INTERNATIONAL STUTTERING AWARENESS DAY
October 22nd marks International Stuttering Awareness Day as a way to bring awareness for this speech fluency disorder.
The primary purpose of International Stuttering Awareness Day is to:
- Change public attitudes and eliminate societal discrimination toward people who stutter
- Promote the self-esteem and opportunities of people who stutter to reach goals and aspirations
- Build a community and provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and strengthen the relationship among researchers, people who stutter, clinicians and parents of children who stutter
More than 70 million people around the world stutter. This means that while talking, they repeat syllables, sounds or words. People who stutter also prolong sounds or experience unwanted interruptions in their speech. They know what they want to say, but are unable to produce a normal flow of speech. This disorder usually affects children between the ages of 2 and 6. This is when they are producing their language skills.
Primary causes of stuttering include genetics, child development, neurophysiology, and family dynamics. Many people think that emotional trauma or psychological problems causes stuttering. There is no evidence to support this idea. The good news is that when caught early, stuttering is highly treatable. One of the best ways to treat stuttering is through speech therapy.
Those who stutter might be glad to know they are not alone. In fact, there are even famous people who have been known to stutter. Some of them include James Earl Jones, Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, and King George VI. It is also believed that Moses, the man in the Bible responsible for communicating the 10 Commandments, had a stutter. Despite their speech fluency disorder, they all went on to lead successful lives.
HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalStutteringAwarenessDay
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), the Stuttering Foundation, International Stuttering Association, and the National Stuttering Association all join together to observe International Stuttering Awareness Day.
Global events for this observance include an online conference geared toward speech-language pathologists and their clients. Additional events include public awareness events, educational activities, and a media campaign.
If you know someone who stutters or who has a speech impediment, this annual observance is a great day to offer your support and encouragement. Educate yourself on stuttering. Watch the movie, “The King’s Speech.” It’s a true story about King George VI. If you stutter or know of someone who does, raise your voice and tell your story. Always stand up to people who make fun of or bully those who stutter. When sharing on social media use #InternationalStutteringAwarenessDay
INTERNATIONAL STUTTERING AWARENESS DAY HISTORY
International Stuttering Awareness Day got its beginnings in 1995 during an International Stuttering Association (ISA) conference in Sweden. The ISA had placed an International Stuttering Awareness Day on its wish list. In 1997, a day was set aside during an International Fluency Conference in California for professionals to learn from those who stutter. During the closing ceremony, Michael Sugarman, co-founder of the National Stuttering Project, stated there should be an international day set aside for stuttering awareness. In 1998, the European League of Stuttering Associations, International Fluency Association, and International Stuttering Association designated October 22nd as International Stuttering Awareness Day.
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