MEMPHIS, Tenn. (July 2, 2007) — With more than 1.5 million page hits per month, the Stuttering Foundation's Web site,www.stutteringhelp.org, is popular with parents, teachers, teens, physicians and other professionals as a way to find valuable information on this complex and distressing disorder.
In fact, www.stutteringhelp.org is the leading site on Google, MSN, AOL and Yahoo for those seeking help with stuttering.
"We know of no other charity today that offers so many free resources," says Jane Fraser, president of the 60-year-old nonprofit Foundation.
The Web site includes five free streaming videos that discuss stuttering in depth for parents, teachers, kids, teens and parents who speak Spanish.
"My students who stutter use this site to learn more about famous people who stutter," says teacher Katie Lenell of South Bend, Ind. "When they see that James Earl Jones or John Stossel stutter, they recognize that stuttering doesn't need to hold them back."
Basketball star Kenyon Martin, 20/20 co-anchor John Stossel, actors James Earl Jones and Bruce Willis, singers Carly Simon and Mel Tillis are just a few of the many people highlighted at /.
Here are some of the most misunderstood aspects of stuttering:
Myth: People who stutter are not smart.
Reality: There is no link whatsoever between stuttering and intelligence.
Myth: Nervousness causes stuttering.
Reality: 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.
Myth: Stuttering can be "caught" through imitation or by hearing another person stutter.
Reality: You can't "catch" stuttering. Recent research indicates that family history (genetics), neurological development, the child's environment and family dynamics all play a role in the onset of stuttering.
Myth: It helps to tell a person to "take a deep breath," or "think about what you want to say."
Reality: This advice only makes a person more self-conscious, making the stuttering worse. More helpful responses include listening patiently and using slower and clearer speech yourself.
Myth: Stress causes stuttering.
Reality: As mentioned above, many complex factors are involved in the onset of stuttering. Stress is not the cause, but it can aggravate stuttering.