Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Our brains are not abnormal but just different? A harmful attitude!

BSA posted a link to a research paper on their website here and added this sentence after a very short description of the research:
In 'research-speak' the authors are talking about 'abnormalities', though BSA holds that our brains aren't 'abnormal' but different.
Our brains are clearly abnormal, in the sense that they are different to the norm. They are not just different, because this typically means that they function well within the normal range and have aspects that are different but which do not impact functioning.

Therefore, BSA (or the person who posted it in the name of the whole BSA) does not represent my view as a person who stutters, and I am confident that many people that stutter and that I know would agree with me. Indeed, the BSA does also not represent the majority view of the stuttering community on this issue, in my view.

In fact, this attitude of telling researchers how to express themselves is making the researchers' life just more difficult and causing real harm as they have to spend valuable time thinking about words rather than about their research and are being forced to use words that do not accurately reflect their thinking just so as not to trigger some people who believe that stutteres are offended when, in my view, most don't care at all and would love to hear the unfiltered words of researchers.

Moreover, this attitude harms people who stutter as it prevents them to face the realities of their brains and creates hostility against researchers as the "bad" people who describe people who stutter in a "wrong and discriminatory way". Quite the opposite is the reality. Researchers care about people who stutter but they also care for their freedom to express themselves as they see fit.