Sunday, March 13, 2011

Habit or Neurology?

I may have posted about this before, I can't really remember. There are times in my day when I am completely fluent. I do not use fluency tricks, I don't block, I don't struggle with certain consonants or words...everything works just as it should and I sound like a perfectly fluent individual.

Does this indicate that I have the capacity to be completely fluent 100% of the time? During those 100% fluent times, am I tapping into an ability to be completely stutter free? If I can EVER be completely fluent, does this mean I have the ability to *always* be fluent?

Let's break it down. If I find that I have a period of time of about 3 minutes in the day where I am completely fluent without using any "tricks" to be so...what is going on during those 3 minutes? Have I broken my stuttering habits for that 3 minutes...or is it that, suddenly, for whatever reason, the basal ganglia is properly working with the rest of my brain?

It is a frustrating idea that I am exploring here because there are times when I am completely fluent and those fleeting times make me think that I can be fluent all of the time. I just have to tap into whatever is happening during those fluent times so that whatever is happening...will happen ALL  the time.

How much of my stuttering is 100% habit and how much is 100% neurology?

Someone once asked me to tell them what the experience of stuttering is like, and this is the best analogy I could think of: Imagine that when you are walking down the street, you suddenly lose the ability to put one foot in front of the other, and you suddenly start stumbling...but it only last for 5 steps...and then you can suddenly walk normally again. What made you lose the ability for those 5 steps? You have no idea! What was different during those 5 steps? You have no explanation...it's just that, suddenly, without warning and for no apparent reason...you lose the natural ability to put one foot in front of the other.

That is what stuttering is like to me. So, if I can be fluent for 3 minutes...does this indicate that I have the capacity to be fluent most or all of the time? I suppose there is no simple answer. It is probably the case that part of it is habit and part of it is neurological and I lack the ability to determine the proportions on my own.

What do you think?


12 comments:

dhruva kathuria said...

I know,it is like "something" takes over your body without warning and you are totally lose control over self and when that "something" leaves you alone(in the fluent time) you have full control and talk perfectly without any techniques or crutches

Stuttering Stanley said...

Exactly. Why can't we reproduce those 3 fluent minutes enough so that it covers the entire day? What is going RIGHT during those 3 minutes? Hmmm!

stutterrockstar said...

What do you mean by fluency tricks? I had a very hard time in the brief time I tried therapy because I felt the techniques were really just a way to hide my stuttering, or make me covert again, which I was for so very long. I feel so much more comfortable these days just stuttering freely. I am not fluent, so might as well stutter easily!
Pam

Stuttering Stanley said...

Pam, I am a covert stutterer and I wouldn't have it any other way. It isn't for everybody, I understand...and I have been advised by many to stutter freely...but, I won't do that any more than I would leave the house without false teeth if I had no real teeth. I wrote a blog post about it in the past year, it's not far back in my que. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the post, I explain my position further.

Stuttering Stanley said...

Pam here is the entry: http://stutteringstudent.blogspot.com/2010/02/advertising-my-stutter.html

JD said...

i think that during those 3 minutes,,we are not thinking about stuttering, its more of psychology than habit,,in fact if we r able 2 bring a state of forgettry in which we completely forget that we stutter,,chances are we might not stutter at all.....of course no prediction or theory is 100percent accurate.....

And i cannot think of a valid reason why i dont stutter when im alone...

Stuttering Stanley said...

See, JD, that's precisely what I'm talking about...if you are fluent when you are alone, I theorize that you can always be fluent...we just have to tap into whatever is going on when you are alone. :)

The Crow said...

When you are fluent, you are unaware that you stutter. For a brief time, the memory is nowhere in sight.
This is what fluency is: no knowledge of dysfluency.
This is why it is so difficult: persistence of memory. One needs to be fluent for a long time, to really forget.
Tough to arrange, but eminently possible.

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