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…

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…

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…

Stammering in times of Corona

‘Stammering does not exist in a vacuum’ I remember being drawn to this line when editing Christopher Constantino’s chapter of Stammering Pride and Prejudice. It’s the type of sentence I tend to like: it’s short, simple but it also makes you think. I’ve been thinking about it a lot recently. I’m not sure about you, … read more…

Stammering and autism

Intersectionality is an interesting concept. When you think about it, you think of two, unrelated things intersecting in unexpected ways. When people think of intersectionality, you think of the black male saying he knows everything about racism and the white female saying she knows everything about sexism, while the African American woman is standing there … 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…

Intersectionality: What intersectionality means and why it’s important for stuttering

People who stutter all share common experiences. At some point, all of us who stutter have felt the knot in our stomachs when someone says introduce yourself to the group, or we feel our hearts race at the thought of using the telephone. When we were in school and had to read out loud, we … 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…