A Blog by Jane Fraser
Feb. 11, 2020

Despite the fact that stuttering affects more than three million Americans, many individuals still misunderstand this common speech disability. One of the Stuttering Foundation’s goals is to provide the best and most up-to-date information available to help dispel any myths that still exist. Our brochure, Myths About Stuttering, helps break down the most common misconceptions. Read on to find out the truth about stuttering.

Misconception 1: People who stutter are not smart. There is no link whatsoever between stuttering and intelligence.

Misconception 2: Nervousness causes stuttering. Nervousness does not cause stuttering. Nor should we assume that people who stutter are prone to be nervous, fearful, anxious, or shy. They have the same full range of personality traits as those who do not stutter.

Misconception 3: Stuttering can be “caught” through imitation or by hearing another person stutter. You can’t “catch” stuttering. Recent research indicates that family history (genetics), neuromuscular development, and the child’s environment, including family dynamics, all play a role in the onset of stuttering.

Misconception 4: It helps to tell a person to “take a deep breath before talking,” or “think about what you want to say first.” This advice only makes a person more self-conscious. More helpful responses include listening patiently and modeling slow and clear speech yourself.

Misconception 5: Stress causes stuttering. As mentioned above, many complex factors are involved. Stress is not the cause, but it can certainly aggravate stuttering.