Make Room For The Stuttering

Stuttering Unmasked

Posted on: April 30, 2023

Every year, National Stuttering Awareness Week is celebrated in the US during the second week of May. Stuttering advocates encourage people who stutter to stutter openly during this week, or advertise that they stutter in an effort to educate others and raise awareness of a still very misunderstood speech difference.

This year, the National Stuttering Association has chosen the theme of “Stuttering Unmasked” in the hopes that people who don’t stutter will better understand what’s behind stuttering and the masks that we who stutter often wear.

Stuttering is so complex. There are so many myths and false assumptions that could be reduced if people who stutter spoke up more and let people see and hear raw, unmasked stuttering.

But there lies the conundrum. Many people who stutter feel so much shame about stuttering that it’s easier to keep the masks on. The “fake fluency” mask, the “shy, introvert” mask, or the “I don’t know the answer” mask.

Stuttering continues to be a difference that people often mock or laugh at, or about, because people just don’t understand it.

I am hoping that people who stutter will feel brave enough during National Stuttering Awareness Week, and hopefully more often, to be open about stuttering. Talking about stuttering lets others see that we are OK with it, and often prompts questions and discussion that promotes better understanding.

I plan to be open about my own stuttering. What about you?

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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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