My Stuttering Life Story: Growth Through Speaking-Out – Winnifer Baez (supported by Lourdes Ramos-Heinrichs)

About the Authors:

Winnifer Baez is a 16-year old student entering the 10th grade in a two-way Spanish/English bilingual High School in Boston, The Margarita Muniz Academy. The stuttering has impacted her social and academic life, but she has decided to speak-out about her stuttering experiences and to share with others her stuttering journey. Winnifer has experienced growth through speaking.

Winnifer has been stuttering since the preschool years and has had speech therapy with various speech therapists.  For a while she hid the stuttering from teachers and peers.  Although she loves to talk and engage in conversations, she pretended that she was shy to avoid talking. Last year in  9th grade, she decided to talk and to NOT let the stuttering get control of her life.  She made many friends, connected with teachers, and went to all her speech therapy sessions. Winnifer gave a huge presentation about her stuttering to 45-graduate students studying Fluency Disorders at Northeastern University.  Now she’d like to share her story about speaking-out with you at the ISAD 2019.

Lourdes Ramos-Heinrichs, MA, CCC-sp, BCS-F, is a bilingual speech-language pathologist and a specialist in fluency disorders.  She works full time in the Boston Public Schools and teaches fluency and fluency disorders classes at Northeastern University.  She is a member of the executive board in the American Board of Fluency and Fluency Disorders.  Lourdes encouraged Winnifer to speak-out about her stuttering experiences and to prepare a presentation to present at ISAD 2019.

The author intended this presentation to be viewed using PowerPoint, but due to the size of the content which includes small video clips, it wasn’t possible to present the original presentation within the website. It can be downloaded from this link. You will need to have Microsoft PowerPoint installed. Once you download and open the presentation, press F5 to start the presentation, then use arrow up and down keys to navigate through the presentation.

If you do not have PowerPoint, you may be able to find a free viewer online.

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Comments

My Stuttering Life Story: Growth Through Speaking-Out – Winnifer Baez (supported by Lourdes Ramos-Heinrichs) — 7 Comments

    • Winnifer, I loved everything about this paper. The innocence you portrayed, the innocence that you miss about your life and people around you. I think many of us look back on our life and wish at some point that we could go back to the part of our life where everyone was nice to everyone. When you mentioned that when you were younger and children never laughed or made fun of your stutter, it made me think about all the people in this world with a stutter that are afraid to talk. I pray that someday I can become a SLP and a friend to my clients who need someone to remind them of a Childs innocence. I am inspired by your story, I pray that you the beauty of your story like I do.

  1. Thank you for sharing your life story. I thought your presentation was organized very well and I loved your sense of humor. I was curious to know how others treated you during grade school when your stutter and I noticed that you mentioned that you are a pretty good athlete and that you gained respect from your peers. Do you think this might have had an influence on your later comment saying that you weren’t ever really bullied or teased about your stutter? I just wonder if someone who has a stutter and doesn’t have the ability to gain respect from their peers would get teased more about their stutter. I think it is really cool that you were able to go speak to a graduate class and answer their questions. I am in a graduate course right now on fluency but I am in Idaho so I think it might be too difficult for you to come speak to our class. Thanks again for sharing your story!

    • Thanks for your comment. I never thought about that, i just think i was in the right environment and surrounded by great people. There wasn’t really people being bullied when I was in grade school. Our community was like a family so we treated each other like family. Boston and Idaho and very far apart so it would be hard lol.But thank you and I loved that you liked my sense of humor.

  2. Hi Winnifer,

    Thank you for being so open about your experiences with stuttering. It’s cool that you have so much support from your SLP and teachers. I imagine it is challenging when family members or friends become inpatient when you stutter, but it sounds like you are learning how to advocate for yourself. It sounds like you are building a great foundation of support and knowledge about stuttering so that you can educate other people when they make unhelpful suggestions. The kids that you mentor are lucky to have you!

    Take care,
    Taylor

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your story! It is so awesome that you had/have such an amazing support group. You are a great girl and your story is helping so many people. Just wondering about your therapy history, you said your stutter got better around middle school. Do you think this was in part due to therapy? I think it is so awesome that you embrace your stutter and I think you would be an excellent role model to anyone in your path. This presentation was engaging and so eye-opening. Thanks again for sharing your experiences!

  4. Winnifer
    I am a 2nd year grad student and really like some of the things you said. One of them being “Sometimes, I wonder if a time will come when I won’t stutter anymore.” I do have a question about that statement: Have you always known/understood that fluency is not the goal and that it is really being comfortable with your stutter?
    As I was going through your powerpoint I noticed that the way you worded things seemed like you were fairly confident in most situations because no one seemed to notice or comment on your stutter. You said that it was the listeners problem if they had a problem with your stutter. I like that attitude! One thing though: How do you balance that out with teaching people about your stutter and increasing awareness?
    Last few things: You listed a lot of techniques toward the end of the slide show. How do you remember to use the techniques while you are speaking?
    I think it is awesome that you worked with kids who stutter as well. You are probably a great example to them and are someone to look up to!

    Thank you so much!

    PS. Do you stutter more in one language over another or is it the same?

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