Voluntary Stuttering

Hello All 🙂 I am a student in my senior year of undergrad. I am not a PWS but was recently assigned the task of voluntary stuttering for a class. It made me uncomfortable not only because of the fear and anxiety about stuttering with strangers, but also because I felt it may be viewed as disrespectful. I am curious about whether the community here feels it is insensitive or harmful to PWS to have us do this. 

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Voluntary Stuttering — 1 Comment

  1. Hi Monica and thank you for your question.

    Thank you for doing voluntary stuttering to get a hunch of what it’s like to stutter and get people’s reactions. How we feel about it depends on why you’re doing it. If you’re doing it to imitate us and make fun of us, it’s always wrong, of course. And if you hate doing it yourself, and yet let us do it, you can imagine how we feel, as you can go back to your fluent self, while we’re living it 24/7.

    But I myself am very happy you did this, as it made you experience people’s reactions and feel the stress and anxiety watching people’s faces, feeling the need to rush your speech etc. For some PWS this is a very harmful exercise, as it might silence them even more. For others this might be a good one, as it could help to de-dramatize the situation for this person, just like voluntary stuttering. It also differs if the PWS is covert or overt.

    You could do this exercise together with a PWS, where you do voluntary stuttering and your client is the observer. It might help to gain trust between the two of you, and even help to laugh about situations when talking about it afterwards. So if you’re doing it together with the right clients and for the right reasons, I can only applaud you. 🙂

    Happy ISAD and keep them talking