Stuttering in the News – USA Today
M-m-m-my n-n-n-n-name i-i-i-is …
One little consonant or vowel. When you stutter, that’s all that stands between you and total humiliation.
Or for some, nothing comes out at all, called “a block.” Derek Wood is no stranger to that scenario.
“Still, to this day, the one thing I may get hung up on is my name,” says Wood, 41, an associate creative director for an advertising agency in New York, who is virtually stutter-free now.
“Every day you are making first impressions, and if you can’t get your name out, it’s frustrating,” Wood says.
He is not unlike the lead character in The King’s Speech, a new film that tells the story of King George VI of England, who, like about 1% of the population, stuttered, says geneticist and stuttering researcher Dennis Drayna, section chief at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. And while the king lived about a century too early to benefit from many effective tools that help stutterers speak normally, the root cause of stuttering still remains a mystery.
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