Published by: Nibandh Vinod
Last updated: October 22, 2023 06:00 IST
INTERNATIONAL STUTTER AWARENESS DAY 2023: October 22 marks International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD), a global initiative aimed at raising awareness about stuttering, also known as stuttering, and promoting understanding and support for people living with this speech disorder. The day serves as a platform to shed light on the challenges faced by people who stutter and encourages societies around the world to be more inclusive and empathetic.
International Stuttering Awareness Day: History
The origins of International Stuttering Awareness Day date back to 1995, when the International Stuttering Association (ISA) recognized the need for a special awareness day. In 1997, Michael Sugarman, co-founder of the National Stuttering Project, advocated for international awareness at the International Fluency Association (IFA) conference.
His call was echoed in 1998 when the European League of Stuttering Associations, International Fluency Association and ISA jointly declared October 22 as Stuttering Awareness Day.
International Stuttering Awareness Day: Significance
Stuttering affects more than seven million people worldwide. For a long time, people who stutter were mistreated due to a lack of understanding about the disorder. In 19th century Europe, operations such as cutting the tongue or shortening the uvula were performed, but were later discontinued due to serious complications. Stuttering is now recognized as a neurological disorder, either developmental or acquired in adulthood as a result of trauma or substance abuse. Despite this knowledge, stigmas still exist around stuttering.
On International Stuttering Awareness Day, it is important to educate yourself about the condition and recognize the important contributions made by people who stutter in various fields such as science, politics, philosophy, art, film and music.
Signs of stuttering
Stuttering manifests in a variety of ways, including difficulty initiating words or phrases, repetition of sounds or words, protracted words, and facial tics. It often worsens in stressful situations or when speaking in groups. Interestingly, many people who stutter can speak fluently when talking or singing to themselves.
How do we support people who stutter?
Supporting someone with stuttering requires patience and understanding. It is essential that they can speak at their own pace and that they do not finish their sentences. Long-term support plays a crucial role in helping individuals manage their stuttering and contributes positively to their overall well-being.