The Accident of Stammering

Models and Metaphors   Bit by bit, humans make models of the world to try and make sense of it. This is as true for disability as it is for astrophysics or evolutionary biology. In my contribution to Stammering Pride and Prejudice, I outlined just four ways that disability has been modeled: “a cosmic sign … read more…

Stuttering and the social model

Having presented together at the online Oxford Dysfluency Conference in January 2021, we were delighted when our article Stuttering and the social model was accepted for publication in a Special Issue of the Journal of Communication Disorders in February 2022. In accord with Elsevier’s post-print policy, please find the article here: Stuttering and the social model … read more…

Can self-compassion and psychological flexibility help people who stammer counteract self-criticism? How my personal experience inspired a research study

Up until my early twenties I strongly believed that stammering was a deficiency that I had to hide at all costs. Whenever a situation arose where I could not avoid stammering, I would internally berate myself and feel a distressing sense of shame. Thoughts like “why couldn’t I have just stayed calmer and spoken more … read more…

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…

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…