Monday, October 22, 2012

International Stuttering Awareness Day

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By Nurse Diane

What do Moses, Tiger Woods, Marylin Monroe, Vice President Joe Biden, and James Earl Jones have in common?  They all stutter.  For a list of other famous stutterers, check here: http://www.stutteringhelp.org/famous-people-who-stutter.

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Stuttering is a speech disorder that occurs when the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases as well as involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which the stutterer is unable to produce sounds.  Although the exact cause of stuttering is unknown, both genetics and neurophysiology are thought to contribute. There are many treatments and speech therapy techniques available that may help increase fluency in some stutterers to the point where an untrained ear cannot identify a problem; however, there is essentially no "cure" for the disorder at present, although many treatments are available.



October 22 was designated International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD) in 1998. The day is intended to raise the public awareness of the millions of people who have the speech disorder of stuttering, including over 60 million Americans.

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ISAD is organized by four organizations:
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Special Interest Division #4, Fluency & Fluency Disorders
  • European League of Stuttering Associations
  • International Fluency Association
  • International Stuttering Association

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The Stuttering Foundation was started in 1947 by a young man who also suffered from stuttering.  This is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to help others who stutter.  They also set out to increase knowledge in the population about the effects of stuttering on a person's life, job, relationships and general well-being.  To learn more about this foundation, and ways you can help spread the word about stuttering, visit this site: http://www.stutteringhelp.org/brief-history .  

If you or someone you know has this problem, and is looking for help, this is a great place to start looking.

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