Stuttering Difficulties

Hello!

I was wondering, what is the hardest thing about having a stutter? Also, what barriers have you personally had to overcome as a person with a stutter? Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you!

  • Abbey Higginbotham

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Stuttering Difficulties — 1 Comment

  1. Hi Abbey and thank you for your question.

    To me the hardest thing are people’s reactions to my stutter and the misconceptions. There are still so many people who think stuttering is something that needs to be fixed, that we’re less intelligent, nervous or even contagious! We meet people who want to “help” by giving us suggestions like “you don’t have to be nervous, just take a deep breath”, filling our words or interrupting us when we finally get a word in. And that’s why this online conference, and the many activities around the world, exist: to educate.

    Personally I also find it frustrating that I stutter sometimes, but not in all situations. I can sing, talk to a baby or a pet, record myself, and even stand on stage or in front of the European Parliament, and not stutter one word. And the next second I do stutter. I’ve spoken to several people with other disabilities, such as people who are blind and who also stutter. They say that they are rather blind than stutter, as blindness is constant. (And nobody tells them they need to fix it. 😉 )

    Stuttering has had a huge impact in my life. It wasn’t accepted at home, nor at school, I was bullied severely and I was told I was a hopeless case and that I shouldn’t stutter, shouldn’t speak in public, would never have my own family, and to take a silent job. When you hear this year after year, you start believing it. I was quiet, I tried to be the “good girl”, the “tough girl” and I even tried to commit suicide.

    But now the good part. 🙂 My father got me a summer job, and they kept me because they saw my work. I started to open up and got a boyfriend who saw the me behind the stutter. But the major breakthrough was finding the stuttering community. Knowing I was not alone. That made me decide to never again shut up, and to become a stuttering activist, so that others wouldn’t have to wait for 27 years (!) to find out they were not alone. I spoke to children, teachers, politicians and the media. But I still had my fear of school, so I went back to school. This time I not only had positive reactions, they gave me a job. As a teacher. 🙂

    I don’t know if you’re an SLP (or student) or a PWS yourself, but for me speech techniques to get out of a block is one part of therapy, but also working on your self-love. Because that’s really important to know you’re ok, no matter how you speak. That the choice of speaking more fluent is yours and yours only, not anyone else’s, as there’s nothing wrong with stuttering. We just need more time to speak. And from my story it shows that facing your fears and going for your dreams will help your family member to kick down hurdles. Yes, it will be hard, and you might get damaged along the way. But just like learning to walk or to ride a bike, you might fall, you might hurt yourself, but keep getting up and keep focusing on your goals and dreams and don’t let stuttering define you, as you’re so much more. It’s something we do, not good, not bad, it just IS. It’s something that’s not our fault, so no need to feel ashamed.

    Happy ISAD and keep (them) talking

    Anita

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