I want to talk to the people who are reading this blog.
Recently, I have been to several workshop and seminars that present information to people who stutter and speech-language pathologists The message I hear most clearly is that stuttering is OK and is not the fault of the person who stammers. This is absolutely true.
The problem for people who stutter
The problem comes when the presenters advise therapists to tell children and adults to accept their stammering now because they will be stammering in some form or another for the rest of their lives. This is absolutely NOT TRUE. There is a wealth of evidence from scientific research studies that adults have a good chance of eliminating their problem with effective, evidence-based treatment programs. The literature is also full of accounts of recovered stammerers. Some have even recovered without therapy.
My point is that it is a grave disservice to assume that children past a certain age will continue to stutter for the rest of their lives and they had better accept it. This is simply not true and robs these children of any hope they might have of recovering from stammering in the future. Besides the therapy programs that have been shown to be effective, what if a medication or a neurological procedure is finally developed that eliminates stuttering. We don’t have one now, but prominent researchers are dedicating their lives and careers to find such answers.
I believe that that stuttering is absolutely OK and that people who stutter have a choice. They can choose to be comfortable with their stuttering or they can get some help to try to overcome it. I stuttered for most of my life until I found a therapy program that worked for me. It may not work for everybody, but they need to know that it is possible to replace stuttering with fluent natural sounding speech. To withhold this message is to hide an important part of the truth.