Hello my name is Christopher Constantino, I'm
a speech language pathologist and a Ph.D. candidate at
the University of Memphis in Memphis Tennessee.
The title of this lecture is "Covert Stuttering and Passing as Fluent".
In this talk I will start by introducing what it means to
pass and then I will define some commonly confused terms.
From there we will jump into the literature on covert stuttering and passing.
We'll talk about some important historical papers, clinical observations,
empirical studies, and some personal reflections
written by people who pass themselves.
Finally, we'll conclude with a discussion of how best
to work clinically with people who pass.
So what is covert stuttering and passing?
The experience of covert stuttering is relatively unknown
to those outside of the field of speech language pathology.
This is unsurprising,
as people who covertly stutter often present as fluent speakers in their daily lives,
and therefore the average listener will not realize there is anything going on.
These people are said to pass as fluent.
Passing has been defined as the phenomenon in which a person of
one social group identifies and represents herself as a member of another.
It has also been defined as when people effectively present
themselves as other than who they understand themselves to be.
Therefore passing as fluent is when a person who stutters
identifies and represents themselves as a fluent person.
There are many different ways to pass.
When the term first started being used it referred to racial passing.
During times of slavery and segregation people of
color often passed as white in order to avoid discrimination.
More recently, the term passing has been used to describe people who
hide their sexual orientation or gender for fear of discrimination.
People can pass as straight or pass as a chosen gender.
When people cease to pass they are often said to come out of the closet.
Likewise people with disabilities often wish to avoid discrimination.
They can attempt to pass as able-bodied.
Passing as fluent is a form of able-bodied passing.