Speech difference

Good evening! I am a student at CSUF taking a course on Fluency and I was wondering if I could have a question answered. There was a guest speaker and he mentioned that he saw his stuttering not as a disorder but rather a speech difference. This is something that really stoped me in my tracks and changed my perspective. I was wondering if others felt the same way?  Would you rather it be seen as a speech difference? 

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Speech difference — 4 Comments

  1. Hi Alex!

    Thank you for your question.

    In my own experience, what I have seen in the stuttering community, people are identifying their own stuttering in different point of views. Some of them see it as a speech disorder and some as a different way of speaking. Often if you are in your stuttering acceptance journey, it is helpful for some people to shift their mindset about it to see it more as a speech difference. Personally, I do not mind how it is called. I am aware that having a disorder or a disability has a negative stigma, but in the end, it should not be so. And luckily the world is slowly changing to become more open and accepting people who deviate from the average 🙂


    • Good morning, Satu!
      Thank you for taking the time to reply and share your knowledge. I can understand how rewording would be beneficial to a person on the acceptance journey. I also have to agree that it depends on the person and what they are comfortable with.
      I wanted to share that the reason it stopped me in my tracks was becuase if it is seen as a difference similar to an accent, then people would engage with them like they would with anyone else and not like someone with a disorder. What do you think? Is okay to think this way or not?

  2. Absolutely. The way any of us talk is different from each other. Some of us stutter, some are fluent, some have accents, some speak really fast. These are all differences.

    We are not defective. We do not have a disorder. We don’t need to be “treated”. When I am ill, I go to a doctor for treatment to “cure” the illness. Antibiotics can do that. There is no cure for stuttering so I am not looking to be fixed.

    I think therapists should strive to meet a client where they are at, and help them explore how they view their own stuttering. The same for the therapist. Don’t try to find a “label” for “it”. I am noting your last sentence where you write: “Would you rather it be seen as a speech difference?”

    To me, it’s not an “it” – it’s just the way I talk. 😊


    • Hello again Pamela.
      Thank you for taking time to reply to yet another question of mine. I am glad to hear that you feel this way because although I do not have a stutter, I do feel like its just a different way of getting words out.

      Thank you for correcting me in my wording. I apoligize if it was hurtful and insensitive. I will be more aware of the words I use.
      Have a great day!