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…

Beyond Chasing Fluency: Exploring the Interplay among Intersectional Identities

When one of the directors of the school district I work for asked me to “speak up more” during meetings, I got defensive. At one meeting, he even forgot I was there and skipped over me when it was my turn to present. I’m a quiet person, but I speak with intention. As a school-based … read more…

Talking, typing, and the social model of disability

When I was in primary school, I had a teacher who was over-enthusiastic about the virtues of touch-typing. Over the years, he slowly collected disused desktop computers, building up his collection until there was one for every student in his class. They lined the perimeter of the classroom, balanced on assorted desks and tables. He … read more…

Intersectionality of gender and stuttering

Intersectionality means a lot of things to me. It allows me to see the complexity of myself, recognizing that my experiences do not occur within a vacuum of one identity. I can recognize that the things that I experience in society, the feelings and thoughts that I have, and ways that I interact with the … read more…

Speech and language therapy and the social model: Out at sea and lost?

In the new book, ‘Stammering Pride and Prejudice: Difference not Defect’ (Campbell et al., 2019) Chris Constantino writes about the need for new narratives in stammering. He holds up the social model as a tool to help people think outside of the box, yet poignantly adds that the real challenge is that people who stutter … read more…

We need to talk about therapy for children who stammer: a new approach

In the previous blog post, ‘We need to talk about therapy for children who stammer’ (March, 2019) we argued against traditional, medical model practices which perceive stammering as un-natural or disordered, and focus on eradicating or diminishing stammering. We argued for a new, consistent approach to support children who stammer in their early years; one … read more…

Reflecting on the power behind language

Working as a speech and language therapist for over 15 years, I had some awareness of the social model of disability, but it’s fair to say that most of my training taught me to view communication differences from a medical model perspective. There isn’t anything too unusual about this as a speech and language therapist. … read more…

Re-imagining adult stammering therapy

Last year, I went to a talk by Max Gattie on the therapies available to adults who stammer. Max listed the core approaches most people opt for: City Lit, NHS therapy, McGuire and Starfish. I realised, whilst looking at the whiteboard he wrote them on, that they are all informed to some extent by the … read more…