MEMPHIS, Tenn., June 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Stuttering affects
more than three million Americans, including 20/20 co-anchor John Stossel,
basketball star Kenyon Martin, Tonight Show announcer John Melendez,
Chicago Bulls legend Bob Love, actor James Earl Jones and singers Carly
Simon and Mel Tillis.
"Myths persist through the years despite our efforts to demystify this
complex disorder," said Jane Fraser, president of the 60-year-old nonprofit
Stuttering Foundation. "These myths create a negative perception of those
who stutter and can harm their chances of success at school and in the
Myth busters include:
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
Myth: It helps to tell a person to "take a deep breath before
talking," or "think about what you want to say first."
Reality: This advice only makes a person more self-conscious, making the
stuttering worse. More helpful responses include listening
patiently and using slow and clear 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
certainly aggravate stuttering.
Answers about stuttering, a free downloadable poster, and a list of
famous people who stutter can be found at the Stuttering Foundation Web
site, http://www.stutteringhelp.org, or call 800-992-9392.
SOURCE Stuttering Foundation