It was tough as a child wondering why my siblings did not stutter. Why was I the chosen one? I learned that my dad stuttered and my mom’s brother stuttered. It was clear that stuttering was in the family genes, but why did I stutter and not them? I can say that I never remember once being teased by my siblings about my stutter. My younger brother, Paul, was invited into the therapy room with me in elementary school. My speech teacher understood the importance of treating he whole family. Paul would do “slow smooth connected speech” exercises with me. I loved knowing that my brother was a part of my treatment. He is a very special person to me.
My parents did what they could to treat my stuttering. I would sit and read out loud to my mother. She would sign off on my speech card. I recall that my speech teacher held therapy sessions at a different school one particular summer. My mom, who had 3 other children to care for, would drive me to the summer sessions. I am thankful for the sacrifices she made for me.
My parents did not have anyone to educate them on the “emotional response to stuttering,” which I was profoundly impacted. Today they are very proud that I am a licensed social worker who has started provided counseling to young people and adults who stutter. They are very supportive of my career path.
How have friends and family impacted your development as a person who stutters?
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