Increasing Stuttering Awareness in Africa

akintundeAbout the author: ADEYEMI AKINTUNDE, 29, is a founder of the Stuttering Association of Nigeria. He studied accounting at Osun State Polytechnic and economics at Bowen University in Iwo, Osun State Nigeria. He now manages his family business, is a person who stutters and a long-time participant in self-help organizations for people who stutter. Over the past few years he has presented papers to large audiences at self-help organizations for people who stutter. He’s a member of the board of trustees of the stuttering association of Nigeria and also an active member of the association and a co-founder of the association. He’s currently working on organising the 3rd African Stuttering Congress in Nigeria a bilingual congress, which will be held between Mon 27th– Thurs 30th October 2014 together with the other members of his organising team www.africa2014.isastutter.org.  Anyone interested in joining the organising team should contact yemiakintundenj@yahoo.com

Introduction /Background

Speaking or communicating for most people is not a problem. They can easily express their minds and share ideas through speech without much stress. However, for some, it is a problem for them to express themselves through speech because of their stuttering or stammering condition. Stuttering, also known as stammering, is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongation of sounds, syllables, words or phrases, as well as involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which the person who stutters is unable to produce sounds. (Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopaedia).

The effect of this fluency disorder goes beyond the speech or message to be passed across and has profound effect on the stutterer’s social interactions, as well as his psychological/emotional responses, especially when in a hostile and discriminatory environment.

In the developed nations, like the USA and the UK, conscious efforts have been made to address the needs of people who stutter (PWS), to help them overcome or manage their stuttering through speech language therapy and counselling.

In Africa and other developing nations, such support for PWS is not easy to come across. Though there is no known cure for Stuttering, providing psychological/emotional support through speech language therapy/counselling would go a long way in helping PWS gain confidence and skills to handle their stuttering and associated emotional stress.

It is against this background that the Stuttering Association of Nigeria (SAN) came into being. The idea to start the association started in 1997 when Mr. Adeyemi Akintunde (himself a PWS) experienced various challenges both at home and in the school, which put him under emotional stress and anxiety that made it difficult for him to express himself. The association was finally formed and registered in 2006, to serve as a platform for PWS, teachers, parents and other stakeholders to come together to; support PWS, enlighten the public on stuttering and facilitate access of PWS to speech therapy/counselling.

SAN is a member of the International Stuttering Association (ISA). ISA organizes the World Congress for People Who Stutter in different parts of the developed world every three years. The ISA has also been in the fore front of ensuring that African countries organize stuttering awareness conferences, to enlighten the people and provide some leverage to help people who stutter and their families understand stuttering. The first African Stuttering Conference was organized in Cameroon in October 2005, whilst the second was held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in October 2008. At the 10th International Stuttering Conference for People Who Stutter held in The Netherlands in June 2013, the ISA Board discussed with the Executive Director of SAN, Mr. Adeyemi Akintunde of the need to host the 3rd African Stuttering Conference.

It is against this background that SAN will be hosting the 3rd African Stuttering Congress in Nigeria, which will be held between 26th– 30th October 2014.

Justification

People who stutter (PWS) are found in the African society and other parts of Africa and the world as a whole. Often referred to as stammerers, they receive little or no attention to help them live with this condition. Rather, they are often exposed to ridicule and taunting remarks, which tend to increase their stuttering and emotional burden.

There is no known cause of stuttering, but research suggests it involves a combination of factors. Research has also established that more men than women stutter.

Eleven percent (11%) of children of pre-school age (between 2 and 5 years of age) stutter, which is nearly 6.5 million African children . About 20% or 1.3 million of these children are at the risk of developing chronic stuttering in adult life.

Approximately 1 million school age children and over 10 million adults stutter in Africa.

This population to some may seem negligible given the estimated 1.1 billion population of Africa, but translated in terms of the social and economic impact this population could have, it is quite significant.  Consequently, SAN deems it fit to organize the 3rd African Stuttering Conference (ASC) in order to increase the awareness of people to issues on stuttering, facilitate access to speech language therapists/pathologists and provide an enabling environment for PWS (from Nigeria, other parts of Africa and developed nations), their families and teachers, so they can share and learn together.

Stutterers in Nigeria particular and Africa in general have been exposed to ridicule, neglect and discrimination, because of their stuttering. In addition, stuttering is surrounded with some myths and prejudices that need to be corrected, such that people’s negative attitude towards stutterers and stuttering will improve and stutterers will have a voice.

The 3rd African Stuttering Conference is therefore a platform aimed at raising public awareness and education on stuttering in Africa. In addition, PWS, their parents and teachers, will have the opportunity to meet and interact with international speech therapists and psychologists, who will administer speech therapist services to PWS.

The theme of the conference is ‘Living positively with stuttering – your role, my role’

The expected number of delegates from Nigeria, other African countries and the international keynote speakers and speech language pathologists is about 300.

Goal

The goal of the conference is to promote an enabling environment for PWS to develop positive self-esteem, to promote positive attitude towards people who stutter and enable them develop positive self-esteem.

Objectives

The objectives of the conference are

  • Inform and educate the public on stuttering
  • Provide speech language therapy/counselling to delegates who stutter and their families, teachers, partners
  • Inform and educate PWS on developing coping skill for their stuttering.

Methodology

The conference will feature keynote speakers and speech therapists from across the world.

The methodology for conducting the conference will therefore include;

  • Lectures – where keynote speakers will come from the USA, Netherlands, Germany and other developed nations will address vital issues on stuttering.
  • Workshops – where researchers and speech language pathologists will educate and enlighten PWS and other stakeholders on stuttering and related issues
  • Counselling/therapy support for PWS, family and/or teachers.
  • Production and distribution of BCC material.

Conclusion

The hosting of the 3rd African Stuttering Conference in Nigeria will go a long way to meet the yearnings and aspirations of PWS to access the desired services and support that will enable them to manage or cope with their stuttering. In addition, it will create a greater awareness and understanding of PWS and stuttering. It is also hoped that this will serve as a wake-up call for the government and other stakeholders in Nigeria and Africa as a whole, to pay the required attention to stuttering and provide an enabling environment for PWS to develop their maximum potential.

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Comments

Increasing Stuttering Awareness in Africa — 53 Comments

  1. Hello Yemi! I am so glad to see your paper and to learn more about your plans for the 3rd African conference. It is a big, put very important project! I’m sure Joseph Lukong (originally from Cameroon) and Moussa Dao (Burkina Faso) who organized the previous conferences are being helpful in advising and supporting your efforts.

    I remember when you contacted me many years ago. You were looking for a cure for your stuttering. One statement you make in your paper is so important and made me happy to read – “Though there is no known cure for Stuttering, providing psychological/emotional support through speech language therapy/counseling would go a long way in helping PWS gain confidence and skills to handle their stuttering and associated emotional stress.”

    Your work in establishing the Stuttering Association of Nigeria – http://www.isastutter.org/nigeria/ has already done a wonderful job in helping PWS in Nigeria and this conference will, too.

    I do have one quick question (the answer is probably obvious, but I can’t figure it out) – what is “BCC material” that is mentioned in your paper – “Production and distribution of BCC material”?

    Judy Kuster

    • Thanks a lot Judy, its been a while now. BCC means behaviour change communication, so materials produced with messages intended to bring about change in peoples behaviuor is BCC. It used to be IEC meaning Information, Education and Communication materials. Sorryfor the late response. Joseph and moussa have been of great help with advising and supporting all the efforts, we hope we can create more awareness of stuttering in Africa with the proposed congress.

  2. Hello Adeyemi,
    Thank you for spreading awareness about stuttering in Africa. Can you share some of you experiences growing up in Africa as a person who stutters? Did you have any sort of counseling or therapy? Did you know anyone else who stuttered ?
    Thank you,
    Elana

    • Hi Elana, just a quick response here, I never had any sort of counseling or therapy in Nigeria and likewise most other stutterers in other African countries never had access to therapy or counseling, no body wanted to discuss about stuttering, they see stutterers as handicapped people, a lot of people stutter in Nigeria and other African countries. with hosting the 3rd African stuttering conference can be of help in creating awareness of stuttering in Africa and making sure therapy and counseling can be provided during the congress in Africa, we need volunteers to help in this area.

  3. Hi Adeyemi,

    Wow, this is great and inspiring. I’m from the Dominican Republic and just like Africa the Dominican Republic does not provide counseling or speech therapy services to PWS or people with any kind of communication disorder. The people from my country are often taunted and looked as incompetent. I am a graduate student studying to be an SLP and this past summer I organized a study abroad trip for students to provide SLP services in the DR. According to the people there we were the first group of students that traveled to provide such services in the DR. We were able to give a lot of the families there hope and guidance. I’m sure your efforts have done the same.

    Interestingly, I believe that a high percentage Dominicans in the Dominican Republic stutter. Is that true of people in Africa? I know about 1% of Americans are PWS.

    Thank you,
    Lupe B.

    • Hi Lupe, Yes it is true that high percentage of Nigerians stutter and most of these stutterers never had any therapy or counselling in their lives and over 10 million adults stutter in Africa. Stuttering in Africa is more of a worst case scenario compared to other parts of the world. There’s lack of stuttering therapy, awareness, events etc in Africa, unless we break this bond, then stutterers can have better lives overhere in Africa.

      Thanks.

  4. Hi Adeyemi,

    Coming from a Latino background, People who stutter are ridiculed, told to stay home, or to simply “stop talking like that”. I think it is very important to raise awareness in different cultures in order to counsel and provide therapy. In your paper you mention that 20% of children are at risk of developing chronic stuttering in adult life. How do you determine if someone is a chronic stutterer?

    Thank You,
    Dulce A

    • Hi Dulce, your experience from the Latino background will be the same experience with the African background, to determine if someone is a chronic stutterer comes in different ways, sometimes chronic stuttering has to do with the Gender: Boys are more likely than girls to have a chronic stuttering and between 70% to 85% of all children who begin stuttering will not develop a chronic stuttering in their adulthood within 12 to 24 months without speech therapy, If a child has been stuttering longer than 9 months, he may be less likely to outgrow a chronic stuttering in the adulthood if he has been stuttering longer than 12 months. It is also estimated that 25% of chronic stuttering has been linked with family history.
      Thanks
      yemi

  5. Hi Adeyemi,
    It is a remarkable thing you are doing to create awareness about stuttering in Africa. I am finishing my post-bac in Communication Sciences Disorders and will be applying to grad schools soon to become a speech language pathologist. I am interested in working in other countries/providing support in other countries when I finish grad school. I was astonished when reading your article to learn how many children and adults stutter in Africa. I am interested to learn how you overcame stuttering difficulty? I was also wondering if you partner with any organizations in the US?
    Thank you in advance for your time.
    Warm regards,
    Lauren

    • Hi Lauren,

      Thanks for your comments, well to start with, i overcame my stuttering difficulty when is started attending stuttering congresses and stuttering events around the world, then i met alot of people from different background and culture who stutter like myself and professionals on stuttering. we have friends in the US and other parts of the world, they are known as sisters association to us. please do remember to choose Africa at some point when making decisions to work in other countries. There’s more needs to be done to educate others in Africa on stuttering.
      Thank you,
      Yemi

  6. Although more resources surely exist in the US/developed nations, I’ve learned that our general public still have misconceptions about stuttering. Our professor related to us the results of a survey that asked people what the origin of stuttering was; a common answer was that people who stutter were tickled too much as children.
    The developing nation my parents originate from also has prevailing misconceptions and myths surrounding people who stutter (many linked with religion). I would love to hear what falsehoods and myths are perpetuated in Africa regarding stutters.
    Thank you, Tangina Z

  7. Hello Adeyemi,

    I applaud you on all of your efforts thus far in bringing awareness of this disorder in Nigeria, as well as in other African nations.

    As a student studying speech-language pathology in the United States, I am constantly learning about culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) populations. In this field I will definitely come into contact with children and adults who either speak a different language other than English, or who learned English as their second language. Although I am aware that I will most likely have a CLD client on my caseload, it never crossed my mind that a child who speaks another language could also possibly stutter. I never saw stuttering as an “English” disorder, but I never really thought about how stuttering affects individuals in other parts of the world.

    Thank you for writing this paper and informing people that stuttering is an international phenomenon and that people who stutter definitely aren’t alone in this world and that more needs to be done to educate others.

    – Stefanie

    • Hi Stephanie,
      Thank you, there are so many children and adults who speak different language other than English and also learned English as their second language, at some stage you will come across them if you choose to work in this field abroad, please do remember to choose Africa at some point when making decisions to work abroad on your culturally and linguistically diverse CLD populations.

      Yemi.

      • Hi Yemi,

        My brother-in-law is from Ghana, so I would definitely travel to Africa at some point in my career. Thank you for responding and again good luck with all of your endeavors.

  8. Hi Adeyemi,

    I am currently a graduate student studying speech pathology in North Carolina.I have a question regarding your comment “In addition, stuttering is surrounded with some myths and prejudices that need to be corrected”. How will your association “correct” these beliefs of the African culture?

    Thanks for sharing!

    Shantel Williams

  9. Hi Shantel, we are still working on how we are going to make these corrections as we have limited resources to help carry out this mission, we have poor stuttering network in Africa and this is one of the reasons we are hosting the 3rd African Stuttering Conference In Oct 2014.

    Thanks

    Yemi

    • Yemi,

      I have another question for you, out of curiosity.For the 3rd African Stuttering Conference, will there be a collaboration of professionals at this event? In other words, what professionals will be involved? Will there be psychologists, general medical doctors, or teachers, along with speech-language pathologists?

      Thanks again,

      Shantel Williams

      • Hi shantel, just a quick reply here, yes there ll be collaboration of professionals including SLTs,SLPs,teachers,psychologists from overseas, etc there ll also be speech therapy sessions from various volunteers of SLPs and SLTs. We are still hoping we have more volunteers by early next year to work with us during this congress, majority from the participants have not attended any counseling or therapy before, this will be a great opportunity for most Africans.
        Thanks
        Yemi

  10. Hello Yemi,

    Thank you so much for sharing such an insightful article. Being from the Unites States, I have always been interested in the different stances other countries may have towards stuttering. Furthermore, I am quite interested in taking a year off and perhaps visiting other countries. Are you aware of any programs or organizations that provide assistance to Speech-Language Pathologists from abroad who wish to treat people who stutter in Africa?

    • Hi yoni, I’m not 100% sure, I ll need to ask other stuttering organizations in Africa, moussa Dao from burkina Faso might be able to answer your question.
      Thanks Yemi

  11. Yemi,

    After reading your paper, I now have a greater understanding of the hardships a person who stutters may experience in Africa due to the lack of compassion the government shares towards the stuttering community. The words you wrote regarding the conscious efforts to overcome and manage stuttering being made in other countries such as the US and UK has made a resounding impact on me. So my question to you is, what efforts would you like to see from the US and UK communities in order to support the community of people who stutter in Africa?

    Look forward to hearing from you,

    Yoni

  12. Yemi,

    After reading your paper, I now have a greater understanding of the hardships a person who stutters may experience in Africa due to the lack of compassion the government shares towards the stuttering community. The words you wrote regarding the conscious efforts to overcome and manage stuttering being made in other countries such as the US and UK has made a resounding impact on me. So my question to you is, what efforts would you like to see from the US and UK communities in order to support the community of people who stutter in Africa?

    Look forward to hearing from you,

    Yoni

    • Hi yoni, thank you for your question, being Africa, we are always behind compared to other developed countries, majority of people still do not no what stuttering means and why people stutter. If efforts are been contributed to Africa in terms of providing training speech therapy, awareness of stuttering, counseling, courses on speech therapy for students, getting enough free informations on stuttering through posters,leaflets,materials etc creating more self help groups, with the support of developed countries where stuttering are more known , In Africa and other developing nations, such support for PWS is not easy to come across. Though there is no known cure for Stuttering, providing psychological/emotional support through speech language therapy/counselling would go a long way in helping PWS gain confidence and skills to handle their stuttering and associated emotional stress.

  13. Hello Adeyemi,

    I really enjoyed reading your article. Like many others, I was astonished by the number of people, both children and adults, who stutter in Africa. I commend you for hosting the 3rd African Stuttering Conference and look forward to following it closely on your website!

    I am a graduate student taking a class on fluency disorders and have already learned a great deal about stuttering that I never knew. In order to further my knowledge and curiosity, I have a couple questions for you. What treatment and coping methods do you feel are the most beneficial for PWS? Likewise, what coping methods helped you personally?
    What do you feel will be the most important message PWS can take away from the 3rd African Stuttering Conference in 2014?
    I’m not sure at what age you learned to speak English, but when you were learning English, did you find that your stuttering existed in both languages? And if so, was it more severe in one language?

    Thank you so much for your time, I really appreciate it!

    Kate Mitchell

  14. Hi Kate,
    thanks for the interest. Well I still stutter in both languages I speak, I learnt English right from primary school and my stuttering depends, sometimes it can be worse whilst speaking English and sometimes the other way round. The most important message PWS can take from the 3rd African stuttering conference, not only people who stutter but parents,teachers,friends,partners of PWS have a lot to gain from the conference, everyone will come together as one to share different experience,knowledge from SLPs,SLTs as majority of people in Africa have not attended therapy,counseling or stuttering events before. Regular speech therapy, self help groups, counseling can be most beneficial for PWS.thank you for your time

  15. Hi Yemi,
    I admire your ongoing efforts to improve the quality of life for PWS in your country, as well as other developing countries. You are benefiting millions of people to come, who will forever be grateful for your work. My question for you is, when did you become such a strong advocate for PWS? Did you ever go through the feelings of avoidance/embarrassment as you were growing up in Africa? If so, when did you decide it was time to let your voice be heard about this issue and stand up for others like yourself? Were you blessed with a strong support system, with family or friends? Was it a decision that stemmed from the avoidance behaviors and personal embarrassments? Or perhaps one experience that opened your eyes and led you to embrace your stutter in order to help others? I look forward to hearing from you.

    Jennie Mahaffey
    Western Carolina University

    • Hi Jennie, thank you for the interest and I’m sorry for the late response. First of all it all started when I attended the 1st African stuttering conference in 2005, Cameron. It’s been a rough long journey with the feelings of avoidance/embarrassments,loneliness,isolated etc growing up with stuttering in Africa is the least prayer anyone will ever pray for, stuttering is a terrible experience as no one wants to talk about stuttering and no awareness or any kind of knowledge about stuttering was available. there wasnt any support from family or friends, the situation of stuttering over here is very much different from the developed countries.
      Attending stuttering conferences and events around the world opened my eyes and made me embrace my stuttering and is so unfortunate that not every stutterer in Africa has the opportunity to do this.
      Thank you for the interest.
      Yemi

  16. Adeyemi,

    You’re paper greatly touched me. I am a graduate student studying SLP in the United States, and I often find it easy to forget about what people in other countries are going through. In my fluency class, we learned about cultural differences however it is different to hear about it from someone’s first-hand point of view. I find it admirable that you have taken a stand to help other people who stutter (PWS) in Africa to receive services and be treated equally. Discrimination should not be occurring, and is usually the result of a lack of education about the particular subject (in this case stuttering).

    As this will be the 3rd African Stuttering Conference, I have to ask how the public responded to the first two? I am unaware of the goals of these conferences but would assume that they are similar to those of the conference next year. Would you say that education and acceptance of stuttering has increased? Do you believe it is any easier for PWS to obtain services?

    I greatly enjoyed this paper and will be looking forward to hearing about the 3rd African Stuttering Conference in the future.

    Thank you for all you have done,

    Katie
    SLP Graduate Student

    • Hi Katie, thank you for the comments, just a quick response to your comments here. In Africa it is very hard for PWS to obtain services and acceptance of stuttering has never increased in this part of the world.
      We hope the 3rd African stuttering conference brings hope to all PWS in Africa their friends,family, teachers. The first two African stuttering conferences were responded too very well with the support of ISA, volunteers SLTs,SLPs like David Shapiro,Anne-Marie Simon, workshop presenters and stuttering sisters associations in the developed countries, they supported financially and also provided stuttering materials for the past two African conferences, very little support were received from the locals and only few contributed.

      thank you for the interest.

  17. Hello Adeyemi,
    What a great contribution. How wonderful you are going to organize another conference for Aficans. I hope you get a lot of support and resources from other countries who have more developed awareness of stuttering.
    I am an adult woman who stutters and for years felt very isolated with my stutering, as I had never met another person, let alone woman, who stutters. Now, I have been very involved in the stuttering community and have met many, many other people who stutter and enjoy socializing and interacting, especially with other women who stutter.
    I hope this conference affords women who stutter the opportunity to connect with each other and not feel so alone.
    I would love to hear more about how this goes after your conference.
    Keep up the great work.
    -Pam

    • Thank you so much Pam, is a great relief to hear such a personal experience from somebody like you. Thank you once again. Sorry if i may ask, what part of the world are you from? You can be a part of the 3rd African stuttering congress next year October, yes the congress will afford women who stutter and together with men who stutter the opportunity to connect with eachother. We are hoping we get more support and resources from other developed countries especially at this early stage.

      Kind regards

      Yemi

      • Hi Yemi
        I am from the USA – New York, so it doesn’t look like I’d be able to attend a conference in Africa, as much as I’d like to.
        Pam

  18. Hi Adeyemi,

    It was great to read about what stuttering is like in Africa. I am a graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology in the United States and have not had much exposure to what the stuttering culture is like around the word. I found it very inspiring that SAN wants to improve the social environment and knowledge of stuttering in not only Nigeria, but Africa for those who stutter. I believe it is very important to raise awareness and advocate for those who stutter. How do you expect the Nigerian public to respond to the education and information provided by the ASC? I really appreciated your insight into the African culture of stuttering, thank you!

    Kelsy

  19. Hello Adeyemi

    I am a first year graduate student studying speech language pathology in Wisconsin. First of all I would like to thank you for sharing your story. I was glad for the opportunity to gain a better understanding of stuttering in other cultural around the world. I feel that sometimes we become so hyperfocused on our own cultures and beliefs that we forget about all the diversity that exists in the world. I was glad to year that you are now hosting the 3rd annual conference. I am hopeful that it will raise awareness about PWS in your country. I am curious how many international attendants are you expecting at the conference? Thank you again for sharing your story and I wish you luck on the upcoming event.

    Breanna Minor
    University of Wisconsin Stevens Point

    • Hi Breanna, thank you very much for your interest, i really appreciate people that are interested about stuttering in the developing countries. We hope the congress raises strong awareness of stuttering in Africa as whole, we are expecting more than 30 international attendants from the western world, professionals in stuttering, keynote speakers, SLTs and SLPs etc also we are expecting many attendants from African countries.
      Thank you.
      Yemi

  20. Hi Adeyemi!

    Thank you for the wonderful effort on your efforts to increase awareness of stuttering in Africa. I am a graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology in the United States at Idaho State University and haven’t heard much on stuttering outside of the U.S and the U.K. It is great to hear about all the work you are doing to raise awareness and resources for PWS. I feel that it is important as well to raise the global awareness of stuttering so as to decrease the covert fears that sometimes accompany PWS. I greatly appreciated this article and your 1st hand experiences in stuttering as it relates to the African culture.

    -Christian

    • Hi Christian, thank you for your comments, yes i agree with you that it is important to raise the global awareness of stuttering but the situation of stuttering in Africa is different over here compared to the western world,there’s vital no awareness of stuttering in Africa at all, alot of people never talked about stuttering because they believe stuttering is not a physical handicapped or disability compared to blindness, deaf or crippled, they see stuttering as a very minor disability that does not deserve any attention in anyway, there’s no easy accessibility to speech therapy, counselling compared to the western world. Stuttering is not in the limelight in Africa so it does not bring any attention when referring to other life threatening diseases like HIV,EPILEPSY,DEAF AND DUMB etc so my conclusion is simply, more awareness of stuttering is more needed in Africa.
      Thank you
      Yemi

  21. Hi Adeyemi,

    This is such an inspiring presentation on your efforts to create awareness in Africa. As a graduate student in the United States, I have never really thought about how stuttering affects individuals in other parts of the world, especially because of a cultures view of individuals who stutter. How is your association currently combating these views in the African culture? I assume your 3rd African Stuttering Conference is one avenue you are pursuing to expand your ‘stuttering network,’ but how are you combatting these issues locally and daily? Thank you for your insightful presentation.

    Autumn

  22. Hi Autumn, thank you for your questions, to be honest with you it has not been very easy, we are struggling in combating these views in Africa as a whole. Planning the 3rd African Stuttering conference is a big avenue to pursue and expand stuttering network in our society with the developing world, in few months time we will engage few universities,create media for stuttering and advertise the conference in the media and local newspapers, all these are not easy planning especially where we have very limited sponsors,funds and donors to help out carry out these network of expanding stuttering in our community. I hope everyone can understand stuttering in Africa is very different over here compared to the western world.
    Thanks
    Yemi.

  23. Hi Adeyemi,

    What you are doing is remarkable. I agree that it is extremely important to inform and educate the public about stuttering. I am a graduate student in Speech Language Pathology in the United States and have a great interest about other countries regarding stuttering. My parents are from Southeast Asia and I grew up hearing tons of myths regarding stuttering. If you do not mind sharing, what are some of the myths that you hope to correct?

    I wish you and everyone attending the Conference the best of luck!
    Linda

  24. Hello Adeyemi!

    You are doing wonderful work in spreading awareness of stuttering! Thank you so much for sharing. It is exciting that the 3rd African Stuttering conference is so soon. What more can people in the U.S. and other countries do to help your cause?

    Thanks!

  25. Hi Adeyemi,

    I greatly appreciate you sharing your story with us. I am a graduate student in the United States and often times a lot of what I focus on is the techniques used here in the states to help people who stutter. It was definitely eye opening for me to read about your experiences of being a person who stutters in Africa and what your culture’s views on stuttering are. It is so great to see what you are all doing to create awareness of stuttering in your culture, I wish you the best at planning and organizing the 3rd African Stuttering Conference. You have stated that there is lack of services provided for people who stutter in Africa, what do you think is the biggest reason behind this? Thank you again for sharing your story.

    Casi Reynolds

    • Hello casi, thanks for reading my presentation, a lot of reasons are behind the lack of services for pws, first of all the government over here aren’t helping matters, it is very hard to get funding for organising any kind of stuttering events, they are more focused on other physical learning disability rather than stuttering, Infact very little individual ever mention about stuttering, the teachers at schools are not aware how stuttering can negatively affect pupils social lives etc so many factors are behind all these reasons.we hope someday we can get to a better position where stuttering can be well known to everybody in every community in Africa.
      Thanks again. Yemi

  26. Hello Adeyemi,
    Thank you for posting this paper, and sharing a little bit of your struggle with stuttering and your dream to see more awareness about stuttering in Africa. Like other who have posted, I am a first year graduate student taking a course on stuttering this semester and do not yet have much experience working with PWS. However, I found your paper fascinating because stuttering is not among the first things I think of when I think of developing nations. It was a great reminder that the issues we come across as SLPs are not restricted to a certain place, or people, but humanity as a whole. I am excited to hear about the plans for the 3rd SAN conference, and hope that many people are able to access resources to help them learn about how to cope with stuttering. Thank you for sharing!
    Graci Arias

  27. Hi Adeyemi,

    Thank you for sharing this incredibly insightful information! Those are some staggering statistics. It’s inspiring to see your work in increasing access to those in need of services and in educating others about stuttering. I look forward to hearing about the Conference and future growth of SAN.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    Stephanie W.
    Graduate Student in Speech and Language Pathology
    California, United States

    • Thank you very much Stephanie, we will keep everyone posted about the conference once the conference website is ready with all the necessary infos.
      Thanks
      Yemi

  28. Adeyemi,

    Thank you for sharing your story! I am disheartened to hear that most PWS in Africa never had access to services or counseling. Why is it so difficult for PWS to obtain services in Africa? Do you think this difficulty is also experienced by individuals with speech and language delays (what other factors aside from lack of awareness of stuttering could be at work)?

    Thank you again,

    Laura

    • Hi Laura, thank you for your questions,there’s no support from governments and private institutions over here for pws to obtainany kind of support services in the field of stuttering, therefore pws are left alone, governments and other institutions only focus on HIV etc most of the teachers from schools aren’t helping situations over here too because they themselves do not any sort of awareness of stuttering. The proposed congress will be to raise issues like this.
      Thank you once again.
      Yemi

  29. Hello,
    As a 1st year graduate student of speech pathology I find I often get stuck thinking about communication disorders only as they apply to my state or region. I really appreciate everyone illuminating global concerns in Africa and other countries where services are not readily available. The statistics though upsetting were very helpful in understanding the need for this conference and were very educational. Outside of participating in this conference, do you have any advice on what we can do as individuals to increase global awareness or awareness and acceptance of people who stutter in Africa specifically?
    Thank you,
    Breanna
    Graduate student, Idaho State University

  30. Hello!
    Your paper as inspired me. I support your feelings towards raising awareness to not only the general population in Africa, but I also think it gives the people of stutter support and let them know they are not alone. You are absolutely correct, people who stutter definitely need emotional and psychological support to help them with the feelings they have towards themselves because of their stutter. I have heard from people that stutter that they find conventions for people who stutter very beneficial and I think it is just fantastic you are providing so many people in Africa with support. Raising awareness can be a difficult thing, even in the US, many people know stuttering exists, but they have no idea what an emotional and psychological effect it has on the individual. Good for you, you are being the change you want to see in the world!

    Ashley Schaber
    University of Wisconsin Stevens Point

  31. Adeyemi,

    First of all, I would like to say “Bravo!”; you saw a need in the world and served as a catalyst to create a change. People oftentimes find it easy to say something needs to be done or changed, but facilitating change is something truly on the next level. Your advocacy is important for individuals who stutter so that they know they are not alone, especially since stuttering has such a direct impact on an individual’s psychological/emotional well-being. Just out of my own curiosity, how many people have attended the first and second gatherings of the African Stuttering Congress? Have you seen any change in the attitudes of the people of Africa because of your conference?

    Thank you so much for your story, and for being a driving force in creating awareness in Africa. To me, it seems that oftentimes people are focused only within the region they reside, and your outreach is creating awareness on a global level. Is there anything we could do as international advocates to aid your outreach? By being an advocate in an area without much support you are truly changing lives and for that, so many people are grateful.

    Jena