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5 Common Myths about Stuttering
Much of what we think we know about stuttering is actually myth. Many very successful people, including Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, even a recent top 10 performer on American Idol, have struggled with severe stuttering problems. Here, with help from The Stuttering Foundation, is a list of facts to counter those common myths we hear about stuttering.
Learn more about stuttering by visiting the organization’s website at stutteringhelp.org or by calling (800) 992-9392.
Myth: People who stutter are not smart.
Reality: There is no link between stuttering and intelligence.
Myth: Nervousness causes stuttering.
Reality: Nervousness is not the cause of stuttering. Should we assume that people who stutter are prone to be nervous, fearful, anxious, or shy? No, they have the same full range of personality traits as those who do not stutter.
Myth: Stuttering can be “caught” through imitation or by hearing another person stutter.
Reality: Stuttering isn’t a learned or imitated trait. In fact, scientists don’t understand the exact cause of stuttering, but recent research indicates that family history (genetics), neuromuscular development, and a child’s home environment, including family dynamics, play a role in the onset of stuttering.
Myth: It helps to tell a person to “take a deep breath before talking” or “think about what you want to say first.”
Reality: This type of advice only makes a person feel more self-conscious, which in turn, can make stuttering worse. More helpful responses include listening patiently and modeling slow and clear speech yourself.
Myth: Stress causes stuttering.
Reality: As mentioned above, many complex factors are involved. Stress is not the cause, but it certainly can aggravate stuttering.
From Dear Teacher, May 2015