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…

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…

Understanding Stuttering Therapy Through A Trauma-Informed Lens

“I don’t understand. I was ready. Truly ready. But when I opened my mouth to speak I blocked so hard and couldn’t get any sounds out. It felt like a thousand bricks lodged in my throat. When I finally did get the sounds moving, I stuttered so hard. Every syllable I uttered felt like a … 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…

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…

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…