Stuttering: The Important Reality

Stuttering effects roughly 3 million Americans. Does that mean we’re different everyone else?

Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum
Donald Trump Twitter

Childhood Horrors

There are always memorable moments that happen in one’s life and 7th grade definitely caused memorable moments for me, but not positive ones. I was at the age where you are trying to search for the things you like and try to find yourself as a person. On top of that, my head was filled with thoughts, concerns and insecurities about my speech. I have always been a vocal person and I have never let my stutter fully silence me, but I heavily cared about what others thought about the way I talk. There was just one class that I was nervous to go to every single time I stepped into the school building. Everyday in class we had to prepare a presentation about the current events that were happening in the world and I dreaded having to present. “As you continue to have these tense moments that become different from what normal speakers experience, fear increases to higher and higher levels” (Aten).

The Bark Team

The Facts

For those who don’t know the definition, stuttering is a speech disorder that has a variety of different characteristics unique to the person, that consists of a repetition of sounds, syllables or words; blocks that make your face very tense and it’s like the word you’re trying to say gets stuck; and prolongation of sounds. Although stuttering makes it harder to communicate, it does not mean the person doesn’t know what they want to say.

“Stuttering is a chronic condition that persists into adulthood”

Some might say that because they don’t know anything about stuttering it should excuse their sly comments. It’s one thing to not know anything about a topic and ask to be educated and informed, but to not know about a topic and then proceed to make comments on it is not the way to go. Because the stuttering community is very populated, “1% of the world population which is roughly 3 million Americans” (Stuttering Foundation), I believe we should normalize educating those on the effects.

“1% of the world population which is roughly 3 million Americans”

Our President

Our current president of the United States, Joe Biden, in fact suffers from having a stutter. Personally, I do not appreciate or would encourage his perspective if you have a stutter, because he expresses that you will “overcome this problem” and you “talk normally” with practice. I think this way of thinking is very damaging and stutterers shouldn’t have to live their lives focusing on making it go away rather live their life normally and accept that they have to manage it.

Joe Biden Twitter

“You kinda feel bad for him”

The Science

Because we were born with or developed this disorder, does that mean we’re different from everyone else? Even when everyone else deals with problems or have problems of their own? In terms of having a stutter and not having one, yes we are different, but we don’t learn any different from you. Within the brain, stuttering affects the left inferior frontal gyrus, which corresponds with the planning of speech movements and it also affects the left motor cortex, which controls the speech movements itself. All of which are parts of the brain that have nothing to do with your intelligence.

Live Science Staff

“And I have stutter”

What you can do

There is nothing anyone can say that will oppose the fact that stuttering does not affect intelligence. One possible valid excuse towards certain thoughts and beliefs is that someone just does not know anything about stuttering and does not know what’s true or false. Another possibility is that the person is not purposely trying to attack the stutterer but it is that they are curious and/or fascinated. In order to avoid the risk of offending a stutterer is to just be respectful and let them know you are listening to them with your mannerisms.

The Conclusion

With all things being said, if you don’t suffer from having a stutter, you do not have the right to comment on how this lifestyle affects a person and try to argue that certain myths are true. If this claim is not repeated then people won’t understand it’s importance. Stuttering does not affect intelligence. “Stuttering can, however, be made worse by anxiety or stress. And anxiety and stress can be a product of stuttering” (Axelrod). Stuttering does not affect the part of the brain that focuses on learning capabilities and to say that having a speech disorder lowers your IQ is an invalid statement. There are so many examples of people who have destroyed the stereotype and have risen when others try to bring them down such as; The current president of the United States, many known celebrities and myself.

“Stuttering does not affect intelligence.”

Although there is no cure for this speech disorder, it does not mean that people who suffer from it cannot live their life happily and accept the fact that they have it. It may seem like a burden for awhile, but with time, you will grow confident about yourself and speak your mind when and where you want!

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