American Idol is not a show commonly watched in my household, but this examiner is excited to watch for a young man auditioning this season. The promo shows a young man with dark hair and a bow tie standing before the judges. When asked what song he is going to perform, his words break apart as he says, "Bridge Over Troubled Water". (It is obvious that this young man has difficulties with speaking fluently (stuttering).) The next shot is of this young man wiping tears from his eyes and the judges commending him on his performance being told to keep on singing.
I don't know how long this young man will be on the show. The audition may be as far as he goes, or he may go all the way to the finale, either way he is making a difference.
Speech disorders make up at least half of all students on IEPs. Fluency disorders (such as stuttering) are not uncommon and for some people will last their entire lives. The cause of stuttering is not known. Some pathologists believe it is caused by the brain moving faster than the mouth, and slowing down the speaking process can help. Others believe that stuttering is caused by anxiety. And still others believe that we don't know why some people stutter, but that it is more important to instill confidence in spite of someone's stutter instead of the person feeling like there is something "wrong" with his/her speech.
An interesting tidbit that some speech pathologists have found is that singing can be a wonderful outlet for people who have fluency disorders. For some reason, when someone who stutters begins to sing, the elongated sounds allow him/her to express thoughts fluently.
This examiner is excited for the opportunity American Idol is giving fans and maybe some newbies (like myself) to see how beautiful and smart and talented someone with a stutter really is! Bring it on American Idol!