Troubled by Stuttering Article We at the Stuttering Foundation are troubled by the article on stuttering and suicide, “Back from the Brink,” in the May issue of the Leader. First, readers should know that there is no correlation between stuttering and suicide. A search on the Medline database (National Library of Medicine) from 1946 ... Inbox
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Inbox  |   August 01, 2014
Troubled by Stuttering Article
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Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Inbox
Inbox   |   August 01, 2014
Troubled by Stuttering Article
The ASHA Leader, August 2014, Vol. 19, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.IN2.19082014.5
The ASHA Leader, August 2014, Vol. 19, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.IN2.19082014.5
We at the Stuttering Foundation are troubled by the article on stuttering and suicide, “Back from the Brink,” in the May issue of the Leader.
First, readers should know that there is no correlation between stuttering and suicide.
A search on the Medline database (National Library of Medicine) from 1946 to the present, using “stuttering” and “suicide” as search words, uncovered only one case—a young man who began to stutter after attempting suicide. Simply stated, there is no evidence that those who stutter are more likely to commit suicide than anyone else in the general population.
Second, many speech therapists are already reluctant to work with children and teens who stutter. This article will reinforce their fears, even if it may have a “happy ending.”
Third, the article reinforces the myth that stuttering is a mental disorder—a myth that the Stuttering Foundation and many others have worked hard to dispel for more than 67 years.
Fourth, the implication of a link between stuttering and suicide represents a troubling departure from ASHA’s emphasis on “evidence-based practice.”
Fifth, the black layout conveys an emotional tenor that detracts from a professional discussion of the facts. We feel this article does a disservice to ASHA’s traditional high standards.
Jane Fraser, The Stuttering Foundation, Memphis, Tenn.

”Back from the Brink” explicitly states in the introduction, “There are no data to indicate a higher rate of suicide among people who stutter.” The intent and focus of the article were to raise awareness and sensitivity to the possibility that speech-language and hearing clients may be among the 1 million people who commit suicide worldwide every year.

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FROM THIS ISSUE
August 2014
Volume 19, Issue 8