What is stuttering? - defining stuttering from the speaker's viewpoint

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From: Alan Badmington
Date: 22 Oct 2008
Time: 03:38:47 -0500
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Hi Mark, Thank you for contributing such a thought-provoking paper. For so many years, my ability to communicate depended a great deal upon the situation/environment in which I found myself. My speech could change dramatically, simply because someone entered the room, ventured into hearing distance, or raised (what I perceived to be) a discerning eyebrow. I could be transformed from ‘mild’ to ‘severe’ (whatever those terms signify :-) ) within a split second. For the past 7/8 years, I have undertaken an extensive series of talks to community organisations in an attempt to increase public awareness about stuttering. The audiences always contain someone who stutters (or who has stuttered), together with family members/friends/ work colleagues of those who fall within those categories. I have found that there is such a lack of understanding about the subject, even amongst close relatives. While lay persons readily recognise overt difficulties, they possess little (if any) knowledge about covert or avoidance behaviours. As the term ‘stuttering’ currently embraces so many diverse factors, there would certainly appear to be merit in considering the creation of more specific definitions for use by professionals. Kindest regards Alan

Last changed: 10/22/08