Make Room For The Stuttering

Surprised About Voluntary Stuttering

Posted on: October 29, 2013

I saw an interesting link to a blog called The Stuttering Source on Facebook and decided to check it out. The link was to the recent post about when does stuttering therapy end for a person who stutters.

The blog is written by a SLP who works as a Fluency Clinic Supervisor at the National Speech Language Therapy Center in Maryland.

I’m always interested in stuttering blogs so I decided to look at older posts.

Imagine my surprise when I saw a video of myself in the next post, titled The 411 on Voluntary Stuttering. The blogger used my video (with credit and a link to my blog) as a springboard to talk about how she uses voluntary stuttering in therapy.

I had kind of forgotten I had done this video. Of course I watched it again and quite enjoyed it. Hope you do too!

6 Responses to "Surprised About Voluntary Stuttering"

These are great videos. I do not have a blog, but am sending them out on e-mail to my PWS list. I will post on Facebook, too. I just want to put in my two cents and tell people reading thios blog that I always direct people to two great websites: The British Stammering Association ( and The Stuttering Foundation ( Both are filled with great info. The Stuttering Foundation site is famous for providing a ton of free resources like streaming videos and other things. There is a Spanish-language version of the site at I like that the Foundation site has a big lisiting of famous people who stutter and a “Celebrity Corner” section with in-depth bios on famous PWS. IN my youth, I had NO role models and knew of NO cool famous PWS!

HI Pamela! I’m glad you came upon what I wrote on voluntary stuttering. What a helpful video that was! Most of my blog is written with other SLPs and parents of children/adolescents in mind. I would love to hear your input or suggestions on topics you think a parent of a PWS may find informative and useful (or what you have found SLP’s are clueless about 🙂 )

Hi Brooke – thanks for the comment. I do hope you share my blog with other SLPs, especially since I also do a podcast with other women who stutter and we talk about all sorts of things, and of course stutter while doing so.
I have several interviews on the podcast with teen girls, that may be helpful for SLPs or parents to listen to.
I would love to share ideas about what parents might find useful. I helped run a parents group for parents of kids who stutter for about 2 years and they always appreciated talking with an adult who stutters.
And I have come across my share of SLPs who are clueless about some stuttering issues. 🙂
I will follow your blog.

Have you read the book “Voice Unearthed” by Doreen Lenz Holte? It is written by a parent of a child who stutters and walks the reader through her son’s experiences with various speech therapists. The book definitely made me rethink some issues (which I think is the sign of a book being worth a read!), but I’m a bit conflicted with how I feel she denounces speech therapy all together (especially since from her explanations I don’t think she was going to complete “duds” of therapists). Would love to hear your views!

Hi Brooke, I haven’t read Dori’s book but I did meet her in person at the FRIENDS conference several years ago and got to listen to her story. She shared with me the frustrating journey she and her child had with speech therapy. I agree with her main premise – that anything that keeps a person who stutters talking is good stuff. I’d have to read the book to comment further. I did not realize that she actually denounces all speech therapy.
** FRIENDS is the National Association for Young People Who Stutter in case you have not heard of it ** 🙂

I did agree with a lot that she said in the book, specifically the main premise you mention. I guess I shouldn’t say she denounced speech therapy, more she denounced teaching strategies. She explained that by teaching strategies therapists were sending a mixed message to her son that on one hand he should accept himself as a person who stutters and on the other hand they were giving him stickers for using strategies that made him more fluent, more specifically stuttering modification techniques. I understood her argument, and it did truly make me think about making sure I convey the message that I intend. I have most certainly met adults who stutter that feel that using strategies actually gets in the way of their progress. However, I think that when her son was young there is something to be said about showing him some choices (i.e. cancellations, pull-outs, voluntary stuttering, etc.) as long as it is clear that they are choices. My other issue was that the therapy that she said that was most helpful was with an unconventional speech therapist who invited her family and son to his ranch for their sessions. He certainly got the child talking, however if I remember correctly her son never knew he was a speech therapist and they didn’t talk about stuttering at all. Doesn’t that play into the conspiracy of silence? No doubt the experience was very therapeutic for her son, but I don’t really see how that was speech therapy, unconventional or not. Thoughts from you experience? Could you identify with the “mixed messages” and was there a therapist’s approach that succeeded in NOT sending the mixed message.

I am very familiar with FRIENDS, I have had clients participate in their mentoring program 🙂

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2022.
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