What Did I Learn From Your Journeys? A SLP Perspective Cynthia Dacillo Senaga

About the Author:

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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Comments

What Did I Learn From Your Journeys? A SLP Perspective Cynthia Dacillo Senaga — 78 Comments

  1. Dear Cynthia,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I agree that helping families and others understand stuttering is one of the most important things both SLPs and individuals who stutter can do. Best of luck in your work! I agree with you that we need to be holistic in our approach.

    • Hi Kristin!

      Thank you for your comment.
      I had the pleasure of listening to you in the Mindfulness webinar of the Montreal Fluency Centre. It was interesting! In the future I would like to learn more about it!

      Indeed! we need support environments as well approaches that consider the whole person and the experience of being a PWS!

      Greetings from Peru!

    • Hi Kristin!

      Thank you for your comment.
      I had the pleasure of listening to you in the Mindfulness webinar of the Montreal Fluency Centre. It was interesting! In the future I would like to learn more about it!

      Indeed! we need support environments as well approaches that consider the whole person and the experience of being a PWS!

      Greetings from Peru! 😉

  2. Hi Kristin!

    Thank you for your comment.
    I had the pleasure of listening to you in the Mindfulness webinar of the Montreal Fluency Centre. It was interesting! In the future I would like to learn more about it!

    Indeed! we need support environments as well approaches that consider the whole person and the experience of being a PWS!

    Greetings from Peru! 😉

  3. Hello! Thanks for sharing these tips and strategies that can be done in order to help make society a better place for people who stutter. You discussed how bringing awareness to others can play a major part in the experiences of PWS. As a graduate student and future SLP, I will do my part by learning more about stuttering, discussing it with family and friends, and encouraging them to do the same. You mentioned that from research, you 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”. In your experience as a SLP, were the PWS, their families and/or their teachers knowledgeable about stuttering?

    • Hi!

      Thank you for reading.
      It is amazing how people can connect and and share thoughts, feelings and experiences about stuttering through this page! tell me where are you from!

      In my experience, there is a lack of information in schools and families, so we are trying to do our best with the people we know 🙂 even doctors, pediatritians, neurologysts, think there is a pychological cause. As a SLP I am trying to create some spaces to talk about stuttering. I have my fan page exclusively to share information about stuttering and also a youtube channel. I know we can make a difference and everything counts!

  4. Hi Cynthia,

    I enjoyed reading what you have learned from your experience researching and working with PWS. I appreciate that you promote starting raising awareness of stuttering with empathy, because I think this is such an important reminder. It is crucial to approach something like stuttering with empathy, because it can lead to many life challenges, as you mentioned. I agree with you that it is important to begin this message with teachers, because they are such a powerful force and an allied profession of ours that can help raise awareness in a positive way. Thank you for sharing your words!

    Best,
    Athena Kavounas

    • Hi Athena 🙂

      Thank you for reading. Indeed! I strongly believe that empathy is a “MUST” in this field, it is a quality that every SLP should have, to have a good and healthy relationship with people who stutter, and we can develop and increase it with the experience.

      We have a lot to do in our way of spreading awareness and there are not enough of hours in a day or days in a year to do it! hehe

      Regards from Peru

  5. Hi Cynthia,
    Thank you for your paper! As a graduate student in speech pathology, I believe that your message is so important. Part of our responsibility as SLPs is to indirectly help our clients by increasing awareness of stuttering in our communities. As more and more people who don’t stutter become educated about stuttering, they will hopefully take the initiative to share this information with even more people. Over time this can make a meaningful impact. I think it’s inspiring to remember that even these seemingly small actions do make a difference. Thank you!
    Lauren

    • Hello Lauren,
      Thank you for reading! We can absolutely make a difference in people’s lives and this is a special month to do it! However, what if we spread awareness the whole year? That would be marvelous!
      It is essential to make them know they are not alone and there is a big community who can support them including SLP 🙂
      Best wishes!

  6. Hello Cynthia,

    I am reminded of the ISAD theme from several years ago, “A world that understands stuttering.” This continues to be a world worthy of our ongoing investment! Thank you for your contribution here. In my view, helping people who stutter, and the important people in their lives, better understand stuttering is among the most important things we can do as speech-language pathologists. I appreciate your holistic view of relating to and working with people who stutter. Best,

    Rob Dellinger

    • Hi Rob,
      Thank you for reading and for your comment.
      That is a very relevant phrase. We need that!
      As SLPs I consider it is part of our responsibility to make a change in people´s live.
      Best wishes 🙂

  7. Hello Cynthia,
    Learning about stuttering as a community can have a big impact on a person who stutters, and you really emphasized the importance of starting these conversations at home! I recently watched a video of Nina G, a comedian who stutters, and she shared that it is often the case that someone who has some sort of disability or impediment is viewed in society as being weaker, when in fact, it is the total opposite! As you noted, individuals who stutter have to overcome a lot of different challenges.

    Knowledge is definitely very powerful and bringing more awareness, especially in the schools can make a big difference. Thank you for encouraging so many people to make a big impact!

    Best,
    Daniela Jurado

    • Hi Daniela,

      Nice to read you 🙂
      Definitely we should start at home, with the ones that are closer to us.
      Imagine the big impact we can make if we do that and have the chance to talk about it in our own school!

      Knowledge can change our perceptions and reduce the social negative stigma about stuttering! it is a very powerful weapon!

      Regards from Peru

  8. Hi Cynthia,

    Thanks for taking the time to write about this as I agree that awareness is one of the best ways to spread information on topics like stuttering. I will definitely do my research on PWS in order that I may be better informed and more knowledgeable to inform those around me.

    I have a few questions! First, with you being an SLP, what kind of work do you do with people who stutter? Can it look different with every person? I also saw in your paper how you talked about PWS have more of a positive mindset on stuttering when they became more informed on the topic. Do you find that most PWS understand stuttering?

    Thank you for your time and the article,
    Emily Christopher

    • Hello Emily,

      Thank you for your comment. Good news and good luck in your future research! it will definitely contribute to your own knowledge and to the society 🙂

      I use a holistic approach which considers the whole person and not just fluency. Indeed, the approaches are different and very individual because I believe it is essential to consider their stories, their experiences, their reations to their own stuttering, their families, their personal characteristics, their personality, their age… many many individual differences.

      Unfortunately there is a lack of awareness about it even for PWS, many of them have a negative self-stigma related with how the society reacts to their stuttering and due to the misinformation they may find on the internet.

      So much to do, Emily! we are on the way!

      Regards

  9. Cynthia,

    Thank you for addressing the importance of talking about stuttering! As an SLP graduate student, I find myself informing those around me about communication disorders frequently, especially now with stuttering coming to light in the media with Presidential candidate Joe Biden. The reality is, we as people tend to be uncomfortable talking about things we don’t know much about, so I think advocacy and spreading awareness is critical. We as professionals in this field play a unique role in bringing awareness to stuttering and debunking misconceptions. We need to listen to PWS and hear their perspectives. Just because we are studying this area does NOT mean we are all-knowing. These unique experiences will help us grow as clinicians, and can even give us new ideas to share with others who might not be as familiar with stuttering as we are. Thank you!

    Best,
    Alexa Abadee

    • Hi Alexa,

      Thank you for reading. I am happy to know that awareness is increasing day by day!
      I totally agree with you! It is vital to consider their experiences and we should listen to them about what stuttering means to them, they are our biggest teachers.

      Greetings from Peru

  10. Hi Cynthia!

    Thank you for sharing this powerful piece! I believe that huge part of the job as a speech language pathologist is advocacy. We need to educate others about communication deficits and make the uncomfortable moments more comfortable. Our clients and future clients deserve to be in a place where they are accepted and not looked at different. I appreciate you sharing your perspective as an SLP, not a PWS. As a future clinician, I admire any advice and tips I can get to make sure my clients feel heard and understood. Speech pathology as a field needs to become more well-known and people like you are helping make that happen!

    – Lauryn Mellberg

    • Hi Lauryn,

      Thank you for your lovely comment!
      Yes! they truly deserve a better place where they can speak freely without shame, fear and negative reactions.
      Powerful words “feel heard and understood”, it may sound like a dream for many PWS in a society that discriminates the differences. On the other hand, this kind of spaces are very helpful and gives the message that they are not alone and there is a huge community that understands and supports the person who stutters!

      Regards from Peru!

  11. Hi Lauryn,

    Thank you for your lovely comment!
    Yes! they truly deserve a better place where they can speak freely without shame, fear and negative reactions.
    Powerful words “feel heard and understood”, it may sound like a dream for many PWS in a society that discriminates the differences. On the other hand, this kind of spaces are very helpful and gives the message that they are not alone and there is a huge community that understands and supports the person who stutters!

    Regards from Peru!

  12. Hello Cynthia!

    I wholly support the idea of spreading the word about stuttering by beginning in the home with family and friends. There are so many misconceptions about people who stutter (PWS) and taking the time to educate others could make a huge impact on someone’s life down the road. Furthermore, those who we talk to about stuttering, will then in turn be able to go into the world and tell more people about it. The potential to do so much good is as simple as being open and candid about stuttering. The more someone knows, the more they understand, enabling them to act with grace and compassion when in a difficult or novel situation.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom.
    – Catherine Usery

    • Hi Catherine!
      I love this chain effect and I feel excited about the future generations of PWS.
      They will have better experiences in life and that is what keeps motivating me.
      Thank you for your comment and nice words.

      Regards from Peru

  13. Hi Cynthia,

    I completely agree with you about how words can impact a person’s life. I am currently in graduate school, learning more about stuttering and how I can help people who stutter. As a future speech-language pathologist, it is important for me to know different techniques to help people who stutter feel confident and comfortable talking to a conversation partner. Additionally, I believe that helping people who stutter advocate and educate others about stuttering is important for our community to grow together. Every person who stutters has a unique story to share, and I believe that it is important for us to raise awareness. Thank you for sharing your paper!

    Kind regards,
    Victoria

    • Hello Victoria,

      Thank you for your comment!

      Yes! words are extremely powerful so I consider we have to use them carefully in our approaches. If we give them the idea that fluency is our goal, they can feel frustrated in some way with the variability of stuttering. Communication is more than fluency and that it what really matters!

      I believe it is vital for SLPs to have an individual an holistic approach depending of the characteristics of the PWS as they have very personal stories 🙂

      Best wishes,
      Cynthia

  14. Hi Cynthia,

    Thank you for your submission! Your message of awareness and holistic treatment resonates with everything we learn as SLPs. Being in my second year of graduate school, we learn to advocate for those we are treating including spreading awareness in all contexts. Creating a safe space at home, in school, or at work will provide meaningful support and facilitate a positive journey for each individual.
    -Justin

    • Hi Justin,

      Thank you for your comment! I feel happy because interest in stuttering is increasing! I know that as a future SLP you are going to make a big change in the lives of people who stutter.

      Regards from Peru,

      Cynthia

  15. Hi Cynthia,

    It is so important for SLPs to educate people about stuttering. In the United States, it’s technically part of our jobs. Though, sometimes we forget, or run out of time, to do community outreach. I have recently seen many of my colleagues do outreach by posting quick information on their social media accounts. It seems really simple, but I think it’s a great way to get friends and family we don’t see often thinking about stuttering. If they have any questions, they know they can always come to us for more information. Also, I agree that we can learn a lot about resilience from our older patients. When I become an SLP, I hope I will be able to have adults who stutter mentor my younger patients!

    -Kimi

    • Hi Kimmi!

      Thank you for your comment. It is nice to know your colleagues are posting information about stuttering in their social media. Nowadays it is an advantage, social media gives us the opportunity to share and to educate more people about it.

      We can learn about resilience and much more! Adults who stutter can help younger kids who stutter and vice versa! I have seen some young kids giving advices to adults who stutter! can you imagine? they are admirable!!!!

      Best wishes,

      Cynthia

  16. Hello Cynthia,

    Thank you for your submission! There were a couple statements you made in the paper that really inspired me as a current graduate student and future SLP. When you said “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”, it made me want to make a difference in the world for our clients even more!! One of our main roles as an SLP is to advocate for our clients and that includes spreading awareness. Lastly, when you mentioned that we can transform societies to make the environment better for future generations. This was so powerful as it is something so simple to do and will have a huge impact on the lives of our clients who stutter. The more people are educated about stuttering and more awareness is brought to the disorder, a more accepting and judgement-free environment can be built. Thank you again!

    – Casey Edwards

    • Hi Casey,

      Thank you for your comment and all your kind words! Indeed! we can make big and important difference for the present and future generations of people who stutter!

      Education and respect is what we need to grow as a society. I believe we have improved a lot, but there is still a lot to do. Committed professionals with a sense of empathy is what we need 🙂 and I know you are going to be one of them!

      Best wishes,
      Cynthia

  17. Hi Ciynthia,
    I thought that this article was really insightful and discussed such an important message. First, I find it so interesting that research shows that the more a PWS knows about stuttering, the more positive their outlook is and the more resilient they are. Additionally, I agree that SLPs have the responsibility of raising awareness about stuttering and dispelling the various myths surrounding the topic. I really appreciated the focus on the power of empathy and the importance of increasing understanding and tolerance levels in society. The starting point could be anywhere from school teacher presentations to friendly conversations. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and this article!
    -Lorena Zarotsky.

    • Hello Lorena,

      Thank you for your comment!
      The social negative stigma is very strong but also the self stigma! that is why I find vital to educate the society as well as the person who stutters about it. When people who stutter learn about the possible causes and discover it is not their fault or is caused due to anxiety, fear, shyness or nerves; they become more empowered!

      Related to spread awareness, we can start wherever we want and with what is easier for us! family, friends, schools, social media… so many options and so many things to do!

      Regards from Peru,
      Cynthia

  18. Hi Cynthia,

    Thank you for sharing your perspective. I agree with you that awareness is such an important and vital responsibility that SLPs have. I am currently taking a fluency course in graduate school, and I have shared with my family and some of my friends what I am learning in class. I hope even that small step makes some difference. I see stuttering being mentioned in social media nowadays too, and it heartens me. You make a great point that the journeys of PWS are tough because we live in a world that does not understand stuttering. However, we have the choice to spread awareness and foster an environment that accepts stuttering with open arms and compassion. We can make a difference with our words!

    • Hi Laura,

      Thank you for your comment. It is nice to know you are educating people around you about stuttering! We need more committed profesionals like you!

      Indeed! their journeys are tough, that is why we have the huge responsibility to spread awareness. Every word matters!

      Kind regards,

      Cynthia

  19. Thank you for this thoughtful article! I am a graduate student studying to be an SLP. I have often thought about how I would share knowledge with teachers, parents and students in my future career. However, I never thought about starting with my own family! Your article made me realize I can talk to my niece and nephew about stuttering as they grow up. By talking to them I will be adding to the supportive environment for people who stutter. Hopefully they will teach their friends and the support and acceptance can spread.

    Christa

    • Hi Christa,

      Sure! We can make a chain of effects! One by one, day by day, can you imagine how many people we can educate in a month? an what about a year? 🙂

      Best wishes,
      Cynthia

  20. Hello Cynthia,
    As a SLP graduate student, this paper was so helpful and applicable to read. I love how you highlight what we learn from people who stutter. As an SLP or educator, it could be easily forgotten that we learn as much as, or even more, from our students and clients as they learn from us. Additionally, thank you for sharing about your research and the importance of educating people who stutter. At my current practicum site, my supervisor encourages that I begin sessions with a fact about stuttering to our stuttering group and it is so cool to see students’ faces light up when they realize they are not alone and that many celebrities and influential people also stutter. Thank you for the important reminder to educate all those around us, including our families and friends! Can you elaborate more on what you meant by holistic intervention? Again, I really loved reading this paper and cannot thank you enough for sharing from an SLP’s perspective.

    • Hi @steplee,

      Thank you for all your kind words! We truly learn from them and we will never stop learning from their experiences 🙂

      Group therapy is really amazing! I have seen face expressions from 5-year-old children and wow!!! they look surprised and happy when they listen to another kid from their same age stuttering just like they do but in a different way!

      A holistic intervention not only considers fluency and techniques but also communication, their experiences, families, what they think and feel about stuttering, their emotions, reactions, attitudes towards communication, personality and their personal goals 🙂 I hope my answer helps!

      Kind regards,
      Cynthia

  21. Hello Cynthia,
    Thank you for taking the time to inform us about your journey with words and the power of words in general. I agree with you about the importance of spreading awareness and educating our community, especially in regards to stuttering. As a future clinician, I hope that by spreading awareness we will help build confidence and acceptance within the stuttering community.
    Thank you for encouraging others to bring about change! We need more of that.

    Best,
    AK

    • Hi AK,

      Thank you for your comment!
      We are definitely building a better environment for people who stutter.
      I am sure you will be an amazing clinician!

      Best wishes,
      Cynthia

  22. Hello Cynthia,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences! I am currently learning about stuttering in my graduate program, and it is very insightful being able to hear about experiences with stuttering from an SLP perspective. Your paper has a great message regarding what we can learn from our clients, and how the stories of our clients can impact our own knowledge on stuttering as well! I love the call out for spreading awareness of stuttering, and about how that awareness can start in a familiar setting like our home or on campus. Sometimes, as one person, it is hard to fathom how it is possible for us to make a change on our own, and truth is we can make a big difference by simply telling our friends and family about it! Thank you for this reminder!

    Sincerely,

    Caitlin

    • Hi Caitlin,

      Thank you for your nice words!
      I encourage you to do it! nowadays we chave many ways! and we can easily do it in our social media!
      We can start by educating our parents and best friends. One person per week, four per month, fifty-two per year!

      Regards from Peru,
      Cynthia

  23. Hi Cynthia,

    I love that you mentioned awareness in schools and across professions. I think in general, awareness is something that should be improved in schools – across diagnoses and disorders. But, in the case of stuttering, it feels like something we should focus on even more. I grew up in various states and different schools, but never once was stuttering something schools actively worked to educate students on. I also felt like that really connected with your idea that as SLPs we should be talking about stuttering in our daily lives because as professionals, inclusion and awareness are crucial to our field. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Best,
    Kennedy

    • Hi Kennedy,

      Thank you for your comment. Awareness is such a powerful word and nowadays we can make it happen in massive ways throught social media!
      Schools are the perfect places to learn and teach about differences, rights, empathy and respect for each other. As SLPs we have a lot to do! 🙂

      Kind regards,
      Cynthia

  24. Hi Cynthia,
    Your paper is so refreshing, especially in today’s climate. I think with so many topics it can become overwhelming with how to start or where to start. Something as simple as starting in your home has the power to do so much more than we can imagine. Growing up, my dad has always stuttered but has never mentioned it. Even after I started a career in Speech Pathology. There are times I wonder if he is even aware of his stuttering. I don’t feel as if he is ashamed or fearful of it – but almost that after 60+ years, it is part of him. I wonder if this is really because he doesn’t know anything about it. And if that’s the case, I hope that most people don’t have to wait that long to understand and appreciate their stuttering for what it is. As a daughter and a future SLP, I hope I can make this change, and even if it’s educating or contributing at a smaller level, then so be it. In a world that does not understand stuttering, all it takes is an explanation. Thank you!

    • Hi @torihummel 🙂

      Thank you for your comment and for sharing your personal experience!
      Your father probbably has a lot of stories waiting to be told!
      I believe older generations of PWS were very silent generations due to the lack of knowledge, many misconceptions and self-stigma.
      We can make a change in our own families and you have a very nice opportunity to do it at home!

      Best wishes,
      Cynthia

  25. Hello Cynthia,
    I completely agree with you. It is important to spread awareness, love, and support through every part of our journey. I read a post once that said “SLPs spend a lot of time teaching and helping people with disabilities learn how to interact with others, but we should also be teaching others how to interact with people with disabilities”. I thought this was mind opening because everybody goes through challenges in life and it is crucial to have an environment that is supportive and empathetic. I am also really interested in your research because you mentioned that PWS who know more about stuttering have more positive attitudes. I believe this is true because they are not hiding from their stuttering, instead they are accepting of it and most of the time they educate people about stuttering to reduce stigma. Thank you for spreading your knowledge with us. It was very meaningful to me.
    -Jessica Hoang

    • Hi Jessica,

      Thank you for your comment. I really like that phrase because it makes us think about the importance of educating the society!

      The more they know about stuttering the less shame and fear they will feel, their empowerment will increase and in the same way their ability and resilence to face difficult situations in life.

      Regards,
      Cynthia

  26. Hi Cynthia,

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your paper! Your research on how the knowledge people who stutter have about stuttering can affect their feelings, attitudes, and actions in life really caught my eye. It is so important that as a soon to be professional in the field of speech language pathology, I gain knowledge on how people who stutter view stuttering and how much they truly know about it. Having more facts about stuttering gives people who stutter the opportunity to advocate for themselves and teach others. In addition, is it so important to raise awareness of stuttering as it will gives others a better outlook on how to view people who stutter, just a normal person that has a bit of a different way of speaking. You’re right, people who stutter face so many challenges each day so it is important that we advocate for them and show them how to advocate for themselves. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts!

    -Rochelle Draper

    • Hello Rochelle,

      Thank you for your comment. Knowledge, feelings, attitudes and actions are related and can influence each other so it is essential to know what thet know, how they feel, what attitudes they have and what they do or avoid. And in the same way consider the experiences, families, personalities… It is a very personal intervention! 🙂

      As SLPs we have so much things to do!

      Greetings from Peru,
      Cynthia

  27. Hi Cynthia, I loved hearing your perspectives about PWS and their journeys navigating the world around them. I agree that unfortunately society is overwhelmingly uneducated about fluency disorders and the reality of what it looks and feels like for PWS. As a graduate student studying to become an SLP, I especially admire your point about it being our responsibility to make a difference and raise awareness. I love the concept of starting small with our families, and expanding from there. I plan on having an educational chat with my parents over dinner tonight! Thanks for your insight!

    • Hi @quinngardner!

      Thank you for your comment. I am happy to know you are having a conversation with your parents about stuttering! That sounds incredible! they may have some misconceptions and doubts about it!

      Together we can move forward 🙂

      Best wishes,
      Cynthia

  28. Dear Cynthia,
    Thank you for sharing your research with us. As a speech-language pathologist graduate clinician, it is very helpful to hear your thoughts on stuttering through the perspective of another SLP. I love how you mentioned that as clinicians, we have the honor to take part in our client’s journeys and be there to guide them in challenging situations they are currently facing or will face. I am learning more and more that awareness about stuttering (from the PWS and society overall) and resilience to bounce back after challenging experiences is a key factor in the feelings and attitudes PWS have about their speaking. Your research provides more evidence that the more PWS know about stuttering, the more positive attitudes they will have. That is why as a clinician, I feel that it is so important to help our clients understand what stuttering is and give them a more holistic approach than just drilling strategies of fluency. In addition, you drive a good point that awareness should be spread EVERYWHERE to create support from all angles of society. I love that you are encouraging the spread of awareness in schools because that is a place many children who stutter have high levels of anxiety from the pressure of teacher expectations and bullying from peers. A supportive and friendly school environment can change the world for a child who stutters!

    Thank you for taking the time to write this paper and spread awareness. It has reminded me to bring this topic up more in daily life, to help rid the stigma of stuttering.

    Sincerely,
    Cierra

    • Hi Cierra,

      Thanks for your comment! I believe we should give them the opportunities to practice and to face challeging situations, first in the therapy room and then, in real life with other people, using a hierarchy, step by step.

      Exactly! strategies are not the most important part in therapy there is much more!

      Schools are such an important environment… they are like small societies under construction 😀 where children learn from each other and learn about tolerance and respect. Let´s make some space for awareness in schools!

      Regards,
      Cynthia

  29. So happy to see you writing for the ISAD Online Conference! And even better to read your call to SLPs to join in on spreading stuttering awareness. Always great to meet SLPs who “get it”.

    • Hi Dan,
      Thank you for reading! This is my first time here, so I am excited 😀
      There are SO MANY THINGS to do and AWARENESS is one of them!
      I am truly inspired by the stories and journeys of PWS! You are my best teachers!
      Regards,
      Cynthia

  30. Hi Cynthia,
    I absolutely love your focus on educating the population about stuttering. I think starting by educating families and close friends is s great first step. I personally have tried to discuss stuttering with my friends and they have noticed people in their life who stutter. Educating teachers about stuttering is absolutely crucial. Teachers play such a huge role in their student’s life’s. The teacher is able to be positive about stuttering and help the student not develop negative emotions about stuttering. I completely agree that as a future SLP it is part of our responsibility to raise awareness and educate people about stuttering. I really appreciate all of your insight and focus on spreading awareness.
    Thank you,

    • Hi Melissa,

      Thank you for your comment. That is incredible! We can make a big impact educating others and helping to remove the negative social stigma and misconceptions in our society.
      Teachers are our allies in awareness, we can educate them as well as the peers of the children who stutter to have better environments!
      So much to do!

      Regards,
      Cynthia

  31. Hi Cynthia,
    I think your message is an important one. Spreading awareness of any struggle that various groups face is the first step in them finding acceptance and understanding from other people. This is very true for people who stutter. PWS are faced with confusion and negative reactions from those around them constantly, and it is the job of the SLP and other people who work with the PWS to support them and help educate society. As a speech-language pathology graduate student, I try to keep those around me informed about this topic and others of importance. When you said that “[PWS’s stories] can teach humankind about respect, empathy, tolerance, courage, resilience and they are constantly bouncing back,” I really agreed with that. Sharing one’s differences with others in order to educate is extremely brave, and I only wish more people were able to do so. The world becomes a better place when differences are shared, understood, and celebrated.
    – Mackenzie

    • Hi Mackenzie,

      Thank you for your comment! The lives of people who stutter are very challenging and we can be their best allies! Let´s keep working for awareness as much as we can!
      We have so much to learn from them…

      Best wishes,
      Cynthia

  32. Hi Cynthia,
    Thank you for sharing your perspective! I couldn’t agree more about the importance of spreading awareness about stuttering. SLP’s are in a unique position to advocate for their clients who stutter and to contribute to society’s general understanding of stuttering. Unfortunately, stuttering is still often misunderstood, and mistreated. Awareness and education are both essential in our advocacy for those who stutter. While it may seem as though educating those who are in our immediate environment has a limited impact, we must remember the ripple effect. By educating one person, he or she can go on to educate another person, and so on and so forth.

    • Hi @klibertio,
      Thank you for your comment. As SLP´s we have so much to do and this month is a very special one to make it happen! However, we don´t have to wait until October, let´s make awareness every day!

      Regards,
      Cynthia

  33. Hi! Thank you so much for sharing your message. I am an SLP graduate student. I agree with you that awareness is such an important aspect of increasing empathy towards people who stutter. I will remember your words when I am an SLP as well!

    • Hi @kaylincierra,
      Thank you for your comment! Awareness is a very powerful word 🙂
      Together we can make a difference, we can help and change the stories of PWS!
      Best wishes,
      Cynthia

  34. Dear Cynthia,
    Thank you so much for your submission. I agree that people who stutter face challenges in their lives because of the negative feedback they receive, the myths they may hear, and the lack of understanding of the word they live in. There are many times in which stuttering is negatively portrayed in popular culture, adding to society’s negative view and lack of understanding. Additionally, the limited amount of credible information available to the general public regarding stuttering results in unawareness of what the “true facts” are. Due to this, I loved the part in which you mentioned how speech-language pathologists may play a role in heightening awareness, empathy, and tolerance in society. What a powerful and inspirational concept!
    An additional aspect to your paper that I found very interesting was your research findings. In your research, you found that the more children who stutter know about stuttering, the more positive attitudes may have. As a future speech language pathologist, I will be sure to consider your findings while working with students who stutter. Additionally, I will do my part in spreading awareness to my friends and family about stuttering. Thank again for your submission, what a wonderful read!
    Kind regards,
    Sofia Marinac

    • Hi Sofia,

      Thank you for your kind words! We have so much to learn from the journeys of PWS and so much to do as well!
      I am glad to know that my submission can help and motivate some future SLP´s around the world 🙂

      Greetings from Peru,
      Cynthia

  35. Cynthia, thank you for sharing your experience! I definitely agree that awareness and education are so important in creating a more accepting and empathetic community for people who stutter. As an SLP graduate student, I try to talk about the things I learn and educate my friends and family on topics that I believe deserve more attention. I think it is our responsibility as SLPs to share our knowledge and be an advocate for people who stutter. As you mentioned in the paper, I also hope that this will lead to creating a more positive environment for people who stutter.
    Best, Charlotte

    • Hi Charlotte,
      Thank you for your comment! Yes! we can help in so many ways… we just need some time and motivation 🙂
      Kind regards,
      Cynthia

  36. Hello Cynthia,

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your paper. Your opening statement about the power of words was really impactful. We truly can understand others’ experiences just by listening or reading their words, especially as SLPs. As SLPs who are treating persons who stutter, being a listening ear in order to understand their experiences and emotions is of great importance. In order to be able to successfully treat, we need to truly understand those we work with and their experiences, both good and bad. I also agree with your statement that education starts at home. The environment a person who stutters is in can really impact their stutter. Family and friends can have such a powerful role in a person who stutters life and the more educated they are and the more understanding and empathetic they are, the better. SLPs truly do have a responsibility of raising awareness about stuttering and I appreciate that you shared that in your paper.

    Sincerely,
    Ariana Arakelian

    • Hi Ariana,

      Thank you for your kind words. Words matter and we can learn about their experiences and journeys just by listening and understanding them.
      Together we can move forward! 🙂 Let´s spread awareness as much as we can!

      Regards,
      Cynthia

  37. Hi Cynthia,

    Wow, if everyone had your attitude about stuttering the world would be a better place for PWS. I’ve stuttered all my life and when the people around me have at least a basic understand of stuttering. It fosters a more comfortable and inclusive environment. I’ll do my part to educate others about stuttering.

    Semper Fidelis,

    Frederick Canteen

    • Hi Frederick,

      Thank you for your comment!
      From our places we can educate many people and make a difference for the present and future generations of PWS!

      Best wishes,
      Cynthia

  38. Hello Cynthia! As an SLP graduate student, I found your article to be very insightful and informative. You have highlighted some important advice that I will definitely apply to my practice as a future clinician. I think your message of emphasizing raising awareness about stuttering across all environments encountered by people who stutter is extremely important. I also thought that your point about holistically considering the person’s story and journey with their stuttering is essential in ensuring that we provide the understanding and empathy that is crucial for building trusting relationships with our clients.

    • Hi @coleengv,

      Thank you for your comment. We can make awareness in our families and with our friends 🙂 and in our social media, as well.
      PWS deserve to be heard and respect, and we can make it happen!

      Kind regards,
      Cynthia

  39. I know it’s past the ISAD, but couldn’t leave without telling you how important your work is. Sometimes teachers don’t think stuttering is a problem and won’t bring up the subject, while children won’t either. and these kids need every support they can get to manage school, class mates, teachers and all the challenges that come along. Your presence in school, and bringing an adult PWS into the class as well, can make all the difference. Thanks for all you do. <3

    Stay safe and keep them talking.

    Anita

    • Hi Anita,
      Thank you for your comment. As a SLP it is important to know that we can help creating a better environment for PWS, this is one of my biggest missions in life!!
      I feel grateful to know PWS around the world and to have the opportunity to learn from your journeys! <3

      Kind regards,
      Cynthia