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, on October 22, shines a helpful spotlight on stutterers and educates the public about the causes. Activities marking the day include an online conference, events, a media campaign, and provision of educational materials.
International Stuttering Awareness Day - History
Support the troops
The British government announced the Defence Stammering Network to support troops who stutter (stammer, in UK parlance).
"The King's Speech"
The film "The King's Speech" was released. It tells the story of King George VI, who endured years of speech therapy to overcome his stutter.
In her book, "I was Winston Churchill's Personal Secretary," Phyllis Moir mentioned that Churchill grew up with a stutter.
How to Observe International Stuttering Awareness Day
Stutterers suffer from social stigma. Young stutterers can suffer bullying. Through the resources provided by International Stuttering Awareness Day, individuals and families can learn more about it.
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.
If you have a friend or family member who stutters you can get involved by helping to educate those they may come into contact with. For example, the National Stutters Association provides educational materials that parents of stutterers can use to aid teachers.
5 Myths About Stuttering
While nervousness my cause some to halt their speech, it is not a cause of stuttering.
Shyness may cause stutterers to speak less, but it is not an an underlying cause of stuttering.
It's just a habit
Stuttering is a neurological condition, not a habit that can easily be broken
Lack of intellegence
Lots of smart people have stutters. Stuttering is not associated with level of intelligence.
While bad parenting might make a child's stuttering worse, it is not the root cause of the stutter.
Why International Stuttering Awareness Day is Important
Stuttering is misunderstood
People believe a number of myths about stuttering. For example, contrary to what many think, it's not caused by nervousness or shyness. International Stuttering Awareness Day educates the public about stutterers and thereby diminishes the stigma.
It helps stutterers
International Stuttering Awareness Day provides hope to stutterers by showing them they're not alone and by providing them with resources to improve their speech. It connects stutterers with research and speech pathologists.
It's a community
The National Stuttering Association is a community of stutterers who share their challenges and stories with each other. By attending events and workshops, often delivered through local chapters, stutterers can meet and learn from others with similar stories.