Cynthia Dacillo Senaga is a speech language pathologist from Peru. She became passionate about stuttering since 2015, in which she finished a specialization about Stuttering. She studied a Master´s degree in Neuroscience and Education and she is currently pursuing a doctoral program abroad.
Words are strong and powerful. They can save our lives or even destroy them. Our stories can be told through our words, and thanks to those words, we can describe the experiences we had as child, teenager or as adults. Through words we can imagine situations, illustrate people and places, reflect our emotions and get to know and understand other’s experiences just by listening or reading to their words.
We all have our journeys of words. As a Speech Language Pathologist, I have witnessed many incredible stories. I am glad to be part of my client’s journeys and to be an apprentice of the courage, perseverance and strength they develop due to the challenging situations they had to face in life.
With these words I would like to share what I have learned by listening to other’s journeys and what we can do to make those journeys more pleasant and friendy.
In 2018, I finished my Master’s in Neuroscience and Education, and during my studies I decided to research about the knowledge people who stutter (PWS) have about stuttering, and how it can influence their attitudes and actions in their different aspects of life.
In that research I found that the more PWS know about stuttering, the more positive attitudes they have to face the tough situations in life rather than avoiding them. With that research, I did understand the importance of a holistic intervention and the relevance of considering their journey, their experiences and their stories in the past, for a better approach.
People who stutter have impressive journeys to share. Their stories can inspire other people who stutter and who do not. They can teach humankind about respect, empathy, tolerance, courage, resilience and they are constantly bouncing back! I believe that in their journeys the impact of their experiences in the past made them more resilient and capable to deal with hard situations in life.
And now, what can we do as a PWS or as a SLP to make a change in people’s life?
I consider awareness an extremely powerful path. If we spread the word about stuttering, even if we tell just one person about what stuttering is, we will be increasing levels of understanding, empathy and tolerance in the society.
If you are a PWS or an SLP let’s start at home! Let’s educate our families. The role of the family is an essential support for the PWS. The kid, teenager or adult who stutters will have more enjoyable journeys if they have a comprehensive environment that understands stuttering.
Moreover, we can make awareness in schools. Teachers have a significant role and many of their experiences during their childhood will have an enormous impact on their future life. We can motivate the teachers to talk about diversity, stuttering, respect, and empathy. That way we’ll be giving the students the opportunity to grow in a more suitable environment, preventing teasing or bullying. Are you ready to make a big impact? Talk about stuttering in your school or university! (I have done it before and it is amazing!).
As a SLP, I consider that I have the responsibility of raising awareness. That is the main reason I talk about stuttering in my daily life with my family and friends.
To conclude, the journeys of PWS are tough, because they must face the common challenges in life plus the negative reactions, myths about stuttering, and living in a world that does not understand stuttering. On the other hand, we can help transform societies to a better place for people who stutter, and create a new and better environment that will definitely make the journeys of the future generations of people who stutter more friendly and easier. Together we can make a change and I hope this message can make a small difference!
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