Claims of cures should be investigated

4th June 2020

BJ Hill sent us this article in which he shares his frustrations around public attitudes, barriers to finding a job and starting relationships, and programmes claiming to cure stammering in his native Australia.

Let me introduce myself. I am a middle-aged white male. I am into photography, films, food, arts and I could go on and on.

I am also a stutterer.

At times I have felt like that person that no-one wants to talk to, that person people usually avoid. They have few, if any, friends and are often lonely.

Imagine a man called Mark with a disability.

As a child, Mark sees a children’s show on TV making his disability look stupid. Mark goes to school and is told that his disability is not a problem. Mark tries to make friends but finds that people don’t like him because of his disability and people ask him why he has that disability.

This would never happen for other disabilities.

Movies that Mark likes have characters that make Mark’s disability look stupid. When Mark complains, he is brushed off. Mark points out that this would never happen for other disabilities, but nothing happens.

Mark tries to find a job but can’t because of his disability. Mark then goes to the local unemployment office and is asked why he doesn’t have a job. Mark is then treated as though he doesn’t want to work.

Mark goes to various government centres in Australia trying to cure himself of his disability. Nothing works. Mark tries various private centres only to find that not only do they not cure his disability, he cannot get his money back. When Mark tries to get his money back no-one will help him.

Mark speaks to salespeople claiming that they can cure his disability, but they want money in advance and their claims have never been tested. Some people who know Mark tell him that they have heard of treatments, but Mark has already heard about them.

Mark sees people around him getting jobs, getting into relationships and generally having fun. But because of Mark’s disability, none of these things happen with Mark. 

Mark is generally treated like a child. Mark is not stupid or lazy. Mark has a stutter.

Claims of a cure

I have heard about all the treatments, from singing to staring at a candle. "But what if I were to tell you that this will cure stuttering?"

Look at my Twitter page @BJHill12 and you will find lots of people claiming to cure stuttering. How many of them do you think have been tested?

Programs in Australia to help stop stuttering are dubious but are not examined. If someone claimed to cure cerebral palsy the media, politicians, educators and the medical community would all be investigating their claims. This is happening right now with stuttering but nothing is being done.

Recently a woman claimed to cure her brain cancer by eating a special diet. Immediately the medical community was sceptical and her claims were investigated by various government departments. This would never happen if someone claimed to cure stuttering.

But I am not trying to change your mind on anything, I’d recommend doing your own research on stuttering and make up your own mind.

Read our page on Causes & Cures for more information. Here at Stamma we don't advertise or promote organisations that claim to cure stammering. See our Therapies & Courses section to see what help is available.

Two women in running outfits holding flags and looking at the camera
Tayo & Bhupinder
A speaker on stage at STAMMAFest 2023

Become a member

It's free

Join the movement to change how people understand and react to stammering.

Sign up

Campaign. Fundraise. Connect. Meet. Vote. Talk.