Science Experiment: The Monster Study

The Monster Study is the name given to a stuttering experiment performed on 22 orphan children in Davenport, Iowa in 1939. It was conducted by Wendell Johnson at the University of Iowa. Johnson chose one of his graduate students, Mary Tudor, to conduct the experiment, and he supervised her research. After placing the children in control and experimental groups, Tudor gave positive speech therapy to half of the children, praising the fluency of their speech, and negative speech therapy to the other half, belittling the children for every speech imperfection and telling them they were stutterers. 

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  • Reminder that Simon has admitted to having speech problems and not speaking much at all during his first year
  • Reminder that Simon tends to communicate non-verbally, through shrugs and gestures
  • Reminder that Baz said that whenever Simon does talk he trips over his own words more than anyone else he had ever spoken to
  • Reminder that when Simon was with Baz and Penelope he would often let them do all the talking
  • Reminder that after the Mage died Baz said that he and Simon would often sit together in silence
  • Reminder that Simon is probably not a very talkative or loud person given his history with speech problems
  • Reminder than Simon probably has a speech disorder like developmental verbal dyspraxia or Alalia or possibly even selective mutism

Dear everyone who doesn’t have speech/communication problems,

You don’t get to decide what methods of communication are valid. You don’t get to tell me that my words don’t count as “real words” and that the things I say don’t have meaning because I might not say them in a way that you consider “the right way.” All communication methods are valid and meaningful.