Celebrities Who Stutter Can Teach Us About Self-Acceptance
It may surprise you to know that many famous people have had stutters. Some notables include President Joe Biden, BB King, Marilyn Monroe, Tiger Woods, Ed Sheeran, Nicole Kidman, Bruce Willis and James Earl Jones, to name a few. Many such noteworthy people report devising strategies to overcome their stutter. For example, Biden recited classic literature in his childhood bedroom; musicians report that singing helped them counter stuttering.
Their experiences are meaningful on a couple of levels. First, they demonstrate that stuttering can be controlled and even overcome, and it is not a barrier to success. But more importantly, they speak about their stuttering and don’t treat it as a source of shame. This is important because stutters often take hits to their self-esteem and social connections. Others often don’t understand the disorder or are uncomfortable with people who stutter.
A New Approach to Manage Stuttering
Stuttering is a speech disorder characterized by repetition of sounds, syllables, or words; prolongation of sounds; and interruptions in speech known as blocks. An individual who stutters knows what they would like to say but has trouble producing a normal flow of speech.
Speech therapy can help people who stutter by teaching them to slow down speech and notice stutter patterns.
An approach called self-acceptance is gaining ground, especially with the publication of a 2016 study. The study, titled Self-acceptance of stuttering: A preliminary study, measured what speech therapists have suspected for some time. People who stutter are more self-accepting of their disorder and had higher self-esteem. They had a better outlook on the perceived influences of the negative social stressors of discrimination and hostility.
A 2018 study came to a related conclusion: there is a positive relationship between disclosure of stuttering and quality of life and its relevance in assessment and treatment in providing therapy to people who stutter.
What Self-Acceptance Indicates in the Management of Stuttering
Stuttering is a challenging problem for the three million Americans who have it. It’s tough on kids as the condition usually presents between the ages of two and five. People who stutter report they feel a loss of control in one of the most basic interpersonal functions.
A speech therapist can also help with suggestions to help patients and their families develop a positive social support network. Celebrities who have managed their stuttering have similar stories of creating a positive environment to help them feel more confident and successful.