Thursday, June 19, 2008

Uncertainty kills us

Everyone knows the phrase:
People who stutter know exactly what they want to say but are just unable to say it.

In fact, it is much worse, because we also do not know when this temporary inability ends and the motor command is sent to our muscles. It could be a half second or 2 seconds later. I do not remember anyone mentioning this specifically. It's like your head being forcefully held under water and not knowing when your torturer is letting you breathe again.

Imagine a world where people who stutter know that they can pronounce the syllable one second after they experience the inability to pronounce. Well, we would just wait the one second and then say it. No need for additional panic or counter-measures, as we know that we can say it one second later. We have perfect certainty about our temporary inability.

Unfortunately, we are unable to predict the length of our temporary inability. We could be a split second away from the word, or stand there for seconds looking like a complete fool. And at the start every inability could be one of those disastrously long blocks. My suspicion is that a lot of stuttering symptoms are triggered, because we succumb to the time pressure and want to do something. Most stuttering therapies say that "it is about controlling your speech" when in fact you could as well re-interpret by saying that "it is about resisting triggering your symptoms in the face of time pressures from the uncertain length of the temporary inability to pronounce."

4 comments:

manuel said...

I think we can predict the lenght.
I think Its is endless :-),but only as long we dont struggle and as long we are kept in that (anticipated) situation where we cannot say the word.
But as soon the situation changes, or we change it (by struggling or something) we can say the word suddenly.

manuel said...

I think we can predict the lenght.
I think its actually endless :-))
, as long as we dont struggle and as long as we are kept in that (anticipated) situation where we cant say the word it will be endless.
But as soon as the situation changes (by struggling or just waiting), we can suddenly say the word.

Anonymous said...

ps: so if that is right, its all about when the situation (in our mind) will change, and thats the thing we cannot predict

manuel said...

ps: so if that would be right, the only thing we cannot predict is, when the situation (in our mind) will change