Raising Awareness Around Stuttering…

October 22nd is International Stuttering Awareness Day, an annual observance to raise awareness of a disorder that’s so often misunderstood.  

Stuttering is characterized by repetitions or stops/blocks in sounds and syllables while talking. A speech-language pathologist can provide a diagnosis. However, there’s still so much the medical community doesn’t know about this complex disorder. 

Stuttering Awareness Day is close to my heart because my husband, Bruce and other family members on both sides have a stutter. 

Below is some basic information provided by our friend and executive director for the American Institute for Stuttering , Dr. Heather Grossman.

Some basic facts about stuttering

There are many myths surrounding stuttering. Stuttering is a complex disorder that defies simplistic definitions and explanations. Many different factors contribute to its development. There is much that we do not yet know about stuttering. Here are some facts that we DO know:

  • Stuttering is not linked to intelligence or emotional disturbance.
  • Stuttering is a genetically determined disorder that is neurologic in origin.
  • Stuttering occurs in roughly 1% of the adult population and around 5-7% percent of young children.
  • There are no “quick fixes” for stuttering and even with early intervention, approximately 20% of children who stutter will continue to stutter into adulthood.

When Speaking to Child With a Stutter

Here are some general guidelines:

1. Listen patiently and maintain normal eye contact

Convey that you are listening intently and try to keep eye contact even if the child looks away.

2. Do not finish their sentences

Allow children to complete what they want to say, even when it seems like it is taking a long time. Do not guess at what you think they are saying. Reflect back what you have heard so they know that you have understood them; then, give them an opportunity to repair the message if necessary.

3. Do not rush children to finish

Time pressure is often a problem for many children who stutter. When children who stutter feel a need to speak quickly, tension can build up in their speech muscles, thereby causing increased stuttering.

4. Do not give simplistic advice

Simple suggestions such as “Slow down,” “Take a deep breath,” “Start over,” and “Think about what you are going to say,” may be well-meaning and seemingly helpful for children who stutter. Unfortunately, these suggestions can put unnecessary pressure on them and actually make it harder to speak.

5. Praise the Content of Speech Instead of Fluency

You don’t want to send the message that articulate expression is superior to stuttering. Let them know that the content of their words is more important than how they deliver it through their speech.  

International Stuttering Awareness Day: Spread the Word and Remember to Be Kind

Please react to stuttering with kindness and tact. Help spread awareness, too. Should you need more information or support, consider seeking help from the American Institute for Stuttering . 

A few faces you might know of people who stutter. Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, VP Joe Biden and Samuel L. Jackson

Stuttering Awareness

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

There are 2 comments
Read them
Cris (Kity) says:

Hello Emma!
I’ve been a fan of your husband since I was little, influenced by my father (one of the few good things he taught me. He left before Die Hard 4.0.) We watched “The cat and the mouse” translation of “Moonlighting” in Brazil . Then came the films from the “Die Hard” franchise. And so I fell in love more with the actor and the person who is her husband. (with all the respect you deserve).
With Instagram, I ended up admiring you and being delighted with your daughters. I support each growth, I suffer with you in a few moments, and I ended up creating a one-sided connection and admiration for the beautiful, intelligent and strong person that he is.
I didn’t know about Bruce’s stutter. It reminded me of the movie “The Kid” he made, in which he had a tic. (God! This film is already 20 years old).
My name is Cris, I’m 41 years old, but the mentality of 37 lol I’m Brazilian and passionate about movies. I admire your family, I support Coco and the health of all of you.
I hope one day to see you in person, to bring a harmonica for Bruce, Produtos do Brasil for you and some books for the girls. May God continue to enlighten your ways and that of your family. Thank you for finally being able to introduce myself to you. kisses and please forgive spelling mistakes.

CCCD says:

Thank you!

Sign-up for the latest scoop.
Emma's Newsletter