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TueOct 22

International Stuttering Awareness Day – October 22, 2024

International Stuttering Awareness Day is observed annually on October 22. Stuttering is a communication disorder in which repetitions — or abnormal stoppages of sounds and syllables — break the flow of speech. There may also be unusual facial and body movements associated with speaking. International Stuttering Awareness Day shines a helpful spotlight on stutterers and educates the public about the causes.

History of International Stuttering Awareness Day

Established in 1998, International Stuttering Awareness Day seeks to raise awareness about the the millions of people around the world (about one percent) living with this specific communication disorder.
Usually when people refer to stuttering, they imagine the repetition of a specific word; however stuttering comes in many other forms, including elongation of a vowel or syllable. This condition is also variable, meaning that the severity of the stutter is inconsistent. Some days a person might only stutter a few times while others the stutter may affect most of their interactions.
People who stutter have been mistreated for a long time because of a lack of knowledge as concerns this disorder. In 19th-century Europe, surgery was recommended for people impacted by the speech disorder. Surgeons would use scissors to remove a triangular wedge from the back of the tongue, as well as cutting nerves and muscles in the neck and lips. Other surgeons practiced shorting the uvula or removing the tonsils. These practices were later abandoned as patients were bleeding to death, and those who survived still had their stutter.
Though it is now understood that stuttering is a neurological disorder that can be developmental (obtained as a child) or acquired (developed as an adult due to trauma or drug abuse), there is still an air of stigma that follows those who live with it. This International Stuttering Awareness Day, educate yourself on the condition even as we recognize contributions made by stutterers in science, politics, philosophy, art, cinema, and music.

International Stuttering Awareness Day timeline

A myth is disapproved

Most studies reject the popular early 20th-century theory that forcing a left-handed child to become right-handed causes stammering

​Winston Churchill

In her book, "I was Winston Churchill's Personal Secretary," Phyllis Moir mentioned that Churchill grew up with a stutter.

​Stuttering Foundation of America Founded

Malcom Fraser founded what is now known as the Stuttering Foundation of America.

International Stuttering Association

The International Stuttering Association is set up to provide help and support to those who stammer all over the world.

International Stuttering Awareness Day

October 22 is designated as the day set aside, annually, to raise public awareness of stuttering

"The King's Speech"​ film released

King George VI took years of speech therapy from an Australian actor to overcome his stutter and gain confidence in public speaking. 

Support the troops

The British government announced the Defence Stammering Network to su​pport troops with the neurological condition.

International Stuttering Awareness Day FAQs

Is there a cure for stuttering?

There is no real cure for stuttering, but there are speech therapy classes for those looking for ways to manage the disorder. However, it is not 100% guaranteed that they will always work. Children will sometimes lose their stutter as they go through puberty or enter adulthood, while adults who have never stuttered through childhood may develop a stutter later in life.

Is stuttering a mental disorder?

Stuttering is a neurological speech disorder that can be obtained genetically or through trauma that affects the brain.

What stuttering treatments are available?

Although stuttering is incurable, speech-language pathologists use a multi-factored treatment with numerous techniques to aid persons who stutter.

When do children start to stutter?

Stuttering usually begins between the ages of two and seven. However, it can occur at any point in a child’s life. Other life changes, such as having a new sibling for the first time and entering a new school, may cause a child to start stuttering.

What is the difference between ‘stammering’ and ‘stuttering?’

Both ‘stuttering’ and ‘stammering’ are interchangeable terms for the same disorder. The term ‘stuttering’ is widely used in the U.S., while ‘stammering’ is more prevalent in the U.K.

How to Observe International Stuttering Awareness Day

  1. Get educated

    Stutterers suffer from social stigma that can lead to bullying in children and ostracism in adults. Through the resources provided by International Stuttering Awareness Day, individuals and families can learn more about how to support those with a stutter and decrease the stigma that surrounds it.

  2. Attend the online conference

    Each year, the International Stuttering Association hosts an online event to mark International Stuttering Awareness Day. The public is free to participate in the online event, which focuses on a different theme every year and brings together individuals from around the world.

  3. Learn to interact with those who stammer

    When dealing with people who stammer, it is important to empathize with them. Learn how to interact by not finishing their sentences, making eye contact, and not urging them to take a breath or slow down. You may also ask questions if the individual being questioned agrees.

​5 Myths About Stuttering

  1. ​Nervousness

    Though it may sound like a person is falling over their words, being nervous is not the main cause of stuttering. Instead of telling people who stutter to take a deep breath, patiently wait for them to get to the end of their sentence without cutting them off. 

  2. ​Shyness

    Shyness may cause stutterers to speak less, but it is not an an underlying cause of stuttering.​ People who stutter might be afraid of judgement, so show them they can trust you by giving them the same amount of attention you would to those who don't stutter.

  3. ​It's just a habit

    Stuttering is a neurological condition, not a habit that can be easily broken​. Though people who stutter may enroll in speech therapy classes, these classes are more so to build confidence in their speech rather than promise to cure the condition.

  4. Lack of intellegence

    Lots of smart people have stutters. Although stuttering is linked to a specific area of the brain, it doesn't affect a person's intelligence.

  5. ​Bad parents

    While bad parenting might make a child's stuttering worse, it is not the root cause of stuttering. However, if you believe a child is in a dangerous situation, don't hesitate to contact the police.

Why International Stuttering Awareness Day is Important

  1. Stuttering is misunderstood

    There are many myths surrounding stuttering and those who live with the condition. For example, contrary to what many think, it's not caused by nervousness or shyness. International Stuttering Awareness Day educates the public about stuttering and thereby diminishes the stigma.

  2. It provides assistance

    International Stuttering Awareness Day provides hope to people who stutter by showing them they're not alone and by providing them with resources to improve their speech. It connects individuals with research and speech pathologists.

  3. It's a community

    The National Stuttering Association is a community of people who share their challenges and stories with each other. By attending events and workshops, often delivered through local chapters, those who stutter can meet and learn from others with similar stories.

International Stuttering Awareness Day dates

2024October 22Tuesday
2025October 22Wednesday
2026October 22Thursday
2027October 22Friday
2028October 22Sunday

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