May9–15

National Stuttering Awareness Week – May 9-15, 2022

The National Stuttering Awareness Week is organized between May 9 and May 15. The week is an observance in the United States for people who stutter. It helps people who stutter to come out into the open and not be afraid of anyone judging them for their speech disorder. The day is usually observed by the entire country, but a lot of hospitals and medical institutions organize special events to help people who stutter to talk without any fear. One in every 25 children in the U.S. has some or the other issue with stuttering.

History of National Stuttering Awareness Week

The original idea for National Stuttering Awareness Week came from Dan Weiss, who helped organize the Philadelphia chapter of the National Stuttering Project (NSP), which is now called the National Stuttering Association. In October 1986, Weiss wrote a piece for the Philadelphia NSP newsletter “Speaking Out” suggesting that there should be a special week assigned to bring stuttering to the attention of the American public. The idea was well-received. Paul Castellano, with the tireless help of Barbara Hubbard Koval, both from Delaware, played a significant role in bringing the idea to fruition. Despite having a relatively severe stutter, Paul had the courage and determination to testify before several U.S. Congressional subcommittees in zealous efforts to raise the public’s awareness of stuttering. NSP members contacted their representatives.

Then in early April of 1988, Paul and Barbara appeared at the U.S. Capitol for a ceremony that established NSAW (National Stuttering Awareness Week). Many dignitaries, including Senator John Glenn whose wife Annie is a person who stutters (PWS), were present. Jane Fraser, President of the Stuttering Foundation of America, made a speech at the NSAW dedication ceremony on Capitol Hill.

On April 13, 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the first proclamation for the period of May 9 through May 15 of 1988 as National Stuttering Awareness Week by Public Law 100-263.

National Stuttering Awareness Week timeline

October 1986
Original Idea

The original idea for National Stuttering Awareness Week comes from Dan Weiss.

April 1988
Firmly Established

President Ronald Reagan signs the first proclamation for National Stuttering Awareness Week.

April 13, 1988
First Proclamation

President Ronald Reagan signs the first proclamation for National Stuttering Awareness Week.

2012
Symbol of Gratitude

Dan Weiss receives a copy of the original proclamation by the government as a symbol of gratitude.

National Stuttering Awareness Week FAQs

Is there a National Stuttering Day?

October 22 was designated International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD) in 1998. This day is intended to raise public awareness of stuttering, which affects 1% of the world’s population.

What disability makes you stutter?

A stroke, traumatic brain injury, or other brain disorders can cause speech that is slow or has pauses or repeated sounds (neurogenic stuttering). Speech fluency can also be disrupted in the context of emotional distress.

Is stuttering a lifelong condition?

Most children outgrow stuttering. Approximately 75% of children recover from stuttering. For the remaining 25% who continue to stutter, stuttering can persist as a lifelong communication disorder.

How To Observe National Stuttering Awareness Week

  1. Get information

    Visit your local public library and ask if they have resource materials on stuttering from the Stuttering Foundation. If they don’t have any, you can get more information on stuttering on the internet. Read more about the disorder and how to treat people who stutter.

  2. Read a book

    There are many excellent books on stuttering. There are several for free in Ebook format. Many have been translated into other languages. The more you read, the better you will be able to help out your friends and relatives who are suffering from stuttering, which will help reduce the social stigma attached to it.

  3. Learn about a famous person who stutters

    Learning about famous people who stutter helps us to understand we are not alone in our struggles. It provides hope and inspires everyone with the knowledge that great things can be achieved by people who stutter.

5 Ways To Identify Stuttering At A Young Age

  1. Starting sentences

    If your child finds difficulty in starting a word, phrase, or sentence.

  2. Prolonging or repetition

    Another sign of stuttering is if your child prolongs their pronunciation of a word or some sounds within a word or if they repeat a sound, syllable, or word.

  3. Anxiety

    If your child gets very anxious whenever asked to talk or starts to talk.

  4. Tension in the face

    If your child shows tension, tightness, or movement of the face or upper body when trying to pronounce a word.

  5. Additional words

    If your child adds extra words such as ‘um’ while talking and finds it difficult moving to the next word.

Why National Stuttering Awareness Week Is Important

  1. Stuttering causes social stigma

    Many people who stutter are seen in a bad light in society. We need to stand in solidarity with them and help them beat the social stigma. A week like this can help people have an open dialogue with their friends, relatives, and colleagues about the disorder.

  2. Stuttering is curable

    Many children outgrow stuttering as they grow up. However, there is still one-fourth of children suffering from stuttering who don’t outgrow this. A week like this aims to help these children with their speech.

  3. Stuttering can lead to depression

    The social stigma around stuttering can cause depression in children, which can even lead to suicide in some cases. Therefore, it’s good to talk about it and this week is a perfect start.

National Stuttering Awareness Week dates

YearDateDay
2021May 9Sunday
2022May 9Monday
2023May 9Tuesday
2024May 9Thursday
2025May 9Friday