Mark IRWIN1* and John STEGGLES2

International Fluency Association

International Stuttering Association                                                                                                 

Abstract. The speech disruption of Stuttering is restrictive, but any interweaving Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is much more restrictive. That is, in addition to experiencing dysfluency, to also suffer the shame, embarrassment, frustration and fear of stuttering to such an extent it causes a cycle of more stuttering, avoidance of social interaction, psychiatric ill health, and significant impairment of academic and career achievement, is more than just a speech problem.  Awareness of this fact is difficult to make given both conditions are referred to as Stuttering (now given the term Childhood Onset Fluency Disorder). The inability to differentiate these conditions succinctly has negative implications for public awareness messages and therapy. It restricts awareness of Social Anxiety Disorder by speech therapists as well as people who stutter, and therefore restricts the likelihood of referral for multi-disciplinary care. It also causes confusion with discussions of recovery. Has there been recovery from stuttering, recovery from SAD or recovery from both? The two authors make reference to their own contrasting personal experiences to highlight these issues and present a case for naming stuttering subtypes based on the presence or absence of SAD. 

*Corresponding author

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