Interviews: A personal perspective

In June 2023 I took part in the  50 Million Voices practice interview event;  an initiative that does so much to unlock the talent of people who stutter by tackling the barriers created by workplace interviews.  I’ve been involved with 50MV since meeting Iain Wilkie and Sam Simpson when I was a mentor on the … read more…

Assessing the impact of childhood intervention for stuttering

What is the impact of childhood intervention on those who continue to stutter into adulthood? Many adults have shared their experiences in memoirs, on podcasts, in blogs, etc. and most of those experiences are stories of recovery – not from stuttering, but from the impact of earlier therapy. Parents can benefit from reading these accounts, … read more…

The Stories Beyond Words project: creatively reworking and reclaiming time

Something serendipitous has welled up in my PhD research. An unexpected connection has sparked and fused. This connection is all about time, or rather its disruption, through usurping societal expectations of chronological time. It spans between my research area and the creative approach. This connection is opening up possibilities for thinking creatively around disfluency. The … read more…

Holding space

‘Holding space’ means being fully present and curious with someone as they express their experiences, without judging or attempting to change them. In this blog post, I will explore why ‘holding space’ is so crucial in stammering therapy. How many times have you been speaking with someone about an experience or how you feel about … read more…

A space to reflect

It’s an interesting time for therapists working with stammering.  Not always a comfortable seat at the table when we’re considering the social model of disability with questions about what’s useful and what’s unhelpful, even harmful, in our work, and when our laziest thinking and assumptions are challenged.  The online discussion group ‘Advanced Conversations in Stammering’ … read more…

Breaking the B-B-Binaries

Gender expression and fluency aren’t usually two things people pair together, however stammering is forced to exist on a binary in a similar way to gender. Children are always taught fluency is the inherent good while stammering is the undesirable bad, that it’s supposedly impossible to feel any other way about it. As any person … read more…

The flow of time

You may recall that I have been working on a series of paintings of people actively in the process of stammering. The message that many people who stammer get during their upbringing is that you should make every effort you can to be fluent and that stammering is a failure. This narrative is sometimes promoted … read more…

On Fridays we advance ableism; or, what we can all learn from Lizzo

I had been meaning to contribute to Redefining Stammering for some time now. Sam reached out after reading a paper I had published, with co-authors Ellen Rombouts and Pascal Borry, in the Journal of Fluency Disorders. The paper, a carved-up version of my master’s thesis, presented the following argument: the scientific hope of discovering developmental … read more…