How in the World Did You Ever Get Interested In Stuttering? After almost 20 years as a fluency specialist, I have stopped noticing that I am often the only, or one of two or three, African Americans in attendance at gatherings of speech-language pathologists interested in stuttering. I recognize this now after being invited to submit a paper for this issue ... Article
Article  |   July 01, 2002
How in the World Did You Ever Get Interested In Stuttering?
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Pearl A. Gordon Payne
    Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Articles
Article   |   July 01, 2002
How in the World Did You Ever Get Interested In Stuttering?
Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, July 2002, Vol. 8, 5-8. doi:10.1044/cds8.2.5
Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, July 2002, Vol. 8, 5-8. doi:10.1044/cds8.2.5
After almost 20 years as a fluency specialist, I have stopped noticing that I am often the only, or one of two or three, African Americans in attendance at gatherings of speech-language pathologists interested in stuttering. I recognize this now after being invited to submit a paper for this issue of the Division 14 Perspectives about my research in stuttering. In preparing this paper, I spent time reflecting on what brought me to this career focus and how my journey might be of interest to affiliates of Division 14.
Through the efforts of Division 14 and ASHA’s Office of Mulitcultural Affairs, we have been cautioned not to make assumptions about our clients’ culture or ethnicity in our assessment and treatment of communication disorders. Yet, we have not been so judicious in the assumptions we make about each other as individuals from various cultures and ethnic groups and our “presumed” areas of expertise or professional interests. As a new bachelor’s level professional in 1969, I recall my embarrassment and confusion when a colleague in St. Louis asked me if I could help her in understanding a client’s “Black English.” You see, in small-town Western Kentucky where I grew up and went to school, I had not been taught anything about the “colors” of English and did not recognize my own code-switching between the dialect and Standard English.
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