What Does a Grapefruit Have to do with Stuttering?

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Re: Grapefruit!

From: Kristin Pelczarski
Date: 23 Oct 2008
Time: 13:25:55 -0500
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The grapefruit seemed to be an appropriate choice due to its size (can fit in a hand) and weight (weighs enough that you wouldn’t really forget you were holding it). Another individual posted that the taste of a grapefruit (not everyone likes it) makes it appropriate for the analogy. All that said - feel free to modify the analogy with another fruit (vegetable or mineral!) that might make sense to the client. Another person posted it could be a watermelon (that was how big this individual wrote his stuttering felt like at times). Older kids might have fun coming up with what they might choose to hide. Analogies can be adapted to many situations and activities! To answer your second question, generally, my experience in sharing this analogy with people who stutter has been that it seemed to mimic the experience of covert stuttering (as much as an analogy can). Mostly people comment that they had never thought of it like that, but that it does show how much work it takes to hide their stuttering – that it can be exhausting. Finally, I believe the analogy can be used equally as well with both people who stutter (to have a less emotionally charged way to look at avoidance – it can be hard to have a strong emotional reaction to a piece of fruit!) and parents (to help them understand how much work covert stuttering takes or to reinforce why working on healthy communication attitudes is so important. If we can help kids feel better about themselves, their stuttering and their ability to communicate effectively they are less likely to want to engage in often-times exhausting covert stuttering behaviors.) Thanks for your questions!

Last changed: 10/23/08