Film Club: ‘I Stutter. This Is What You are Not Hearing.’

4 min read


About a few million Us residents — or virtually 1 per cent of the populace — discuss with a stutter. President Biden has spoken openly about the shame and pain of his intense childhood stutter.

I Stutter. This Is What You are Not Hearing.” is an eight-minute film from the Times’s “Adapt-Capacity” View Video clip collection inviting audiences to confront irritation with incapacity. It profiles John Hendrickson, who stuttered nearly his overall lifetime. Doing work with the filmmaker James Robinson, he explores the road blocks and emotional stress of his condition and explains the coping procedures and workarounds he has devised to make it by means of the working day in a environment that calls for that we talk up and converse clearly.

The film implies that the issue may possibly lie not with people today who stutter but with a culture that is mainly unprepared or disinclined to accommodate them.

What can we understand from Mr. Henrickson’s tale? How can we all help fight the stigmas and disgrace that encompass disabilities like stuttering?


1. Observe the brief film higher than. Though you check out, you could possibly consider notes utilizing our Film Club Double-Entry Journal (PDF) to aid you recall unique moments.

2. After viewing, think about these thoughts:

  • What queries do you nevertheless have?

  • What connections can you make between this movie and your have everyday living or knowledge? Why? Does this film remind you of just about anything else you have examine or witnessed? If so, how and why?

3. An added problem | Reply to the important dilemma at the prime of this write-up: How can we far better comprehend and combat the stigmas and disgrace that surround disabilities like stuttering?

4. Following, sign up for the discussion by clicking on the remark button and submitting in the box that opens on the correct. (Learners 13 and more mature are invited to comment, although teachers of more youthful learners are welcome to put up what their pupils have to say.)

5. Following you have posted, try out studying back again to see what many others have mentioned, then react to a person else by publishing another remark. Use the “Reply” button or the @ image to tackle that pupil directly.

6. To discover more, read “Us citizens Who Stutter.” David Leonhardt writes:

About a few million People in america — or almost 1 percent of the populace — communicate with a stutter.

For some older people, the stutter is quite gentle and has receded due to the fact childhood President Biden falls into this classification. For some others, the stutter remains serious John Hendrickson, a senior editor at The Atlantic, is component of this group.

About the past couple several years, Hendrickson has been on one thing of a mission to teach people today about the ailment. The part does not come quickly to him. He is a journalist, not an activist. Last 7 days, on the night time right before The Times’s Belief section posted a video about him, he told me he was experience nervous about the reaction it would receive.

The video is exceptional, and I hope you can locate the eight minutes to look at it. I also want to devote today’s e-newsletter to some of the key factors from Hendrickson’s modern do the job.

Stuttering is a single of many disabilities that Americans the moment dealt with with disdain. But the incapacity-legal rights motion, which took off in the 1970s and ’80s and much more lately features activists like Alice Wong, has aided change attitudes towards human variety. Of course, not every little thing has improved.

Discrimination versus disabled people — in some cases unthinking, other instances deliberate — stays typical. For stutterers, it can choose the type of assumptions that the problem stems from anxiety or mental weak spot. It is neither. It is a genetically motivated neurological affliction.

Want far more student-pleasant films? Stop by our Film Club column.

Students 13 and older in the United States and Britain, and 16 and more mature in other places, are invited to remark. All responses are moderated by the Discovering Community staff, but you should maintain in thoughts that when your remark is recognized, it will be produced community.


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