Question to PWS

hello, my name is Dania Jawad and I am currently in my undergrad to becoming an SLP and as a future SLP, I wanted to ask if it’s possible to share if there are things that you would want people who do not stutter to be mindful of of about and what things can help you feel confident and comfortable when speaking to peers or to an SLP that some might not think of? second do you think it is important to educate students at a young age about stuttering what type of things do you think is important to discuss?

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Question to PWS — 1 Comment

  1. Hi Dania and thank you for your important question. Where do I start. 😉

    I want people to not treat me differently, just be respectful. And that includes not filling in my words, not interrupting me, not looking away and not give me “advice” like “you don’t need to be nervous, just take a deep breath”. Firstly I can both talk and breath, secondly you don’t stutter, thirdly if it were that easy don’t you think I’ve tried that a long time ago? And if you’d see a person in a wheelchair, would you tell this person to push himself up and take a step with his right foot and than his left foot? Instead, ask me about stuttering. Ask me what would help me. And I might ask you to give me some space to reply, for people talk so fast, it sometimes is hard to jump into a conversation. To not have the music so loud, as I stutter more when there are distractions. But most of all: ASK, don’t assume, as we all are different. What helps me, might be the opposite to another PWS.

    Also don’t applaud my fluency, as I might feel that as fluency is good, stuttering is not good. It might tell me to stop talking to not risk people’s judgement, and turn me into a covert stutterer, instead of a person who stutters who feels free to express myself no matter what. As my listener can increase or decrease my stutter, its most important role is to make me like to talk to you. To tell you about my day at school, or tell you that joke, even if you already know what’s coming. Focus on what I’m saying instead of how I’m speaking. See my abilities, my strength, and help me to see these on days when my stutter is covering up my self-acceptance.

    And that goes for my SLP as well. Make me want to talk. Make me feel proud to talk, no matter how it sounds. And listen. I might come for ways to get through my blocks, but maybe to get help for my big brother who neever lets me speak. Don’t follow the textbook, but listen to my needs, as they might be in a direction that’s not in the book. Show me mindfulness, yoga, singing, presentation techniques, whatever stimulates me to work on myself, whether that includes my speech or not. For the better I feel, the better I speak, both with and without speech techniques. And remember that you have the expertise on techniques, and I am en expert on my stutter. So let’s work together. 🙂

    And yes, make stuttering normal. Talk about stuttering as something that’s not right or wrong, just something that IS. Something we do, not something we ARE. (So avoid words like “bumpy speech”, but call it as it is, stuttering, to undramatize the word stuttering. Kids, and even adults, have a hard time understanding what stuttering is, how it feels and why it sometimes appears and sometimes not. So help the CWS, the class and the teachers to understand, so that the elephant is out of the room. If people know more about it and learn this is as normal as a person with glasses or a hearing aid, they will feel free to talk about it, ask if they can help, or simply just accept it and move on.

    So please use the ISAD to educate. Use the International Day of People With Disabilities, 3 Dec, to have events in schools, and this time not just putting kids in a wheelchair, but to let them try out the DAF, as that will give them a sense of confusion and might even make them stutter (I was very popular letting them try my DAF 🙂 ) If they are older, let them put golf balls in their mouth and try to talk. Or let them talk and interrupt them all the time. And try to get clients to talk for themselves, wear funny buttons about stuttering (see stutteringiscool.com), and make sure the school has material on stuttering, as they often say they “already know”, but know nothing, as they themselves don’t talk to the student and ask.

    In short, make us talk. 🙂

    Happy ISAD

    Anita

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