As I grew up as a young boy who stuttered, it was a different time in the world. The Internet did not yet exist. There were no organizations yet like the NSA or Friends.
My parents had to go it on their own. I knew that my mother had stuttered until she left home to go do college. Sadly this topic was never brought up. Even then I talked fast; I remember my father telling me to “e – nun – ci – ate” my words. My stutter was only talked about except in terms of the therapy I needed to solve my problem. But therapy didn’t help, and served to only increase my isolation and shame.
During dinner table conversation it was difficult for me to get a word in edgewise. When I did get the floor, at the dinner table, what usually resulted was the struggled silence of my efforts to speak.
These days I marvel at parents who have conversations with their children, about topics like their day at school. But we were not a family that talked with each other much. More relaxed 1:1 talks might have helped.
Nowadays at conferences of Friends: the National Organization for Young People Who Stutter, there are workshops not just for the kids but also for their parents and other family members. I wonder what it would have been like for my parents, siblings and I to be at a conference like this?
Friday, October 16, 2015
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