Make Room For The Stuttering

Posts Tagged ‘National Stuttering Association

PamEpisode 131 features Vanna Nicks, who hails from Piedmont, California. Vanna is a busy mother of two and also works full-time as a speech pathologist in a trauma center at an acute hospital in Oakland.

Vanna always wanted to be a SLP but didn’t have the confidence. She moved to Washington DC and found Vivian Sisskin’s avoidance reduction therapy group. There, she found the self-confidence to go back to school to become a SLP.

Vanna learned through avoidance reduction that she had the right to speak whenever she wanted and that she became more fluent when she stuttered openly. She learned to be truly honest with her self and others.

Listen in as we discuss advertising, workplace stuttering, being approachable, developing rich relationships and so much more.

The podcast safe music clip used in today’s episode is credited to ccMixter.

Producer note: As I played back this episode, there are parts where it sounds like I spoke over Vanna. I certainly didn’t mean to and I don’t remember doing that when we spoke. I wondered (aloud) if it was an audio glitch that I don’t know how to correct. Maybe – maybe not. Either way, enjoy the episode. :)

There’s been a couple of good pieces by women recently related to being honest with our speech and our stuttering. I posted Erin Schick’s brilliant poem, Honest Speech, last month.

And today, Katherine Preston has a great piece, Speaking Honestly, published in The Huffington Post.

Both authors are women who stutter and speak to the importance of being authentic with our stuttering. Erin talks about speaking fluently when she stutters and Katherine talks about liking being remembered for her stuttering.

Both of these pieces resonate with me, as I did a speech on Being Memorable at the National Stuttering Association annual conference in D.C. in July and again for my 2014 ISAD contribution.

Stuttering is a part of me. For years, I tried to hide it, push it away, deny it. I was ashamed of being associated with stuttering, for I had been conditioned to believe that stuttering was bad and that I deserved the sometimes negative reactions I received from society.

But something changed. I stopped trying to hide it, I began stuttering openly and honestly, I talked about stuttering and began to accept that some people were going to associate me with stuttering. And, THAT’S OK. It’s a part of me. It’s who I am. It’s good to be remembered in today’s world. I rather like having people remember my name.

Just yesterday I was at a school doing some presentations and someone came up to me and said, “I remember you. I took an excellent bullying class from you several years ago and you talked about stuttering. And you came to our school and did a talk on stuttering. It’s so good to see you again. You’re a great speaker.”

That made me feel good, and proud and happy that she remembered me.

Being honest with our speech and with ourselves is so much easier than hiding and pretending to be someone we’re not. I’m sure happy I just let my stuttering hang out these days.

 

The following is my submission for the 2014 International Stuttering Awareness Day on-line conference, which runs from Oct.1 – Oct. 22 each year.

This is a reprisal of a talk I did at the 2014 NSA conference in Washington DC in July.

I was worried about making myself so vulnerable by submitting a video, but it has been favorably accepted, judging by the many great comments the video has received, many from SLP graduate students.

What do you think? Can our stuttering make us memorable?

PamEpisode 127 features return guest Annie Bradberry who hails from Corona, California. Annie is the Executive Director of a non-profit physical fitness program for kids in schools called The 100 Mile Club.

Annie has been involved in the stuttering community for her entire adult life. She is the former Executive Director of the National Stuttering Association and is a current Stutter Social Hangout host.

In today’s conversation, we chat about the recent annual NSA conference and why Annie keeps going back. We discuss contributions to the stuttering community, increased confidence and being at our personal best.

We also talk about the great impact of being Stutter Social hosts, and how our bi-weekly hosting is now something we both very much look forward to. Annie talks about the power of social media and people meeting other people who stutter for the first time in video hangouts. We also discuss the added benefit of meeting people in person at the annual NSA conference that we’ve come to know through the hangouts.

The podcast safe music used in today’s episode is credited to ccMixter.

 

PamEpisode 124 features Natalie Bragan who hails from Fairfield, Maine. Natalie works for the state of Maine as a managing accountant. She is also a member of the Maine Chapter of the NSA.

Natalie recently returned from her first National Stuttering Association conference. She discusses what it was like, describing the gamut of emotions from overwhelming to empowering.

Listen in as we also discuss covert stuttering, the road to confidence and acceptance and stuttering more in intimate situations. Natalie also shares about her home schooling experience, which gave her many opportunities to be covert.

This was a great conversation and a chance to relive conference moments through the eyes of a first time attendee. Feel free to leave comments or ask questions, as feedback is a gift.

The podcast safe music used in this episode is credited to ccMixter.

PamEpisode 123 features Carmen Shapiro, who hails from Downington, PA. Carmen is originally from Spain and has been in the US for 23 years.

She works as a project manager in an IT department of a pharmaceutical company. She is also the new leader of the Philadelphia NSA Chapter, since November 2013.

Carmen recently returned from her first conference of the National Stuttering Association and we discuss her experience and reflections. She shares how welcome she felt at the conference and how that made her feel more confident about introducing herself to so many people.

We also spend a good amount of time discussing disclosure and why it can be so hard to do. Carmen opens up to her fears and we talk about some different ways to disclose.

This was a wonderful and insightful conversation. Feel free to leave comments or ask questions or just let Carmen know what a great job she did.

The podcast safe music used in this episode is credited to ccMixter.

No words needed for this one – watch this truly inspiring video of a dad talking about what he learned at the recent National Stuttering Association 2014 conference.


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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2014.
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