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…

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…

From the pain to the joy of silence

It’s October 1986.  I’m a timid, stammering sixth form student on a school trip to London from rural East Yorkshire to see two of the outstanding actresses of their generation perform in Nuria Espert’s acclaimed adaptation of Federico Garcia Lorca’s last and arguably greatest play, The House of Bernarda Alba.  Set in southern Spain in … read more…

Why Stutter More?

To celebrate International Stammering Awareness Day 2020, J&R Press have kindly released Emma Alpern’s exquisite chapter “Why stutter more?” from ‘Stammering Pride and Prejudice: Difference not Defect‘. You can read the chapter for free here. Enjoy! If this chapter resonates and leaves you hungry to read more, a Kindle version of ‘Stammering Pride and Prejudice: Difference not … 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…