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On the “some of the time / all of the time” myth…

One of the things that can mess w/ the minds of those who stutter is the illusion of control.  We seem to be able to influence or control stuttering *some* of the time.  And since speech is something so simple, so easy, that anyone can do it… if we can do it *some* of the time, we ought be able to do it *all* of the time, right?  Here’s a post, written by a PWS, that (in his words) cites this very myth. If I can be “fluent” some of the time, then I ought be able to do it all of the time.  But since I cannot be “fluent” all of the time, I must be a failure as a person. The core of this myth is the belief that stuttering is either a psychological problem (i.e., anxiety / character flaw) or a speech-motor problem (if I can make 5 free-throws in basketball,  I ought be able to go 95 out of 100).  Both of these perspectives are flawed.

For me, it’s much better to realize that this thing stuttering offers us the illusion of control.  Therefore, this some/all of the time myth becomes moot.  Stuttering is a neurophysiological state, and like other neuropathologies, it is variable.  The act of stuttered speech is not the pathology, but rather the body’s response to the neurophysiological stuttering phenomenon.

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