By Barbara A. Samfield, MA-CCC/SLP
Have you ever experienced difficulty speaking while traveling as a person who stutters? Have you or a loved one who stutters ever had trouble talking when stopped for a traffic violation?
People who stutter often have problems answering questions when confronted. If you are a teenager or adult who stutters, then you have probably struggled in these stressful situations.
New this year for people who stutter, is an ID card created by the Stuttering Foundation of America to help people in situations that can make talking difficult. These incidents can happen anywhere – at malls, airports, movie theaters, or when stopped by police. While law enforcement and airport staff are being trained in better ways to handle persons with communication problems, showing the “I Stutter” card could be a game-changer for many who stutter.
The Stuttering ID Card is available from the Stuttering Foundation of America.
To request a card by mail, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To preview and download the card, click: http://www.stutteringhelp.org/sites/default/files/I_Stutter_Cards.pdf
(Source: The Stuttering Foundation of America)
- Stuttering is a communication disorder that includes repeated sounds or words, and sometimes silent blocks with notable struggles to say particular words
- Stuttering, sometimes called “stammering,” is a condition covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act
- Stuttering affects 70 million people worldwide and 3 million Americans, or about 1% of the general population
- Stuttering occurs in males four times more often than in females
- About 5% of all children experience stuttering that lasts six months or longer, but most recover, with the rest who may have lifelong difficulty
- Four known factors can contribute to development of stuttering:
- Genetics (60% have a family member who stutters)
- Neurophysiology (how brain processes speech and language)
- Presence of other speech and language delays or developmental delays
- Family dynamics (fast-paced lifestyles)
- Speech therapy for adults and children who stutter can help
Summer is a busy travel season. If you or a loved one stutters, be sure to pack this card in your wallet. Don’t leave home without it.
Barbara Samfield is the owner and clinical director of the Speech & Language Center at Stone Oak, a private practice of speech-language pathologists serving the greater San Antonio area since 1998. For more information, visit www.stoneoakspeech.com
or call 210.495.9944.