What are the biggest challenges that stuttering has presented to you and how have you overcome them?

I have a younger family member who stutters and whom has received speech therapy for a few years now. I would love to know how stuttering has impacted your life and steps taken to overcome any possible challenges. Thank you!

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What are the biggest challenges that stuttering has presented to you and how have you overcome them? — 2 Comments

  1. Hi Serena. Thank you for your question.

    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’m happy your family member is in therapy, as it’s good to know some techniques to get out of a block, and I hope the therapy includes 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.

    And for you surrounding him/her, listen, wait, respect, support. Create speaking situations where there are “holes” to jump in. Don’t interrupt, don’t fill in words, don’t give “advice” like “calm down and take a deep breath”, as that only shifts the focus from WHAT s/he is trying to say, to HOW.

    But most of all, show him/her the way to the nearest stuttering group. To know you’re not alone and to be able to share experiences and emotions, and to get support, makes all the difference. And nowadays there’s so much online as well!

    But from your question it shows how great a friend you are to this person. 🙂

    Happy ISAD and keep them talking

    Anita

  2. Hi Anita,
    Thank you for sharing your story with me, it left me in awe. You are such an inspiration and I aspire to make a difference such as you. I am so happy to know that you have overcome those obstacles that you faced with great persistence and now are an activist for stuttering. It sets an example for other PWS and people that there is support and hope for them, even when it may feel like there is not. Thank you so much for your advice on how I can best help my cousin. The information will also be very useful throughout my career as I hope to become an SLP. I wish you the best of luck in all that you do.

    Kingest Regards,
    Serena 🙂

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