Evolution of Our Distorted Unspoken Minds – Kunal Mahajan

About the Authors: Kunal Mahajan has been working in Investment Banking for 10 years now within the Leveraged Finance industry.  He started his career at Barclays Capital, then at Mizuho Securities, and has been at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation as a Vice President for a year now and resides in New York City today.                As a lifelong person who stutters, Kunal struggled with his stutter until he obtained acceptance of his stutter in July 2017.  He has attended three intensive stuttering clinics, the Northwest Ohio Stuttering Clinic at the University of Toledo, the Successful Stuttering Management Program at Eastern Washington University, and the Northwest Center for Fluency Disorders at Idaho State University.  Kunal went on to become Vice President at his Toastmasters Club, a Tour Guide at Carnegie Hall, a coach at the Dale Carnegie Leadership Training course, and can be found doing stand-up comedy at open mics at various venues throughout New York City.

Please note that the following is based upon my personal experiences and observations from dealing with people who stutter.


Speak Your Mind.  It is ironic that this is the theme of this year’s International Stuttering Awareness Day online conference as Speaking Your Mind is the last thing that those of us who stutter tend to do.  Why that is the case is what we must examine and fully understand.  Most of us have never gone down this route because we are afraid of what we may find, however, since when has refusing to acknowledge something that we know may not be pleasant, ever allowed us to get over anything?

What exactly has our mind been telling us our entire lives?  It has been telling us that it is not ok to stutter.  We have grown up in a school environment where kids pick on anyone who is different than the rest of everyone else.  We can all remember at least one incident where one of those bullies at school poked fun of our stutter in front of everyone and embarrassed us.  We go to speech therapy because our parents force us to as they want us to stop stuttering and therefore we want to stop stuttering ourselves, however, the countless hours of speech therapy do not seem to work as we are expecting to completely lose our stutter through therapy.  Doing presentations is a part of the school curriculum starting at a very early age and we dread these experiences which only allow us to fail in them that much more.  We watch the media and society tells us that actors and Hollywood are the most successful and well liked people in the world and they all consist of the best looking and most confident people we have ever seen who are speaking so eloquently and confidently in front of masses of people.  We start to equate this confidence and their eloquent speech with their success and we view our stutter as the opposite of that and start believing that we can never achieve that kind of success because of it.  We are told that girls love guys who are confident and we recognize that we are so insecure about our stutter and try to deny and hide it.  This behavior makes us realize that confidence is the last thing that any of us stutterers have, so we live most of the early part of our lives not building any meaningful connections with people of the opposite sex.  We start to have job interviews which consist of phone interviews and in-person interviews which we come to dread more than anything else.  We are taught that we must be confident in interviews and we equate in our mind that confidence must mean ‘not stuttering’.  This leads us to spend our entire interview trying to hide our stutter and doing everything we can to not stutter, however, not only does it not work, but we are too obsessed with focusing on our stutter that we fail to actually think through the interview questions themselves to provide strong answers and build a connection.  We get rejection after rejection and we put all the blame of the rejection based upon our stutter.  We believe our stutter is a significant weakness of ours and therefore we cannot do a job that requires a lot of communication skills.  We resort to pigeonholing ourselves in more lower paying back office type of roles where we do not have to communicate as much and give up pursuing jobs and careers that we know we are qualified to do and have been our dream jobs.  We end up sitting in these jobs where we do not have to communicate and get by while we avoid every speaking opportunity we can and therefore never improve our communication skills.

As you can see, a person who stutters (PWS) who speaks their mind will be speaking of a flurry of negative lifelong experiences.  PWS choose to not speak their minds for this very reason.  However, we all have our tipping points in life and there comes a time when the weight of these negative experiences is just too much so that we begin to finally start to recognize why these experiences are happening, and we start to speak our mind.  This is what leads us to become deeply depressed as we start to reflect on just how much our feelings towards our stutter is impacting our lives and how much unhappiness it is causing us.  We realize that hating our stutter so much has actually caused us to hate ourselves and we start to recognize just how depressed we really are in life in general.  We begin to lose all hope and when we feel that we are at rock bottom, we are finally able to get the courage to seek help.

Seeking help is what allows us to begin to slowly change this distorted and negative mindset that we have created after spending a lifetime of hating ourselves.  We first attend a live-in intensive stuttering clinic where we go away for 2 weeks to work with a speech and language therapist (SLP) for 40 hours of therapy a week and they help us gain acceptance of our stutter while teaching us ways to better manage our stutter.  We start to develop some hope and our minds begin to open up.  We recognize that the damage that we have done to ourselves is too great to reverse in just two weeks so we then begin to see a mental health therapist to help us get over our depression and our distorted mind.  This therapist takes us down a journey that we have avoided our entire lives, which is reflecting on all of these negative experiences that happened in the past.  It is painful to remember these instances, but we begin to understand why they happened and that gives us a small dose of closure.  This therapist starts to help us realize how distorted our minds are and that our minds are made up of our negative perceptions as opposed to things that are factually true.  This recognition allows us to start to challenge ourselves for the first time in our lives and we begin to have hope that there is a path to happiness for us and that there is something about our stutter that we can do.

We realize the value that having support gives us, and we end up joining the National Stuttering Association so that we can share and listen to stories from other PWS and have a community of people we connect with, who we recognize are fighting the same battles that we are.  We learn from them and we start to hear from them about some of the actions they have taken to improve their confidence and communication skills and we become empowered to try these things ourselves.  We find ourselves joining Toastmasters and start giving speeches in front of our club who provide us with valuable constructive feedback on our communication skills.  We start to recognize that everyone cares about effective communication and that effective communication skills are something that both PWS and non-PWS have to work on.  Some of us PWS will stay at this point having accepted our stutter and continue to slowly work on our communication skills.  Other PWS will feel so empowered by understanding themselves and their progress, that they will continue to raise the bar as it relates to their speaking opportunities from Toastmasters, to giving presentations at work, to becoming a tour guide, to doing open mic stand-up comedy, and the possibilities end up seeming endless.  Most importantly, these PWS are able to not just improve their communication skills, but they are able to be comfortable with being a PWS and of being their true genuine self, which brings them a great deal of confidence and happiness in life.

While it is easy to understand now why a PWS does not choose to speak their mind for decades and decades, it is clear that the sooner  PWS can do so, the sooner they can truly turn around their distorted mind and turn their life around.  As the great V said in his speech to the nation in the film V for Vendetta, when discussing who was to blame for the dictatorship government, “If you’re looking for the guilty, you need only to look into a mirror.”  I ask all of you PWS out there, how many more years and decades are you going to let go by before you look into that mirror yourself?  How much longer will you go before you start speaking your mind?

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Comments

Evolution of Our Distorted Unspoken Minds – Kunal Mahajan — 24 Comments

  1. Thank you for that. I think what you say about a distorted mind and allowing ourselves to be shut off form life rings true for me

    • Raymond,

      You are not alone and you should be proud of yourself for having the courage to admit that yourself. This recognition is the first step that is needed for us to ultimately get motivated to change and get the help we need. I am confident you will be able to transform that distorted mind of yours just like I was able to do so. It will take work and it will certainly be an up hill battle, however I know if you put the work in you will be able to reverse this negative psychology many of us stutterers have developed over a life time.

      — Kunal Mahajan

  2. Hey Kunal – great paper and so much truth. For years and years, I let my negative self talk be my truth and I would never speak up or out. I honestly didn’t think my voice was worthy of hearing. Now, you really can’t shut me up.

    I think we are in the process of being “introduced” by Tammy from the NSA about a potential project. I looked at my Facebook friends list and see that we are already connected but I honestly don’t recall if we have met in person. If we have and I’ve forgotten, I apologize, because you for sure seem to be somebody I need to know.

    I will be in NYC on 10/21 for the NYC Stutters One Day Conference. Will I by any chance see you then?

    Pam

    • Pam,

      That is great you were able to turn the corner yourself and see that your voice is certainly worth hearing. It is understandable that the negative self talk was your truth because we spend decades telling ourselves these things and holding ourselves back, however it says a lot about you that you were able to see that this was all internalized and that you don’t have to let it stop you from speaking up. I was able to finally go out and seek the help I needed because I finally recognized the challenge was so steep that I needed help to reverse this negative psychology and distorted mind that I had created after decades of reinforcement and I feel blessed there are so many resources out there for PWS.

      Yes I am sure we will be chatting about that project soon and I do hope to make the conference on 10/21 so will certainly see you there.

      — Kunal Mahajan

  3. This is a great paper, Kunal. Thank you.

    Not only have you made a whole lot of progress on your speech, more importantly, you have thought through the entire process. Others who stutter can take heart from your message and start/continue the process of healing.

    You are destined for good things in your life. I’m pleased to have been an early part of that.

    Ken

    • Dr. St. Louis,

      Thank you for the kind compliments. I wish I would have made these realizations back in middle school and high school when I first started seeing you in therapy as I would have gotten back decades of my life of pain and insecurities that I would have never had to experience. However, I know that everyone has their own journey and I just feel grateful I was able to make the realizations now vs. in 10 or 20 or more years from now.
      It really is amazing to me how different of a person I am now vs. that little kid who came into your office to see you to get my stutter “fixed”. I know sometimes we have to go through life experiences before we are willing to change, however, I often wonder what would have happened had someone sat me down earlier in life and delivered the hard truth that I delivered in my presentation to everyone here. I am sure it would have been a lot for me to take in and a difficult message, but without a doubt I know it would have been the best thing for me because I know the reason why so many of us PWS have trouble turning the corner is because we have lived with this distorted mind for decades and decades. Reversing that mindset at a young age is so important so I only wish the young PWS out there and others can learn from this article to make the realizations and turn the corner without having to go through additional life experiences before they decide to make the changes.

      — Kunal Mahajan

  4. Thanks, Kunai, your article was informative and fun to read. I think it is important to train young people who stutter to use skillful ways of speaking their mind everyday in every situation. Lourdes

    • Lourdes,

      Thank you for the compliments. Yes I think the reason why it is so difficult to reverse so many stutterers distorted mind is that because they have had this mindset being re-enforced from a very young age and so with having that mindset for decades it is very difficult to reverse. I think if we can get the young people who stutterer to obtain acceptance at a young age and start to get motivated to work on their communication skills just like any non-stutterers need to they will not have such a negative distorted mindset that gets developed over a lifetime. I think had I gotten involved in the National Stuttering Association at a younger age and attended the annual conference when I was young, my journey towards acceptance would have happened much sooner in life and would not have endured so much pain and let it hold me back so much. The key is to get people who stutter to get motivated to want to improve their communication skills and it is hard to get this motivation to do so when you have such a distorted mindset. I spent my whole childhood and younger years just going to speech therapy, but was never focused on improving my communication skills and confidence which is really what I needed. If we can teach these young people who stutter these lessons, we will be literally saving them decades of unnecessary pain.

      — Kunal Mahajan

  5. Thank you for sharing, Kunal. Your introspection and motivation for self improvement are very inspiring! You mentioned attending speech therapy in school and intensive clinics as an adult. As an adult, have you also attended one-on-one speech therapy? I am familiar with both models, but I am interested in your perspective on the difference in beneficial experiences between the two.

    • Nicole,

      Thank you for the comments and appreciate the compliments. Yes my entire childhood and throughout high school was focused just on speech therapy and didn’t start attending intensive clinics until I became a professional and really didn’t start working on becoming an effective communicator until a year ago (when I was 31 years old). Before I went to the intensive clinics, I was doing speech therapy as an adult as well. I would tell you that the speech therapy I had over the years (both as a child and an adult) was not particularly effective because of the fact that I never had obtained the acceptance. It is very difficult to be motivated to implement different speech managing techniques when you still do not have the acceptance and have such a distorted mindset because even when you are managing your stutter, you don’t think you did a good job of it because your distorted mind makes you feel that any stutter is a failure and people are judging you no matter what. I was not able to make any real progress until I obtained the acceptance AND I realized that while MOST people do not care about whether I stutter or not, they DO care about how effective my communication skills are. Reframing that mindset and realizing that to be an effective communicator it takes a lot of work that everyone (whether you stutter or don’t) have to work on and that there were programs designed for people in general to improve their communication skills is what got me motivated to put in the work to change. Many people who stutter just spend most of their time being concerned if people are judging them on their stutter and stressing out about how they sound, but very few are actually putting in the work to improve all aspects of their communication skills. Through Toastmasters and the Dale Carnegie Leadership program, I was really able to see what are the things that make people effective communicators and I quickly realized I did not have any of those things and that I was a very poor communicator. Those programs gave me the education of what effective communication really is and provided me a forum to adopt some of these principles which has allowed me to become an effective communicator today. Speech therapy cannot improve these communication skills like these other programs can and lead you to this path of becoming an effective communicator. However, my intensive stuttering clinics were crucial towards getting me to obtain acceptance and helping me recognize that the world is focused on our communication skills, not our stutter, and once I had that integrated into my mindset my journey has been all about improving my communication skills everyday. I find the stuttering and speech community do not emphasize this point enough and I think by not doing so, it gives many people who stutter a free pass thinking that they are not responsible for putting in the work to become an effective communicator. They therefore never do put in that work and never do become an effective communicator which is something that holds back many people in life both professionally and personally. Obtaining acceptance is just the first step. It is what you do after you obtain the acceptance is when you really will start to shine and be able to realize your full potential.

      —- Kunal Mahajan
      kunalmahajan2008@gmail.com

  6. Thank you for sharing your amazing journey and allowing me to gain a better insight of what my patients experience. As an SLP graduate student, I believe that it is unfortunate that society has created a stigma of PWS and have treated them unfairly. I am interested in ways that I can build my patients confidence and help them feel accepted. What advice do you have for me when helping students self-advocate and build their confidence?

    • Thank you for taking the time to read my article and I am happy to have been able to give you an inside look into a person who stutters’ distorted mind. Yes while it may be unfortunate there is a stigma, I finally was able to realize that there are many stigmas that people have in life and we can’t let that stigma that exists by some people hold us back.

      You are asking all of the right questions as building confidence is literally the first step that needs to happen in order to reach a state of mind not letting the stutter impact you and to allow yourself to obtain the motivation to improve your communication skills. My advice to you for helping students obtain the confidence is to work with them on the self acceptance aspect by going out doing surveys to people in the community whereby they disclose to them about their stutter and ask them a few questions about their stutter to help them see people don’t care about their stutter as much as they think they do. You really have to test and prove out this hypothesis that they believe of, “Everyone is judging me because of my stutter so I cannot accept it” and through the surveys they do this will begin to refute that hypothesis that they believe.

      I would also make sure you spend time with them on just improving their actual communication skills. Most stutterers are very shy and end up having soft tones so you can help them just really increase the volume of their voice, most stutters have poor eye contact as they are so afraid to be judged when they are stuttering so can help them with that, and just really other public speaking communication skills. You need to get through to them that improving ones communication skills is something that both people who stutter and those who do not stutter have to work on and that is a much more rewarding way for them to be motivated to improve this.

      Finally, you should implement some type of gratitude exercises as I have found that showing gratitude creates just overall happier people in general. This is key as most people who stutter just are not happy people as they are always so worried about their stutter and how much it is impacting them so they are not able to realize all of the great things about themselves. Even doing something as simple as them starting every session with what they are grateful for could go a long way and can have them write this down everyday 10 things they are grateful for. This kind of exercise is what has given me the self confidence and made me generally happier person in general. I write down 10 things I am grateful every morning and send it to a good friend of mine and have been doing this the past 100 days in a row — that is 1,000 things that I have been grateful for the past 3 months. You can imagine when you recognize so much to be grateful for it is difficult to spend your time focusing on the negative aspects of your life and you start to appreciate who you are and what you have and combine that with actually improving your communication skills you will certainly feel more confident.

      I have never met someone who went into speech therapy who had a lot of self confidence. The challenge that you have as a speech therapist is that every patient you see who is coming into your office has little self confidence, has some form of self hatred, and wants to change something so fundamental about themselves overnight. That is a difficult job that you are signing up to reverse, but I can tell you that the speech therapists in my intensive stuttering clinics who helped me transform and obtain the acceptance are people who I will be thanking on my death bed and are people who will be at my wedding and who I consider to be the most important people in my life. I hope you can become that person for your stuttering patients as well one day.

      —– Kunal Mahajan

  7. Kunal,

    Thank you for sharing your story. What you said about the power of seeking help to slowly transform a distorted and negative mindset resonated with me. Like yourself, a large part of my transformation has come from challenging myself to communicate more effectively. To that end I am pursuing speech pathology so that I can share my journey with others.

    You mentioned the negative experience of young people who stutter participating in speech therapy in school. What advice would you give to the speech therapist who works with young people who stutter to improve their experience?

    -Blaine

    • Blaine,

      You should be proud of yourself for challenging yourself to communicate more effectively. Most of the people who stutter I have come across have such a distorted mind that they are not able to take this step to challenge themselves and as you can see from my story, all of my growth and ability to become an effective communicator today was because I was constantly challenging myself. Also, good for you for pursuing speech pathology to share your journey with others and to challenge yourself as you are a brave person and you will continue to grow so much from doing so.

      I would not characterize my speech therapy in school as a negative experience — I would characterize it as a sub-optimal experience. A lot of speech therapists focus just on stuttering managing techniques during speech therapy and the problem with this approach is those strategies are not effective long term because the stutterer has a distorted mind and is very self conscious about their stutter still. I would highly recommend you spend a significant amount of time during speech therapy to help these young people who stutter obtain the acceptance of their stutter and develop the self confidence as only when they have that will the speech managing techniques start to pay them long term dividends. Speech therapists must realize whether you like it or not, you have a client who typically has very little confidence and is very insecure so all the prolongations, cancellations, and pull-outs you teach them in the world will not be effective long term so long as they are insecure about their stutter. Help them develop the acceptance, build their self confidence, teach them about how to become a better communicator, and make them realize that everyone whether you stutter or don’t needs to work on their communication skills, and only then will the stuttering managing techniques you are teaching them will have any kind of long term impact on them. You have the ability to drastically change this young person who stutters mindset and prevent them from experiencing literally decades of pain so take advantage of this opportunity you have to help prevent that happening to them later in life.

      — Kunal Mahajan

  8. Kunal-Great paper. Thanks for sharing your story. I resonate with your paper. It all begins in our minds and what we tell ourselves.

    • I am glad you enjoyed it and I do think this mindset resonates for all of the people who stutter out there, but only a few are able to fully admit it and that says a lot about you that you are able to do so. This awareness is so important as once you have the awareness that your mind is distorted, that is when you can actually seek the help that is needed to start to change that distorted mind and ultimately live a much happier life. You are on your way and I know you have the power and ability to change that distorted mind if you put in the work.

      —- Kunal Mahajan

  9. Kunal,
    I really enjoyed this article. It taught me how unintentional many things can cause a person who stutters make them feel like their stuttering is a bad thing that has to be fixed. For example how you said your parents taking you to therapy made you feel bad about your stuttering which lead to hating yourself. I will keep this in the back of my head and all the other things you felt. As a SLP undergraduate student I will use this new insight and understanding to make sure my clients dont feel so negative about themselves. Im glad you have overcame that negative mind set. What advise would you give me as a future therapist to help me make my client and clients families be more positive and not have this distorted mind set?
    Madison

    • Madison,

      Thanks for your comments and I am happy to have given you a better understanding of your PWS who you will work with throughout your career. It is great that you have this recognition of how much emotional trouble and mental damage many of these stutterers will have so you can use that knowledge to help them. The advice I would give you is help them see that you are there to help them become a better communicator and try to show them how EVERYONE whether you stutter or don’t stutter needs to work on their communication skills. I think if you are able to help them see themselves as just someone who is working on his / her communication skills to become a better public speaker or leader or sound more confident the speech therapy journey can be much more rewarding. The feeling of going into speech therapy because I have a disability that I want to lose and be like everyone else is what causes so much lack of self confidence and begins to formulate this distorted mind that puts us all at a self created disadvantage.

      —- Kunal Mahajan

  10. Kunal,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I am currently in graduate school to become an SLP, and what you said about being expected to completely lose your stutter stood out to me. One of my professors talks about how she believes therapy should be about reducing the struggles that may come with stuttering, not about eliminating the stutter. Do you feel that this mentality of a clinician would have benefited you and could benefit others?
    Thank you again for sharing your story. I learned a lot from it.
    -Emily

    • Emily,

      Thank you for taking the time to read about my journey. Yes, most of us stutterers start off believing that we are going into speech therapy to “cure” our stutter and completely lose it and we set that as what our ultimate goal is and what defines our success. I think if you as the clinician can help emphasize to them that you are going to help them improve their COMMUNICATION skills as ALL of us need to work on our communication skills to become effective speakers that will help reshape the stutterers mind. It took me 31 years to realize that what people care about is not whether I stutter or not, but that they do care about my COMMUNICATION skills ie. is my tone loud enough, is my pace slow enough or am I talking too fast, am I making eye contact, am I standing up straight with confidence, etc. and it was not until I reframed my thoughts of trying to work on these COMMUNICATION skills did I start to really become an effective public speaker and stutter much less. The confidence started to come because I realized I had genuinely become an effective communicator after all the work I put in. You as the clinician have to view yourself as the person who is there to help them become a more effective COMMUNICATOR AND you MUST help them see that you are there to help them with this, NOT to help them completely get rid of their stutter.

      That patient of yours will be 100x happier if you can help him become an effective communicator with his stutter vs. if he became fluent but still had weak communication skills.

      When you observe most of these stutterers, you will quickly see that they not only have a stutter, but they have genuinely poor communication skills (don’t make eye contact, low tone, secondary symptoms such as fillers such as uhh and um, etc.) The challenge is difficult for you as the clinician as you not only have to help them see that it is not their stutter that is holding them back, it is their communication skills, but you also have to help motivate them to put in the work to start to improve these communication skills. It is that acceptance and improvement that will ultimately allow them to one day live a more fulfilling life and achieve the things they want to in life without their stutter or their mind holding them back.

      —- Kunal Mahajan

  11. Kunal,
    Thank you for sharing that story. I hope that PWS can learn from this. This ws eye opening as someone who doesn’t stutter to get an inside look on how a PWS might feel and to know that they have to want to help themselves. I have one question for you, What would be a skill that you think a Speech Therapist can have to help the PWS be in a better state, not only with their stuttering but with their emotional health?
    Thank you again for sharing.
    Brianna

    • Brianna,

      Thank you for the comments and yes I don’t think people don’t realize the extent of the emotional and mental damage PWS are doing to themselves. I would say the biggest skill set is just to have the awareness that your patient has very little self confidence and you have the ability to help build that confidence up. I truly don’t believe speech therapists should be spending much time on actually teaching speech managing techniques until they help the PWS gain acceptance and I think the way to increase confidence is to get that acceptance. This recognition of the patient you are working with hopefully will motivate you to spend more of your time in therapy to help these PWS gain acceptance and increase their overall confidence and the speech managing techniques can be taught at a later date or in a shorter time period.

      —- Kunal Mahajan

  12. Hi Kunal. I was happy for the disclaimer, as you voice the stuttering community as “we”, while there are so many things in your paper that I cannot relate to at all. I’ve spoken to others as well who find this paper generalizing, negative, harsh and unfair to many SLPs and people around us, as not all of us have the negative experiences you had. And although I hope many SLPs, students and hopefully even others, read this and might take your own experiences as being all of ours, I hope they also read other papers and find that not all other pws share your thoughts and experiences. We want to get rid of stigma’s, not confirm them.

    That said, I’m thrilled you found your voice and the NSA, as meeting other people who GET it, is worth more than any therapy. I’m also thrilled by the great advice you gave to people who commented to this paper. Acceptance, recognition, confidence, you are so right that these are such important ways of finding back one’s voice and speak our mind.

    So thanks for your paper, but even more for your great advice. 😉

    • Anita,

      Thank you for taking the time to read my paper. Of course no one person can speak for the entire experience of the 70 million stuttering population in the world, however, this is not just my experience with my stutter, this is the experiences that I have come to learn from all of the stutterers I have come across throughout my life and it is important for me to educate others the extent of our distorted mind that we have and to take action when they are ready. That is great you have not had these negative experiences in your life or have been privy to this distorted mind as that just shows the awareness and inner strength you have so I commend you for that and keep up the positive momentum.
      Unfortunately, many of the rest of us PWS have not been as fortunate to have this same level of inner strength that you have had. It takes some of us decades to gain acceptance and we build this distorted mind that holds us back from achieving the things we want to in life. I never even realized myself how distorted my mind was, however, my mental health and speech therapists were able to break me down and get inside of me at a very deep level to allow me to see this distorted mind that I had developed and it was not until I was able to make that realization, was I able to move on to gain acceptance and then ultimately focus my energy on just becoming a better communicator and a leader.
      I am so happy to not just have helped the SLP’s who have read my paper recognize the extent of the distorted mind many PWS have, but also I hope that many PWS are able to finally admit to themselves just how distorted their mind is. The truth is a very harsh thing to hear sometimes Anita and I can tell you that me learning the truth was the hardest thing that I have ever experienced in my entire life. However, embracing that head on truth and not denying it was what ultimately allowed me to overcome my insecurities about my stutter and push forward to put in the work to become an effective communicator. It is still a process, but I can honestly tell you that my mind is no longer distorted and I know that if one puts in the work they too can gain acceptance and become an effective communicator. I believe any SLP can help every PWS on their journey and I believe in all of the PWS that they can one day gain the full acceptance of their stutter and put in the work to not allow it to prevent them from achieving the things they want to do in life.
      No one ever said it would be easy, but I can tell you that I have never regretted for a second putting in the work to get to where I am at now as I am for the first time in my life living with more confidence, self-acceptance, and am happier now than I have ever been before in my entire life. I could not gotten to this stage if it was not for my SLP’s, mental health therapists, and other PWS so want to thank each and every one of you out there.

      —- Kunal Mahajan