Evidence-Based Guidelines for Being Supportive of People Who Stutter in North America

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While many resources, particularly those available on the Internet, provide suggestions for fluent speakers as they interact with people who stutter (PWS), little evidence exists to support these suggestions. Thus, the purpose of this study was to document the supportiveness of common public reactions, behaviors, or interventions to stuttering by PWS.Methods 148 PWS completed the Personal Appraisal of Support for Stuttering-Adults. Additionally, a comparison of the opinions of adults who stutter based on gender and their involvement in self-help/support groups was undertaken. Results Many of the Internet-based suggestions for interacting with PWS are aligned with the opinions of the participants of this study. Significant differences were found amongst people who stutter on the basis of gender and involvement in self-help groups.Conclusions Lists of “DOs and DON’Ts” that are readily available on the Internet are largely supported by the data in this study; however, the findings highlight the need for changing the emphasis from strict rules for interacting with people who stutter to more flexible principles that keep the needs of individual PWS in mind.



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