Are stammerers more intelligent as a group?

As a child I believed this. It helped to nurse my bruised ego. It was easy to selectively interpret events: I got through Combined Pre medical test at one go- so it meant that I, a stammerer, must be very intelligent! But what about thousands of others who got through similar tests, and did not stammer? Well, I was a child and not a trained researcher to bother about such considerations. It helped to believe in my intelligence and so I went ahead along that line of thought. Gradually, my identity was exclusively being defined by these two thoughts: I am different- I stammer – I am intelligent- I can help myself.

This gave birth to insidious avoidance strategies and patterns: yes, because I as a very intelligent person was trying to help myself! Now years later, I question that notion. If we are truly intelligent, why do we suffer on and on? Why are we taken for a ride by all kind of con-men, “therapists”, quacks and charlatans? Why do we spend hours and hours googling “stammering cure”, while denying stammering is of any importance to us? And even when we do go to someone for help, we have this skepticism at the back of our head: What can he do about it, when I have tried EVERYTHING and failed? Anyway, let me give him a try..

As a child I heard a saying: Smart guy slips on two occasions. First occasion I have totally forgotten about but the second one was: When he steps in sh*t, he stops to investigate the whole matter- he stabs his finger at the golden stuff sticking to his shoes and investigates it: is it really sh*t? Of course it is!

This applies to many of us who consider ourselves “smart”, “intelligent”. It is only when we have lived life whole-heartedly, suffered and mellowed- that, that intelligence is transformed into wisdom. In our case, it often manifests as- giving up avoidance, embracing acceptance and transcending the impasse. Of course, this transcending may look like “running away” but it is diametrically opposite. Running away or denial is based on an instinctive reaction based on fear and resistance. Transcendence is outcome of acceptance and humility.

Later, I read that psychological studies have not found stammerers to be of more (or lower) intelligence as a group, compared to normal population. In other words, you may find intelligent and “not so intelligent” people among stammerers as you find them in other groups. My sense of my “uniqueness” based on my stammering began melting away. There were others too, who suffered, came out of it, talked about it and carried on with their lives. I think this was closest to a cure of my “stammering mindset”- when I learned, that there is nothing special about myself or my stammering. I lost an “empire” but gained peace and understanding.

So, how do I answer this question now: Are stammerers intelligent people? Yes, they are if they can step out of that “VIP enclosure” and dance and sing like the whole creation..if they can celebrate their diversity, accept others with their diversity and get a glimpse of the unity behind all the apparent diversity..

Post Author: Sachin

11 thoughts on “Are stammerers more intelligent as a group?


    (March 22, 2011 - 10:00 am)

    Yes Sachin, stepping out of "VIP enclosure" is all that is needed! But most of the pws think- "how can the solution be so SIMPLE. I have been trying so HARD for last 25 or 30 years and now you tell me that I was wrong! No, I don't believe it! I know I am almost there. Please let me suffer for some more time"..But yes pain is a great teacher!!


    (March 22, 2011 - 11:25 am)

    Very nice write up indeed, one thing that I have noticed in many pws(it also included me up until a while ago) is that they tend to see themselves differently from others,and on a subconscious level they like it too,they think they are apart from the crowd and hence I can see a lot of them blaming others about things like not understanding them,not helping them and what not.And what they dont realize is how good it is too feel yourself the same as others.It feels like you are like everyone else (with his/her baggage of problems of course) and not a person who is part of 1% of the total population.(I hope I am making sense).


    (March 22, 2011 - 11:48 am)

    I think calling stammerers more intelligent than the masses is just a consolation ploy employed by some elderly, just like people having squint eyes are said to be lucky.


    (March 22, 2011 - 12:17 pm)

    yes, i had meet with many pws and almost all have these kind of superiority feeling that they are more intelligent.
    nice write up……………..


    (March 23, 2011 - 1:09 am)

    I haven't seen any stammerer yet who is duffer in academics level..why..???

    rahul das

    (March 23, 2011 - 7:27 am)

    not only pws even normal people thinks dat stammerers are somewhat more intelligent…maybe its for da better only…dey might take us seriously if dey thnk dat way


    (March 23, 2011 - 8:19 am)

    Chalo sab Exam likhte hai..
    Then, we will see who among us is better 😛

    Jokes apart..We can't generalize but yes PWS try to balance it up with studies/Hardwork..


    (March 23, 2011 - 12:18 pm)

    I think PWS are like any other persons.But as Rockford rightly pointed out, thay work hard to compensate for their disability. This is my 2 years experience with Chennai SHG having moved with more than 100 PWS. They are mixure all categories.


    (March 23, 2011 - 5:28 pm)

    i thnk rockford hit the nail at the head,its the fact dat we feel dat only through our work we can get recognition,the fact dat only den people l notice inspite f our problems ….n i thnk dat s very important


    (March 25, 2011 - 4:26 pm)

    Stammerers more intelligent as a group. I don't think it can be proven as u have said.

    Even if its so, intelligence is futile if it is not communicated someway. And speaking is the most general form of communication and what we PWS have problem with.


    (March 26, 2011 - 7:07 am)

    I think I read somewhere that studies revealed that stammerers are more intelligent then non-stammerers. Even if it is wrong, it does not matter so much.
    But one thing is for sure that we all PWS try to work in better way then others because we think we need to balance our total talent by compensating our speech problem with some other extra unique talent. And to some extent , it is beneficial too.
    But we need to take care that we don't exaggerate it.

Comments are closed.