Tuesday Transformations: Words, essays, poems, videos (Ted Talks), and photos of expression of our personal/professional transformations as a stutterer, mental health professional, and the merge of the together

Nick Weaver is a proud person who stutters who is a part of the Delta Blue Jean Company.

This summer Nick was the keynote speaker at the conference of Friends: the National Organization for Young People Who Stutter in Raleigh, NC.

In his speech Nick talked about growing up and having experiences common to stutterers; being hung up on while ordering pizza on the telephone, and asking someone for directions, “and be treated as if I was dumb.”

Over time, however, Nick came to be confident in “owning” his speech impediment, and realizing that all people have insecurities. He also developed the ability to laugh at himself. He came up with a pickup line with girls, “Hey, do you want good looking stuttering kids?”

Now a successful businessman, here is a link to a talk that Nick Weaver gave at a Stuttering Foundation event:

I admire Nick as someone who stutters open and confidently, and carries this into his work life. This is different from my experience.

With all the hundreds or thousands of times I had stuttered through the decades, I grew up not having goals for work or life. I could not envision doing work that required me to talk with people.

Meeting other people who stutter and hearing about their work lives helped me begin to see that there might be another way in life. I wanted to try the nonprofit world. I got a job working for an agency which helped folks with housing issues. Many of the agency’s clients had other challenges as well. The agency did not have a social worker, and much of this work fell to me to do.

The agency’s offices were in a large community room in a church. My colleagues and I sat in close proximity to one another.

To do my job I had to overcome my lifelong aversion to using the telephone; not only in placing calls within earshot of my colleagues, but also being on the phone while my clients sat beside me at my desk.

I spoke with other pws in the field, and realized that I had to get over it, to be able to do this work. Over time I became comfortable in doing so. My confidence grew, and later I went back to school to become a licensed social worker.

Jeff Shames

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

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Tuesday Transformations: Words, essays, poems, videos (Ted Talks), and photos of expression of our personal/professional transformations as a stutterer, mental health professional, and the merge of the together — 4 Comments

  1. Jeff, Great post. Thank you. Nick Weaver sounds like a wonderful person who is sharing his experience to inspire other people who stutter. As a PWS, I relate to your experience of not having work or life goals. I felt that others had little expectations of me as well. I did not attend college after high school, and was unsure where I fit in the world. Fortunately I was able to gain support of friends in my 20s who encouraged me to attend a Community College. I slowly began to create a direction in my life. I can also say the Counselor at the Community College guided me and was at my undergrad graduation at SFSU.

    All the best, Jeff.

  2. Thank you, Nora for sharing your experience. Through the years I have overcome the shame I felt about my stutter. Folks like Nick Weaver, and you!, continue to help me feel accepting of my self as a person who stutters and in other ways as well.

  3. Jeff,

    Great reminder through this piece. You and I both returned to graduate school in our adult years. I never thought I would get a graduate degree. I always thought it was for “fluent” people. it took a long time for me to take a chance on myself as a stutterer. Taking on a career that requires hours of listening and talking is transformational

    Elizabeth Kapstein