The Neurodiversity Paradigm: Shining a light on the problem with normativity, ableism, and the path to neurodivergent-affirming practice

The origins of the ‘normal range’ and the Medical Model In the latter 1800s, Sir Francis Galton, statistician and proponent of eugenics, Darwin’s survival of the fittest and scientific racism, was the first person to apply statistical methods to study human difference, describing the ‘normal distribution’ in human characteristics, determining everything from the average attractiveness … read more…

The Paradox of Concealing Stuttering

I have been captivated with the experience of hiding parts of our identities since early childhood. The movie Mulan came out when I was a tween, and I can still remember singing the song “Reflection” on repeat in my bedroom. These were some of my favorite lines: “Why must we all conceal What we think, … 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…

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…

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…

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…