Stuttering and Sign Language

Hi, I’m a graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology.  I am curious about people who stutter and sign language.  Do people who stutter often choose to sign as a means of communication?  If so, do you encounter situations like this often?  Have you ever witnessed a person who stutters, stutter with their sign language?  I understand speaking requires different muscles than signing, but if the speech is dysfluent due to neurological complications, then could this be displayed in their sign language as well?  Thanks!

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Stuttering and Sign Language — 3 Comments

  1. I have never met or read about someone who stutters choosing sign language to communicate. There have been anecdotal reports of those who are deaf and stutter appearing to stutter with sign language. Indeed, it makes perfect theoretical sense for this to occur, considering that whatever affects the neural speech motor processing during stuttering obviously also affects manual activities. Many studies of manual coordination with those who stutter have shown that.

  2. You may be interested in reading a paper by Greg Snyder on the 2006 ISAD online conference – “The Existence of Stuttering in Sign Language and other Forms of Expressive Communication: Sufficient Cause for the Emergence of a New Stuttering Paradigm?” The direct URL is The article references several examples of stuttering in sign.

  3. Wow, I wasn’t expecting to get that response – very interesting! Thank you for the feedback. I will definitely check out that article!