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The Everyday Anxiety of the Stutterer


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"One of the greatest difficulties stutterers face is introducing themselves. Casual introductions are so ingrained in our everyday experience that it seems silly even to point them out. They are, by their very nature, mundane. For the stutterer like myself, however, they are anything but that. “Hi, I’m Joey.” I hardly get to say this. Something so hackneyed is, for me, a palpable struggle.

There are the little things, too. When the gas station clerk asks, “Credit or debit?” you probably take it in stride. I don’t. I wince. To avoid the struggle, I simply smile at a stranger who opens a door for me. Saying “Thank you” — quickly and easily, exactly as I imagine saying it — feels entirely beyond my powers.

My everyday life is filled with such conspicuousness.

Conspicuous — the word is from the Latin conspicere, or “all eyes here.” The early 20th-century German philosopher Martin Heidegger said that conspicuousness is the peculiar moment that ruptures the fundamental fabric of human experience — the everyday."

I wonder how technology could help them. 

A membership app with multiple programs that can be personally chosen and arranged, as needed, by each member?

Some ideas to start would include various styles and methods for relaxation (audio), and repetitive speech practice (oral - like a tape recorder).

I like those ideas.

I was thinking about having the phone speak for them at first to explain the situation. 

Showing someone a visual note on the app screen could quickly and quietly explain the situation. Also, the app could offer tongue and mouth exercises. 

Oh I like the sound of that Marlene!

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