I am not a Stutterer – Ruth Osornio

About the Author:

Ruth Osornio is a recent Summa Cum Laude graduate from California State University, Fullerton, with a Bachelors of the Arts in Communicative Disorders. She currently holds her SLPA License and is an aspiring SLP and University Professor. She has a fervent desire to interact more with the stuttering community and was inspired to create this poem on the basis of her childhood friends who stutter and her 2-year long University Honors Research Project on gender biases and stuttering. When Ruth does not have her head in the books, she enjoys singing and voice-acting. She is especially fascinated by the phenomenon of how singing affects stuttering.

Introductory Statement

The change I wish to see is a world where people who stutter are being heard. A world where their voices matter and people stop to take the time to listen. A world where people who stutter find strength within themselves to speak their mind. A world where people who do not stutter treat people who do stutter with the dignity they deserve.


I Am Not a Stutterer

I am not a stutterer.

I am a person who stutters.

My voice is trapped within my body, but

there is fire burning bright inside.

Just because my speech isn’t fluid doesn’t mean I’m not worth a try.

I see your face. I watch reaction.

I see a snicker. I see dissatisfaction. 

There is beauty within if you would just listen.

The time it takes to hear me out is worth the treasure that lies within.

When I sing, you listen as the melodies fill my lungs and free my speech.

When my song is done and I start to talk,

I look up but no one is here to flock. 

Why must it only be a melody in which I sing that pierces your heart?

Why must my soul cry in song, but once done no one finds that I belong? 

Listen please. Listen now.

 I would even shout if it changed the fluidity.

But alas, my voice is left without a tone.

I am lost within my humanity. 

Yet, I dream of a world in which this is not so. 

Where I speak and others listen. 

But…it starts with me to create a fire.

A small spark to set the Earth ablaze.

How can society change without me changing first?

Hence, I will not hold my tongue.

Whether song or speech there is beauty within.

So, listen to my beautiful fire.


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I am not a Stutterer – Ruth Osornio — 29 Comments

  1. Beautiful poem! You have a way with words.
    You are a wonderful ally to the stuttering community and we are glad to hold hands with you.


  2. Ruth,
    Your poem is beautiful! The line that really resonanted with me was “How can society change without me changing first? Hence, I will not hold my tongue.” There is so much power behind that line. THank you for sharing!!

    • Hi Brittany,

      Thank you so much! That is one of my favorite lines too since it is true how can we expect other people to accept who we are unless we accept our true authentic selves 🙂

  3. This is such a beautiful poem! Every line has their own powerful meaning and I just really appreciate this Poem so much! You are incredibly beautiful and thank you so much for sharing this to us!

  4. This poem is so beautiful and empowering! I love the line that says “Whether song or speech there is beauty within.” Very touching and powerful. Your wording really carries so much inspiration. Thank you!

  5. Hey Ruth! Such a wonderful poem, and perfectly to the point, surprisingly coming from a person who does not stutter. Thank you for this great piece. I am glad to have known you.

  6. Hi Ruth, thank you so much for sharing this beautiful poem. Your words are so impactful. I’m reaching out as a fellow Titan, in my second year as a COMD post baccalaureate student at CSUF!

    I loved learning in your “About the Author” section that you enjoy singing and voice-acting, and you’re interested in how singing affects stuttering. I’m curious, did you do any research on this during your time at CSUF? Have you participated in any classes or extended education to learn more about this phenomenon? It sounds so interesting to learn more about.

    Thanks in advance for your time and thoughts!


    • Hi Bree,

      That is so awesome! I love CSUF 🙂 I was an Honor Scholar, so it was mandatory for us to design and conduct a senior honors research project. However professors such Dr. Kim and Dr. Tsao (who was my mentor) usually have research studies to participate in you just have to ask and see what they say 🙂 If you have any further questions my Instagram is princessruthella. As far as the singing aspect I learned about it from one of my fellow Honor Scholar’s projects. I believe it is due to a different part of the brain being used. They’ll talk about this more in your fluency class. One of my friends who stutters is an amazing singer, but she only stutters during a conversation and not on stage.

  7. Hi Ruth! Wow! This poem is so powerful! When writing this, was it therapeutic? I bet it felt very freeing! I wish the people around us in our everyday lives would be more accepting of our differences rather than jumping to judgement. Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem!

    • Hi George,

      I am actually not a person who stutters, but I have friends who do and I’m a SLPA. One of my research participants reached out to me to submit a piece for this conference and so I did once she approved of my final draft. As a person who doesn’t stutter, I wish more people were accepting and less judgmental, but it does seem like the world is changing for the better in terms of how we treat one another:)

  8. Yes – your conclusion is the ultimate empowering message to anyone who holds back from speaking – just speak however you speak! Hiding a difference or variation is actually fuelling stigma. Use the fire within you to speak and blast stigma into oblivion!

  9. Hi Ruth,

    What a beautiful poem! The lines that struck out to me the most were “There is beauty within if you would just listen.” and “The time it takes to hear me out is worth the treasure that lies within.” This poem has a powerful message, thank you for sharing!


  10. Hi Ruth!

    Fellow Titan here! What a beautiful poem to read. I am currently in my last semester studying COMD and will be starting my Master’s program in the spring! The first two lines of this poem are so powerful.
    What do you think is the best way as future clinicians to help empower PWS during therapy? (the emotional aspect of it)

    Suzanne Perez

    • Hi Suzanne,

      Congratulations! The best way for us as clinicians to empower PWS is to not see stuttering as a defect to fix. For the most part stuttering is not curable and therefore it’s our job to help them with tips and tricks for fluency shaping, but we need to help them realize it’s OK to stutter and make them feel comfortable and confident even when they stutter! When I interviewed PWS for my research the SLPs didn’t treat them like humans and just saw them as data points. That is why I noted “I am not a stutterer” and put that “I am a person who stutters.” The person (human) part is what matters most when we do therapy.

  11. Hi Ruth,

    I am currently a graduate student studying speech-language pathology. I also enjoy learning about the stuttering community. I thought your poem was well written and had an empowering message. A line that really stuck out to me was “Why must my soul cry in song, but once done no one finds that I belong?” Thank you for sharing!

  12. Hi Ruth!

    I currently am a Titan here at CSUF! I loved reading your poem, it’s inspiring and beautiful. As a future SLP I hope our paths cross, your poem is truly inspiring.

  13. Hi Ruth!
    Wow! What a beautifully written poem. As an SLP graduate student I find it extremely important to spread awareness about stuttering and what PWS go through with unaware members of society. Thank you for sharing your inspiring words.

    • Hi Lauren,

      Thank you so much for your kind feedback! Spreading awareness has many forms and artistic expressions are one of my favorite ways to spread a message.

  14. Hi Ruth!
    This is a beautiful poem. I love how you used your creativity and inspiring words to spread awareness about such an important topic. Thank you so much for sharing!

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