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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 October, 2003, 08:49 GMT 09:49 UK
Stammerers voice opinions
Ali Logan and mum Muriel
Both children and adults are affected by stammering
Stammerers from across Scotland have been invited to shape the services a new support network will deliver.

The British Stammering Association is holding a consultation day in Edinburgh before it forms a Scottish branch.

The day is open to people who stammer, parents of stammering children and speech and language therapists.

More than 50,000 people in Scotland have a stammer. Both children and adults are affected with three times more males affected than females.

Low population density

"There are many theories about the causes of stammering and indeed, it appears likely that a number of factors are involved," says speech therapist Jan Anderson.

"The Scottish branch's first priority will be to address the isolation that many people who stammer experience - a problem that is worsened in Scotland due to its wide geographical spread and low population density.

"We want people affected by stammering from all over Scotland to come to our open meeting to tell us what they want from the organisation in Scotland and find out how they can become involved."

BSA (Scotland) will seek to raise awareness of stammering in Scotland and deliver support to people who stammer and parents of stammering children.

Jan Anderson
Jan Anderson: 'A number of factors involved'
John McAllion, former MP and MSP for Dundee East and patron of the British Stammering Association said: "Having stammered very badly from my earliest years until my 20s, I can well understand the frustration, embarrassment and pain caused to those afflicted.

"It was only in my mid 20s, when I was persuaded to seek help from a speech and language therapist, that I began to get my stammering under control and started to lead a normal life."

He said the new BSA (Scotland) will be better placed to influence the policies of the Scottish Parliament.

The meeting takes place at Jury Inn in the centre of Edinburgh 1400-1700 BST on Saturday.

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