March 24, 2013

Genetic connection?

As part of my academic writing course at Coursera, I was asked to review a chapter from a best-seller- "The Talent Code". Judging a book, on the basis of just one chapter is questionable methodology. But it seems that the book says: Talent is not born- It is grown through "Deep" practice. By deep practice, the author means- giving yourself freedom to make mistakes and to learn from mistakes, rather than trying to do things "correctly".
Considering, how few of us actually put in the required amount of hard work in practice- in any thing, how few of us put in the right quality of effort in to anything - I think, the intent of the book is fine, laudable.
On the other hand, I was thinking, why do we gag at the idea that not everyone may have genetic potential for excelling at every task? More research- and I found, that there is a role of genetics in SOME sports at least: West African sportsmen excel at 100 M races, while central Asian athlete, excel at weigh lifting, wrestling for example.
In other words, a more sensible stand would be to say that both genetics and training (environmental factors) come into play, to produce a champion.
Applied to stammering, many of us resist the idea of genetic having a role in stammering. But, on deeper thought, I think that a genetic basis for stammering need not be the end of the world. With training and practice, one could become a good communicator, as many in TISA have done. Here are some links, which got me thinking in this direction today morning:
http://stutteringtreatment.org/blog/2013/03/is-stuttering-genetic/
http://www.asha.org/Publications/leader/2012/120918/In-Search-of-Stutterings-Genetic-Code.htm
http://stutteringtreatment.org/blog/2010/02/chamonix-explains-the-discovery-of-a-genetic-link-to-stuttering/

PS: a word of caution, no one is talking of "proof beyond doubt". Researchers are talking only of possible connections...

6 comments:

Atul bahuguna said...

Sir i think there is a genetic connection in stuttering.because in my case my father and his cousion brother are also stammers and then me......although my big father had recoverd himself and 2 years ago he retired as session judge from uttarakhand highcourt......

sachin said...

Thank you Atul, for sharing these little truths. These little facts help society and pws, by helping them understand and accept stammering for what it is. In my family too, it has been around for three generations- my uncle and my eldest brother stammered. They both achieved professionally and personally, whatever they wanted to..
Stammering does not hurt us as much as running away from facts and constant chasing after "Fluency" and "Cure"..

Ashish Agarwal said...

I am still not convinced that stammering is somewhat related to our genes, also that it have some genetic aspect also.

anyways, thanks to Dr.Sachin for sharing this information that he come across :-)

Manimaran said...

My father is a mild stutter till his death at the age of 62. His level of stuttering is constant through out his life span. He was a diploma holder in civil engineering. He scored 100% in mathematics in SSLC exam in the year 1948 without electricity in his village.

I am stuttering more (before joining TISA) than my farther and my level of stuttering was also constant till my age of 50. Now I am 55 and defiantly speaking better than my father thanks to TISA. I also scored 100% in mathematics in SSLC exam in the year 1974 under the guidance of my father with electricity facilities.

Vishwas said...

I'm actually not very convinced about any genetic connection of stammering. In my family, none of my family member stammers. What I feel is that, a child learns how to speak from the parents and family members. In this process, he may acquire their stammering; just like a child naturally acquires accent also at the time of learning the mother-tongue.

sachin said...

Dear Vishwas- that is perfectly fine- but it leaves some questions: If one child picks up stammering from a parent (or a neighbour), by imitation, why did other children in the family did not do so? Among four siblings- I and my eldest brother were the only two who stammered.. On the other hand, it is known that genetic transmission of a trait is not even and regular.