Let’s Talk About Stuttering
A few months ago I posted about stuttering and the movie “The King’s Speech.” I stutter, have since I started talking. It was worse when I was a child (it could take me up to five minutes just to say one sentence) but has since lessened. I still stutter but have developed ways to manage and control it. Now, I can hold whole conversations and it’s barely noticeable.
But I said a few months ago that I wanted to write more about stuttering. Over the years I’ve encountered many attitudes toward the affliction, many stemming from ignorance. There’s very little education done on what stuttering is and how to talk to someone who stutters. This often leads to embarrassment and awkwardness. Hopefully, I’ll be able to shed some light on it for you.
First, it should be understood that the cause for stuttering has not yet been discovered. It’s known to be genetic to a certain extent but often shows up in individuals with no family history of it. It’s developmental, meaning if you stutter, it will begin during the early stages of language learning. It’s also known to be behavorial, psychological, and neurological but how or why the three work together is also a mystery.
Second, it should also be understood that stuttering is not caused by emotional or psychological trauma early in life. It’s not caused by stress (though it can be made worse by stress). It’s not an indication of low IQ (in fact, on average stutterers have a higher IQ than the general population). It’s beyond the control of the stutterer. And more males stutter than females (no one knows why).
For a stutterer, stuttering impacts every part of his life, emotionally, psychologically, physically, vocationally, socially, you name it. In a future post I’ll share some personal experiences and how they affected not only my stuttering but my whole self.