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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

The eloquence of stuttering: Summary of an odyssey

At first sight, eloquence and stuttering are a mismatch: Eloquence is the art of public speaking; stuttering is typically seen as a pathology that impedes people from speaking. As fluency is deemed the main component of a speech, everything that goes against it is considered a hindrance to the art of being eloquent.  However, what … read more…

Personal reflections on shades of fluency

For those who stammer, the notion of fluency is something that has flittered through thoughts and conversations over many years. Early on, we are not necessarily aware of the terminology, but we begin to notice physical and emotional differences between words that flow more easily than others. Later, any venture into speech therapy likely exposes … read more…

We need to talk about therapy for children who stammer

cut out kids

Childhood stammering therapy has come under less scrutiny than adult stammering therapy from a social model perspective. In this blog, we want to look at how criticisms of the medical model, and the rise of the social model and neurodiversity, may challenge some clinical practices for childhood stammering therapy.

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