Another stutterer among our readers, Roisin McManus, emails hello@:
This is in response to the question of “the magic pill”—a topic debated in our stuttering community for years, sometimes usefully, sometimes not. Thank you for the forum!
I began stuttering when I was three, when I began speaking. I have never stopped stuttering. I have never spoke fluently without the constant word switching and willful silences that so many stutterers know.
After all this time, I believe that this is my innate way of speaking, my language. It is not unique, because 1-2 percent of the world speaks this language—across centuries, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses. I suspect there will be no magic pill to absolve any of us from our innate way of speaking, the same way there is no magic pill to absolve a man of his innate way of loving, or a black woman of her melanin. Instead, there are ways to change the way we view each other, and allow for diversity of speaking, appearance, sexuality, and opinion.
I’m sick of the magic pill question. I would rather talk about why a kid who stutters does not feel comfortable in the world.
And another reader, Yasmine Amin, sends probably the most eloquent email yet (followed by a note from Emma Alpern, whose piece sparked this whole thread):
For a long time I felt as though my stutter was robbing me of the person I wanted to be. I was the shy girl who didn’t really say much, which in today’s world is somehow synonymous with not knowing much, and I was always viewed as less capable.