Saturday, October 22, 2011

Stuttering Awareness Day

By Diane Forrest, RN



The other day I was reading an article on Yahoo about a college student in New Jersey who was told not to speak in class because he stuttered.  The student, who is 16 years old, was emailed by the professor and asked to save his questions for after class "so we do not infringe on other students' time."  She further went on to say "This way, you can express your ideas and knowledge completely and I will have a better understanding of what you know," Snyder's email went on to say. "You can give me the sheet after each class."


The matter could have been handled differently, the other students should have been advised to be more tolerant, and however, the 16 year old was transferred to another class, and was happy with the solution.  Comments posted on the article showed both sides of this issue.  The majority spoke to the fact that a 16 year old was taking college courses to begin with.  He was obviously an intelligent person who did not let his handicap interfere with his achievements.


Stuttering is a speech disorder in which sounds, syllables, or words are repeated or last longer than normal. These problems cause a break in the flow of speech (called dissiliency).

Stuttering tends to run in families. Genes that cause stuttering have been identified. There is also evidence that stuttering may be a result of some brain injuries, such as stroke or traumatic brain injuries.

Stuttering may rarely be caused by emotional trauma (called psychogenic stuttering). Stuttering is more common in boys than girls. It also tends to persist into adulthood more often in boys than in girls.
Drug therapy has not been successful in treating stuttering; in fact the only successful treatment is speech therapy.

There have been many famous and successful people who have overcome stuttering.  Some of them include:
  • James Earl Jones
  • Bruce Willis
  • Anthony Hopkins
  • Winston Churchill
  • Moses
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Julia Roberts
  • Elvis Presley
  • Mel Tillis
  • Tiger Woods
  • Vice President Joe Biden
  • King George VI


There was a movies that was released recently called the King's Speech.  It told the story of King George VI (Queen Elizabeth's father) and his fight with overcoming his stuttering problem.  The movie won the Oscar for best picture of the year, along with many other awards.  This also helped to bring awareness to the problem of stuttering.  Today is Stuttering awareness day.  I hope you will take the time to become more aware of this problem, and be more patient with people who stutter.

For more information about stuttering, click here:  http://www.nsastutter.org/

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