Yes. However, as soon as the disorder manifests itself, a variety of consequences ensue - attempts to resolve the problem and cope with the consequences . Attempts to resolve the stuttered speech include a variety of compensatory strategies for talking. The consequences of stuttered speech can include talking less, talking aloud less. I've thought about this in terms of developing social communication skills. Now, I am intrigued by the idea that less talking aloud with listeners may reduce opportunities for self-reflection.
This process of talking aloud was mentioned on the Diane Rehm radio show recently. Ms Rehm was talking with counselors from addiction treatment programs. One woman referenced "motivational interviewing" as a method of guiding addicts through stages of change. This method engaged addicts who were not in the action stage yet, but nevertheless wanted help.
Dr. Nan Ratner introduced motivational interviewing in her presentation at the National Stuttering Association in Washington, D.C.. She advised speech language pathologists to be aware of the stages of change and to learn about motivational interviewing. As a person who has been in therapy, I know first hand the effect of unconditional positive regard and supportive interviewing. It is very different from the judgemental, logical, and downright confrontational discussions one might have with family and peers. I know what it is like to reflect upon my spoken word, reconsider it and then talk aloud about options.
How can the child who stutters benefit from this process if he/she doesn't talk freely with friends and family? How can this process occur if a child who stutters is fretting over being fluent, dodging sounds and words by all kinds of avoidance tricks? Here is another reason it is ok to stutter: it may permit the self-expression with which speakers come to know themselves.