8 Truths People Who Stutter Wish Everyone Understood


Although stuttering might make you think of that nervous kid in the back of class, stuttering actually has little to do with nervousness at all. While people who don’t typically stutter might stutter when they’re nervous, for the more than 3 million people in the United States who have the communicative disorder, the precise cause of stuttering is not known.

With a lot of myths working against them, people who stutter have a few things they’d like to clear up. The Mighty worked with the National Stuttering Association to find out what people who stutter want others to know.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. “We are perfectly capable of speaking for ourselves and don’t need other people to finish our sentences for us.” — Austin Garcia

stutter1 copy

2. “Often the fear of stuttering is worse than the actual stutter. We fear that people will judge us and label us, so we try not to stutter. And what happens when we try not to stutter? We stutter more!” — Pamela Mertz

3. “There is no cure for stuttering, and there are ups and downs. If I’m fluent today, that does not mean I’m ‘cured.’” — Shelley Benhoff

stutter3 copy

4. “Never underestimate the abilities of a person who stutters…I’ve been told by many people that having me in their life has made them a better person because it forces them to slow down and listen.” — Tracy Fennell Sault

5. “I might not be able to say my name most of the time, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do (and love) things that involve talking to/in front of people. I did drama and theater in school with no problem!” — Kirsten Orndoff

stutter5 copy

6. “People who stutter are quite a resilient bunch…What other choice do we have?” — Ian Mahler

stutter6 copy

7. “We are not slow… We are as smart as anyone else.” — Fianna Peppers

8. “Being a stutterer is like being trapped in an invisible prison… Stuttering is what happens when we speak, but it is not who we are.” — Fontonya Myrick
*Some responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.
TOPICS
, Listicle,
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Stuttering

woman speaking into microphone

5 Tips for Interacting With People Who Stutter

As a person who stutters, I have encountered countless people who are unsure of how to respond to my speech. I have been hung up on because they think my phone has lost its signal and I’ve been told “It’s okay, just take a breath and take your time,” or “Oh, did you forget your [...]

I Asked if I Failed Her by Spending More Time With My Son With Autism

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a manual with the exact instructions on how to be an awesome parent? Better yet, I wish there were a parenting college major, and when you earned your degree, you had all the answers. Instead, you run on gut instinct, do the best you can and hope that [...]

Why This Teen With Cerebral Palsy Earned a Standing Ovation at Graduation

On Sunday, the class of 2015 graduated from Columbia High School in Columbia, Illinois. For Robbie Small, getting a diploma wasn’t the only accomplishment that day. Small, 19, was born with cerebral palsy. His parents were told he would never recognize them, let alone attend and graduate high school, according to KSDK News. But on May 18, [...]

To the Girl at Target Whose Mom Apologized to Me

I wrote this post twice, but something about it was off. So I rewrote it when I realized the first time I was talking to the wrong person. At Target, I stood behind a lady and her daughter. Her daughter was bouncing and talking to me. She seemed hyper, but not too out of the ordinary. [...]