Mind War – The Battle of Perspectives (Vipul Patil)

patilAbout the author:  Vipul Patil is currently doing his post-graduation in Power Systems (Electrical Engineering) from College of Engineering Pune Maharashtra, India. He is actively engaged in TISA (The Indian Stammering Association) activities. His Hobbies include writing, trekking, running marathons and reading. Email: patil.vipul44@gmail.com

About TISA (The Indian Stammering Association)

TISA is a not for profit community organization which works for spreading awareness among Indian Population who stutter by numerous Self Help Groups(SHG’s) located in different cities of India. Every year numerous Communication Workshops and an annual Conference at national level is organized.

Is it wrong to love the way I stutter?

Isn’t it unethical to run away from the very nature of my stuttering?

Why Am I trying to emulate fluent speech?

Is stuttering being associated with unacceptance in the facade of fluency?

Why am I using acceptance as a tool to get to a state of fluent speech?

Is acceptance a tool or a state of being?

I am confused, what is stuttering?

Is stuttering the very state of my being?

Should I give up natural state of my being just to fit into some socially acceptable norm of fluency?

Am I really confused?

 

I want to find out the answers not to solve the mystery behind what is stuttering or what it is not. I want to find out answers not to create a path that leads to goodness of fluency.

Also I want to find out answers not to solve the mystery behind what is fluency or what it is not. I want to find out answers not to create a path that leads to the goodness of stuttering.

But I want to find the answers such that it deepens the mystery instead of solving it. Answers that will create more mystery such that we start to question the very nature of our confusion going in our heads.

There is loads of information available to us just a click away.  Maybe it will create an added knowledge base to your intellect. Is it really helping you in any way deep down? Probably you only know the answer well. Maybe the information initially successfully creates a romantic connection, you feel good, but sooner or later it fades away. And it leaves me wanting more information to feel good. I experiment with the new information on stuttering, practice it, get the result, period. Maybe one day I will become fluent. Maybe I will never become fluent. Who knows?

Is it over yet? Why isn’t it over yet? Maybe I should see a different speech therapist? I have asked these endless questions to myself over long periods of time.

I want to expose you to a different realm of the whole drama.

I guess the sheer number of fluent speakers on the other side of the coin are making us feel the illusion that stuttering is some undesirable quality. And the very illusion feels apparently more real when some of the so called fluent speakers support the undesirable quality to be undesirable. They are the culprits who wants us to speak like them. And we become the puppets who support their version of what is normal and abnormal views. Either way both the perspectives are born out of illusions.

For example:  Why can’t we force them to be like us? For a moment it seems an absurd idea. But think over it for a while.

What if we are less in number? We can outweigh them not by number but by our diverse nature. We have more diversity than them. We have people who stutter in different ways. A stutterer stutters in multiple different ways If we find out different ways of stuttering, probably we could end up with a number which is far more than the population of our planet.

Now I guess research should be done in this area. Now the fluent researchers will be defeated and disappointed because there is only one way of speaking fluently. So clearly we are the winners. We are richer in quality than them. Poor fluent speakers, feeling bad for you. Comrades, congratulations for the victory. Long live stuttering. Cherish the diversity. Are you feeling better?

I gave the above example just to create a shift in the way we all look at stuttering. I am not trying to prove anyone right or wrong. I mean is this war in mind really needed. I guess both the sides are equally false and illusory. Just shifting the sides of the coins might make us feel better for a moment, but the confusion of fluency and stuttering is a never ending battle created by all of us. Let’s end the war and create a unified diversity without labels.

With the unification, the battle between the perspectives will end. It will surely create peace and tranquillity all over the planet, with the very dissolution of conflicts. There will grow acceptance for differences, now it doesn’t matter what we label the difference. The very difference is the very being of the individual, which is supposed to be the natural and organic entity they are born with.

Comrades, let’s put the poisonous coin of conflict in the furnace of love and unification. Let’s stand up together for oneness. We have the weapon of acceptance with us.

Is it really necessary to solve the mystery? Is my confusion just an illusion?

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Comments

Mind War – The Battle of Perspectives (Vipul Patil) — 49 Comments

  1. As an SLP student just beginning my studies related to stuttering, I thank you for your thoughts regarding acceptance vs. fluency. In fact, at this point in my studies, this has been the foremost question in my mind: At what point do we shift from acceptance to focus on fluency? Or do we? While I hope that I may offer therapeutic support in whatever manner will help my clients to achieve their desired outcomes, I respect your desire for unification and lack of labels and appreciate the opportunity you’ve provided to view stuttering through a different lens.

    • Hey Deanna, as I ponder over important observations I had over the past 4-5 years regarding my stuttering behaviour I passed through numerous phases. Initially my focus was to achieve fluent speech and my internal approach was to somehow end my stuttering. I passed through phases of fluency followed by relapse of stuttering speech. I became confused and I tried harder to get rid of stuttering. Somehow acceptance was on the surface level of my mind. Then after bruising lot many times on the same thought process “Am I really accepting myself with my stuttering, why it still bothers me internally that I am a stutterer?” I realised I was not totally accepting deeply the way I speak. It was the inner behaviour of resistance to accept stuttering as a totally normal way of speech. In the same thought process I was subtly conforming to fluency as a desired normal behaviour and stuttering as abnormal behaviour. It took long periods of time for me to sink in the principle of acceptance. I experimented with different ideas like voluntary stuttering. When I heard it for the first time I felt it to be something weird and difficult to try but I enjoyed it. It helped me free myself from the mind set of abnormality that is attached with stuttering. It helped me be myself. I met amazing individuals in TISA( The Indian Stammering Association) and grew a lot over the years and saw a lot of improvement in my communication skills even though I continue to stutter.

      The question you asked “At what point do we shift from acceptance to focus on fluency? Or do we?”
      This question motivates me to write a lot.
      In my opinion I could make 3 cases.

      Case 1.
      Some of us already have deep acceptance that it does not matter whether one is a stutterer of a fluent person. In such a case there is tendency to look beyond the labels of fluency and stuttering. They try to explore speech through unbiased observation without reaction. They try to focus more on better communication rather than achieving fluency. That means there is always an effort to erase any lines of differentiation between the two terms. In this case there is conscious shift from fluency to acceptance

      Case 2
      Some of us are just new to this notion of acceptance. Yes we do hear this term a lot many times and become immune to the very term. Instead of exploring the depth of acceptance we blindly assume that acceptance will help us to get fluent. It unnecessarily builds unrealistic expectations, which might lead to unpleasant reaction to stuttering. It leads to attachment towards fluency and aversion towards stuttering which strengthens the line of differentiation. In this case there is unconscious shift from acceptance to fluency.

      Case 3
      Some of us are unaware of what is stuttering or what fluency labels are. I haven’t seen any adult but they are kids generally. They are deep into their own nature living the very moment without labels. Their very nature is acceptance but they are unaware of it. Until they grow up and get exposed to the two terms and start seeing through either of lenses. Slowly the lenses becomes the way they see the world and start conforming subtly to the socially acceptable views of abnormal and normal speech. They get identified with the label and the war of perspectives starts. In this case there is unconscious shift from acceptance to conforming the identified label. If the label happens to be stuttering, they feel isolated since there are very few or no one to confirm the identified label as normal.

      The 3rd case is what normally we all have been through and end up tumbling in either the 1st or 2nd case. I guess we need to work a lot on 3rd case if we could make kids expose to this idea and make them enter the awareness that stuttering is normal and it’s just that we are subtly conforming the labels. This will motivate them to work on their communication skills in open and growing environment.

      Deanna I feel like endlessly writing on it forever and ever. I thought over it and felt like writing it exhaustively. I would like to thank you for that amazing question you asked. I hope you enjoyed reading it. Thank you .

  2. I just wanted to start out by simply thanking you for sharing your ideas and your thoughts. I found this paper to be very moving and thought provoking. We have learned in our fluency course as a graduate student in Speech Pathology that each client we work with is first and foremost a human being and despite and differences we have we can all come together and decide to accept one another.

    • Hey Kristin, I loved your last sentence “ …and differences we have we can all come together and decide to accept one another”. I totally agree with you, this might be the next revolutionary idea which will unite all of us. I am glad you liked reading the paper. Thank you.

  3. Hi Vipul,

    I enjoyed reading your post about acceptance. I am a speech-language pathology graduate student. I recently participated in a fluency camp that incorporated acceptance and commitment therapy into treatment, and I loved helping individuals transition to accepting their stuttering. I think so often people try to make themselves seem like everyone else and hide their differences when we should be accepting and celebrating our differences. Life would be so boring if everyone was the same. Stuttering is just a difference in the way an individual speaks. It is a part of who someone is that should be accepted. I loved your post!

    • Hey Melissa, I could understand the amazing feeling, when you are witnessing the transition in individuals when they grow towards acceptance. I also had similar feeling when I visit the self help group meetings on weekends and meet diversified PWS , somewhere it helps me grow from inside. I am happy that you loved the post. Thank you.

  4. Vipul – Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to me in such a thoughtful manner. You have absolutely expanded my thinking and helped me to understand stuttering from more than just the clinical point-of-view I’ve been exposed to up to this point. I’m glad you mentioned voluntary stuttering as it has come up several times in class and I’ve felt conflicted about using it with my clients. I can see now that it might have real value in helping a PWS regain some control. I am also beginning to recognize the importance of community, as several authors on this forum have mentioned the critical role it plays in their well-being.
    I will surely give more thought to each of the three cases you’ve presented above, as I feel as though you’ve found an excellent way to examine acceptance vs. fluency.
    Thank you for your candor. I wish you well!

    • Thank you Deanna, in fact that question you asked was itself very deep in nature. It made me spiral into a long thought process. I personally felt expanded after replying to that question.

  5. Hi Vipul,
    Your questions at the beginning of this article are so deep and thought-inspiring. I am an SLP grad student and you have given me much food for thought. It seems as if your stuttering is an integral part of you now. How did you come to view it as an essential part of you? Was it because you appreciated being different and unique this way, or did you make it a part of you because it was too painful/hard to keep battling it? Or was it due to a different reason?

    • Hey Rachel, there are lot of factors which helped me grow in acceptance. First of all the TISA (The Indian Stammering Association) community and the amazing culture of unconditional acceptance it advocates are top on list. Then there were lot of personal failures as well like when I felt depressed about not able to express myself and the constant protection of my stuttering behaviour which I was not letting it come out freely and openly. It made think a lot and I started opening up with my friends. I remember I made a presentation on stuttering when I was in 2nd year of my degree. I gave an hour long presentation on stuttering in my class. I was very nervous and scared but thanks to audience. They were all very patient in listening. That was like a huge explosion of freedom. After that I frequently took up speaking opportunities whenever they came. Regularly attending weekend meetings of TISA. Trying voluntary stuttering. Also this year writing and performing for a unique play “People who Buffer” (it’s there under the section of creative expression), meeting amazing individuals during the process of the play. The process of writing itself was very enlarging and relaxing. All these factors played a key role in helping me grow in acceptance and making it stand out as the essential determinant for improvement.
      Yes I see stuttering to be an integral part of me. The process of experimenting and learning helped in understanding a lot about the importance of acceptance. It helped me understand and appreciate the differences in all of us. With it the pain lessened and I started improving a lot.I would like to thank all the people I met till now in my journey. They all helped set in motion a process with a purpose of acceptance towards every aspect of life.

  6. Awesome post vipul. I totally agree with you.I’m still confused. And sometimes I question my acceptance. What I know is acceptance is basically not feeling bad about your stutter. If you stutter you just should accept it as you would accept your skin color and not feel bad about it . but sometimes I do feel bad about it. When I go into a long block and the person listening to me starts yawning or ignoring or starts making faces I do feel bad because it happens most of the times. It has happened so many times with me that I’ve started believing that stuttering is bad. And again same thoughts start coming to my mind. And I start questioning my acceptance. So tell me what should I do differently so that I don’t feel bad about my stutter .

    • Hi Shivang, I my opinion acceptance is not just saying in your head that you have accepted it. It is observing the suffering and the painful feelings which comes and not reacting to it. It happens slowly through lots of situations, with every new situation if you try observe and not to react, that is exactly where your acceptance builds. It happens with me still, I react to some situations, but I always make an effort to remain balanced. It is a difficult process but it can be fun also if you try with every situation in normal day to day routine. In my opinion there are several phases along the path to acceptance. Sometimes I get lost in intellectual drama of acceptance. I have done it lot many times Instead of applying in real life situation, I imagined lot of things. For example we have heard about the mirage effect which occurs in desert. We want the pleasure of oasis right in the middle of heat and discomfort of desert. The parallax error of eyes make us see water pond at a distance. It feeds the imagination of thoughts of finding comfort. It feels real and we run towards it only to find out it was just an illusion.
      Similarly imagination creates lots of errors which feels very real in the first place but when we experience it personally we may feel cheated if it turns out to be unreal. And it creates more pain because we believed on our own imagination. And that leads to questioning your own self. I am just trying to say that, they are just stream of words running in the mind “I have accepted my stuttering”.
      I always try to act the acceptance, for example, trying voluntary stuttering with people around me. Now this was real acceptance for me, it is not imagination, I was accepting my real stuttering in front of real people and not in imagination. Doing it over and over again you will see the difference. After it becomes a very normal thing for you to stutter in front of anyone. Whether that person yawns or ignores or starts dancing in front of you it will not affect you. All the best.

  7. Mr. Patil, Sharing this kind of deep reflection requires vulnerability and courage and I applaud you for both. I find your article inspiring not just for PWS but for anyone struggling with their personal image. Thank you.

    In my work with children, they have often asked me about visual differences between people: color, disability, body shape and so on. My response has been that there are many ways for people to be beautiful. You have reminded me that there are also many ways for people to express themselves and they are beautiful as well.

    I am an SLP graduate student and I am fortunate to be in a program that emphasizes acceptance. What else would you want to see in a SLP who is working with PWS? I am particularly interested in learning what an SLP could do to support PWS in feeling empowered. I invite others to respond as well.

    • Thank you Julie. Yes I agree with you that SLP’s frame of interaction greatly benefits PWS if it emphasizes acceptance throughout the process. In my opinion acceptance is an umbrella term which is in itself covers all the ways to freedom.

      Apart from stuttering I try to experiment like building acceptance, by personal sharing and listening. This makes the other person/experimenter open up and share the things which otherwise they resist. This part I find very difficult. It’s worth when I experience that it makes the other person feel better and growing. I let the discussion take its own flow according to situations, so it removes any time bound goals of interaction. I also observed with every interaction I personally grow so it motivates me to try new ways. It sometimes becomes risky because there is chance of losing objectivity, but I try to maintain it even if I fail. I learn in this way and the other person seeing all this feels the depth of interaction pointing towards something valuable and seeing this they try to align themselves to experimenting and finding new ways to free themselves. Overtime they develop tendencies to value their own nature and shift towards independence. This makes both the experimenters hugely empowered. Somewhere in such interactions there occurs a point where I lose my identity as a stutterer and the other person feels the same and also there is no affinity towards identifying as a fluent person either. It becomes pure flow of interaction which I feel is empowering.

      • Thank you for your thoughtful reply. The kind of heart-felt listening that you describe is an amazing gift to your conversation partners. It sounds like a lovely way that we should all interact with one another.

  8. Mr. Patil,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the diversity of stuttering. Do you find a lot of difficulty when embracing this diversity rather than trying to become more fluent? Does it limit your communication abilities with others outside of the stuttering community?
    Thank you!
    Avery Perryman
    SLP Graduate Student

    • Hi Avery, I still do face some difficulties like my avoidance of stuttering in some situations, I try to observe and work on it openly as soon as possible when I see this behaviour to rise in me. Also the intensity of difficulties has reduced over the years gradually. It has made me calmer and peaceful. I am still continuously learning lot of things and improving my communication skills.
      Also now it does not limit my communication abilities outside the stuttering community. Thank you!

  9. Hi Vipul,
    These are really important thoughts – and I have to say you have a very beautiful and poetic way of getting your thoughts out!
    Your ideas about diversity and unification remind me a lot of the “neurodiverse” movement that is becoming increasingly common and seems to fall under your plea to “create a unified diversity.” Why must one side of the coin be the “right” way to speak? It’s a good question.
    I think maybe it comes down to quality of life? And everyone has a different standard by which to measure their quality of life. For you, how would you say stuttering has affected your quality of life – your ability to participate in society, communicate functionally, etc…? And once you really began to accept your stuttering and gain confidence did that also affect your quality of life?
    I hope those questions made sense, and thanks again for your perspective!
    – Andrea

    • Hello Andrea,
      Thanks a lot you enjoyed reading the article. For me stuttering played a significant role in shaping me. When I was in my teen years, I used to remain withdrawn and closed, thinking a lot about how I will handle everything in future since I stutter. As years passed and I entered my undergrad course I decided to work on my stutter. Slowly with time the shame and guilt associated with it reduced and I became more open towards it. Yes my confidence improved a lot. In those 4 years of my undergrad course I learned a lot about presenting myself. By the end of the course I could speak with stutter openly with confidence. And I comfortably gave presentation with stutter. Interact with people normally. The things I learned out of the process helped me in other areas of my life, it made me appreciate the importance of difference and made my interactions more richer. Now my stuttering is like very normal part of me. Sometimes it happens more, sometimes it happens less, it varies etc. I carry on with my normal functioning comfortably.
      Thank you!

  10. Great thoughts..
    I too at one time, wondered: who am I? my fluency (at times) or my stammering? And then, it dawned on me, that there is something beyond- and deeper- of which our speech is a distant intimation – and a poor reflection I guess….
    Hmmm, that is serious stuff, hai naa?

    Thanks for daring to share your thoughts!
    PS: it was fun to meet you in Goa..
    Keep writing!

    • Thank you Sachin Sir,
      Ha Ha Ha….Hmmm, Its very serious stuff.. ha ha ha… I think its the most funniest too at the same time. I remember on last day of conference I intentionally stammered on your name. That was the awesome feeling of all time.

      I enjoyed your presence and it was great meeting you…Ddddr. Sssssachin ha ha ha…:)
      Thank you!

      Vvvvipul!

  11. Thank you for such a thought-provoking and moving article! I enjoyed reading about your experience and how it has shaped your ideas and perspective. As a graduate student in speech pathology, I am beginning to learn about shifting the focus from fluency to the acceptance of stuttering and stammering. I’m understanding how important it is to help the person who stutters to see their fluency as only a part of who they are, not the defining characteristic. Is there any advice you have for me in helping a child or adult to embrace their differences as a positive aspect of the bigger picture?

    Thank you!
    Cassie

    • Hi Cassie,
      Thanks you loved reading the article. I agree with you that embracing the difference is the essence of acceptance.
      In my opinion I could put forward these suggestions for you to try –

      1.You could make them feel embraced by making them feel accepted.
      2.You could help them by making them practise the idea of voluntary stuttering or freely stuttering whatever they feel comfortable with initially.
      3.Making them interact with other PWS who have accepted themselves with their stutter.
      4.Making them interact with non-PWS who they don’t know.
      4.Personal sharing and listening might make them feel expanded.
      5.Helping them feel the importance of improving their communication skills rather than fluency as the goal.
      6.Writing might also help making a person feel expanded like Blog etc.
      7.Role plays and theatre might help to a great extent.

      Thank you!
      Vipul

  12. Hello Vipul,
    I really enjoyed reading your perspective about stuttering and fluency. I am currently a graduate student in speech-language pathology. In my undergraduate studies I took a positive psychology course in which one of the primary topics was acceptance. I noticed in one of your comments from October 8th, you said “In my opinion acceptance is an umbrella term which is in itself covers all the ways to freedom.” This is very well said, and I must say that I agree. In positive psychology, I learned how powerful acceptance can be and the impact it can have on a person entire life. Armed with true acceptance, one can truly be free to just be. That is, they will not feel trapped or confined by social pressures to be what societal norms dictate. After all, we all have our differences and it is our differences that make us who we are. Who is to say what differences are better or worse than any other? I agree that when armed with acceptance we can defeat stigma and become more unified.

    I was excited to learn in my fluency class that acceptance is becoming a bigger part of therapeutic approaches in speech-language pathology. I thought of this when I read the part of your original post that asks “is acceptance a tool or a state of being?”. To me I can see it as both. To me, acceptance as a state of being is to be at peace, to be at ease with being one’s truest self. I think that from this state of being it also becomes a tool. In class I learned that in some cases, the more a person tries not to stutter, the more he or she will stutter. So with this knowledge, coming from a place of acceptance (being okay if stuttering does or does not happen) will release that fear and anticipation of stuttering which in turn reduces the occurrence of stuttering. The important thing either way is the person’s perspective of their own quality of life.

    Thank you and best wishes!
    Marissa

    • Hey Marissa,
      I enjoyed reading your comment, specially this line ” Armed with true acceptance, one can truly be free to just be”. To me it feels liberating and powerful sentence. I totally agree with you.

      Wishing you all the best and Thank you!
      Vipul

  13. Hello Vipul,
    This was a very powerful article for me. As a person who is going to school to be an SLP I have never thought about this perspective. Your article did exactly what you set out to do it made me consider the alternative. As someone who is considered a fluent speaker reading this article I began to feel almost uncomfortable at the thought of my speech being ridiculed by people who don’t speak like me. This made me realize however, that we as a culture place negative stigmas on things we don’t consider “normal.” We all must realize that what might be “normal” to me might not be “normal” to someone else, and there is nothing wrong with that. Thanks to your article I am not going to actively try to look at different perspectives when interacting with all different populations.
    -Carissa

  14. Vipul,

    I appreciate your insightful post and your ability to think critically and creatively, asking questions that challenge the beliefs that many people accept without hesitation. I am a firm believer that diversity should not only be accepted, but embraced. Many people fail to see that diversity exists in populations even when it doesn’t appear to. Every single person on this earth is unique, despite often being clumped together and stereotyped based on various characteristics. Although I don’t stutter, I have other insecurities that affect how I interact with others. As a more reserved person, I notice a difference in my personality when I am with close friends and family compared to with unfamiliar people. However, every now and then I will come across an individual that puts out a positive, accepting energy that almost encourages me to be myself, free of the fear that I will be judged. All of this to say- I agree that the importance of acceptance cannot be understated. In regards to stuttering, your experience affirms everything that I’ve been learning in my fluency class. Stuttering is indeed a mystery. A mystery that may not ever (and maybe not need) to be solved. However, as a future speech language pathologist, I know that I will one day provide therapy to clients who feel that their stuttering does indeed need to be fixed..that fluency is the only way to be accepted. If you had to provide me with one piece of advice to help encourage self-acceptance during therapy sessions, what would it be?

    Best wishes to you and thank you!
    Tess

    • Hi Tess,
      Thank you for your comment. In my opinion to help encourage self acceptance during therapy sessions you could help them realise that the goal is not to fix stuttering but grow out of the mindset of stuttering which includes avoidance and feeling guilty of the stuttering behaviour, which repeats itself hence restricting their growth. The person very well knows that they are avoiding but do not know how to come out or are looking for some help to come out in open. Your move at this juncture is to make them see this transition as the fundamental step towards acceptance. Transition from avoidance to openness. This greatly encourages self acceptance. As acceptance builds they will feel comfortable with their stuttering . At this juncture you can help them see the importance of improving communication skills rather than achieving fluency. Transition from mindset of fluency to improving communication skills.

      Wishing you all the best and thank you!
      Vipul

  15. Dear Vipul,

    You pose some truly insightful, beautiful, and perplexing questions at the heart of what it means to stutter. Namely, what IS stuttering and does it encompass the entirety of one’s identity for someone who stutters, or only part of it? I love your questions about acceptance vs. unacceptance of stuttering, questioning if acceptance of stuttering is a necessary pre-requisite for achieving fluent speech, and furthermore, how fluency is a culturally and socially defined and contrived norm anyways.

    It doesn’t have to be this way. I agree! In reality, fluency exists on a continuum. It’s not either/or. Every single person, myself included, has experienced moments of disfluency, some to a greater or lesser extent. In fact, although I am labeled a “fluent” speaker, the more I become aware of my speech, the more I realize how many disfluencies I have in my speech as well. (I am studying to become a speech-language pathologist.) It is a bit crazy to think about how we always seek to label everyone and everything– in this case, fluent speakers vs. people who stutter.

    I agree– sometimes all of the labeling does seem futile! We as a society should seek to be more understanding, appreciating, and accepting of everyone’s “individualness” and unique differences. Once we begin to see each individual as encompassing unique differences, perhaps labeling those differences will begin to disappear.

    You write so beautifully and poetically– I was just wondering if you had any concrete suggestions as to how to go about doing this? Perhaps through both the institutional systems (educating differently at a very young age) and our informal cultural dialogues about how we speak (and how we “stutter”). Just curious as to what your thoughts on this were.

    Thanks for your piece! Very insightful!

      • Hi Lauren,
        Your comment resonated with me. I agree with you. Educating kids would be great idea since at a very young age they will start growing with acceptance. According to me we could emphasise them to experiment different ideas to explore, instead of following a well laid out pattern / method of education system. We get so accustomed to follow a rule or tradition that we blind ourselves to other dimensions. Every kid holds a potential to lead a unique way of life. They start Living their own nature which itself signifies great acceptance. Our kids are the leaders of tomorrow , seeing them they influence others to be themselves. I mean this is how everyone around grows in acceptance ,be it stuttering or any other aspect of life.
        Experimenting new ways of growing in acceptance could be tried . That itself is very total. Nothing is to be added or nothing is to be removed from it according to me.
        Thank you. All the best!!
        Vipul

  16. Hello Vipul,

    First of all, thank you for writing this post and sharing your experience! I loved reading it, and thought it was very insightful. Your journey of accepting your stutter is something my fluency class has been talking about a lot. As a future speech and language pathologist, I hope to encourage my clients to have the same mindset as you, and for them to realize that stuttering doesn’t have to be something that needs to be fixed. The process of accepting your stutter is one of the most important parts of therapy. To understand that it is okay, and learn how to embrace the way you speak is something everyone should work towards. No matter if you stutter or not, everyone in society is different. It is not conforming to a certain way that is important, but being your own unique self.

    Thank you!
    Brianna

    • Hey Brianna,
      Thank you for you comment. I totally agree with you specially your last line ” It is not conforming to a certain way that is important, but being your own unique self.” Wow that truly connects with me deeply.
      Wishing you all the best and Thank You!!
      Vipul

  17. Hi Vipul,
    I am currently a graduate student studying speech-language pathology and loved having the opportunity to gain this perspective from your writing. I found your stance on the topic of stuttering to be refreshing and new. In a world where there is so much diversity I enjoy the idea of accepting everyone for how they are.

    In my graduate studies I am currently enrolled in a fluency course. While studying this topic during the semester I enjoyed having this new perspective to consider. It is so important to remember that while some individuals may want to become fluent others may not. Everyone is unique in their own way.

    During my undergraduate program I was enrolled in a cultures class and your perspective brought me back to the material I learned during that coursework. It taught me how important it is to remember that what one individual or culture may view as the “right” way, another culture may view the complete opposite as the “right” or the “norm.”

    I am happy to have had the chance to read your writing and will remember this as I continue in my future professional career.

    Thank you!
    Haley

    • Hey Haley,
      I am glad that you loved reading the post.Thank you and all the best to you!
      Vipul

  18. Hi Vipul,

    I truly enjoyed reading your poetry and subsequent post. I think it is important for us as humans to consider the perspectives of others in all areas of life and to realize that everyone’s reality differs greatly- even within our similarities. I am an SLP student and am currently taking a fluency course. I have a question for you: as a future clinician what is the best way for me to approach self acceptance in my clients who stutter? Thank you!

    • Hey Abbileitnaker,
      I suggested few points in my earlier reply to a comment. The best way is to make them feel accepted. This is what I wrote in my earlier reply.
      In my opinion I could put forward these suggestions for you to try –
      1.You could make them feel embraced by making them feel accepted.
      2.You could help them by making them practise the idea of voluntary stuttering or freely stuttering whatever they feel comfortable with initially.
      3.Making them interact with other PWS who have accepted themselves with their stutter.
      4.Making them interact with non-PWS who they don’t know.
      4.Personal sharing and listening might make them feel expanded.
      5.Helping them feel the importance of improving their communication skills rather than fluency as the goal.
      6.Writing might also help making a person feel expanded like Blog etc.
      7.Role plays and theatre might help to a great extent.
      Experimenting and trying new things. There are endless possibilities we could create.

      Thank You and Wishing you all the Best!
      Vipul

  19. Hello Mr. Patil,
    I am a graduate student in speech-language pathology and am currently taking a class on stuttering. I found your story to be extremely interesting and it provided me with a perspective on stuttering from a culture different from my own. In our world today, I think unification is extremely important. It is great how you touch on how if people come together and accept other people’s differences, the world would be a much more peaceful place. I really enjoyed reading your paper. Thank you for sharing!
    Katie

    • Hey Katie,
      Thank You. I am glad that you loved reading the article.
      Wishing you all the best!
      Vipul

  20. Hey Patil! I dont think your confusion is just an illusion. People who stutter should be accepted by everyone. I think that everyone needs to hear this story so that they can have a different perspective. Acceptance is a big issue and once people that are considered “different”, according to society, are accepted those people would think differently of themselves. Maybe those people wont want to change, or won’t feel as though they need to change to live according to societies standards. If people who are different werent made to feel like they arent normal they would not be conscious of their differences. But like you said maybe people who stutter aren’t the different ones. I love the question that you asked, “why cant we force them to be like us?”. It makes me think, as an future SLP, when I’m treating a person who stutters, I should ask them what do they want instead of automatically assuming that they want to change.

  21. Hello Patil!
    This artfully written piece is an asking an amazing question that is difficult to answer. I recently heard an interesting argument on acceptance (re: tool vs state of being). They discussed the contradictory nature of accepting something so that it will go away! I appreciated hearing the argument from your point of view, and the artful presentation. Thank you so much for writing in to the conference!
    -Kevin

  22. Hi Vipul,
    I enjoyed reading your post, especially your thoughts on accepting our differences. I am currently a first year graduate student in communicative disorders. Although I haven’t taken any courses in fluency yet, it is a topic that is very close to my heart because my partner stutters. Your post made me think about all of the times he has told me that his coworkers have made fun of him when he stuttered. I read your comments on how to foster self-acceptance in our clients who stutter, but how to we begin to talk to those around us about accepting people who stutter? Our coworkers? Family? Friends? I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts and thank you again for sharing!

    • Hey Leslie,Keep growing and keep on experimenting with acceptance.Thank you and all the best to you!

  23. Hello Vipul,
    As I read your beautiful description of the battle between fluency and stuttering it made me think of the millions of ideological battles this world is facing. It is not only accepting people who stutter but people with other disabilities, people who are of different cultures, people who have different hair color, etc. What peace could be found if we could all accept each other. Thank you for your perspective.

    Kliss