Make Room For The Stuttering

Defining Me

Posted on: April 1, 2009

A good friend and supporter commented on yesterday’s post, about why some people are so hung up on fluency and why some may see no redeeming value in stuttering. He said that it appears that “people seem to think that stuttering has (negatively) defined them as it relates to their lives. They fail to see that they can define stuttering (as it relates to their lives)”.

Kudos to Greg for pointing this out and sharing. There is tremendous power in sharing our feelings and experiences with each other.

I really liked Greg’s perspective and gave it some serious thought. I think that’s what I have been doing lately – choosing to define my stuttering and how it exists with me in my life. For it indeed exists with me. I have a relationship with stuttering the same way I have a relationship with my partner.

I do not let stuttering define me. I don’t think stuttering is the first thing people think of when they think of me. I like to think that other words come to mind first, like: creative, driven, focused and organized. I am not sure people would even use stuttering as a way to describe me. I have heard people at school describe me to a student who is looking for me. Usually, I hear, “oh, she’s the one with the reddish hair and glasses”. I have never heard someone say, “she’s the one who stutters”.

I am more than my stuttering. My “whole” is indeed the sum of my parts, and I do have many parts. I have the sensitive, spiritual, reflective side. I have the intense, workaholic, driven side. And I have the creative, artistic, risk-taking side that likes to have fun. I have talents and gifts, and worries and fears. Pretty much like any one else. And I also happen to stutter. That is part of me, the whole person who thinks and feels and breathes just like everyone else.

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4 Responses to "Defining Me"

What? When did I get demoted to “a reader” ? 🙂

Oh my, correction pending!

Hi Pamm,

I must confess to being very ignorant regarding stuttering. Being asked to to write the guest article on the Stuttering Hub got me reading around the subject. With dyslexia there is an identiied cluster of ‘symptoms’. A map, if you like, of a type of mental processing. (I put the word ‘symptoms’ in quote marks, because I do not accept dyslexia to be a disability.)

What I’d be really interested to know – and haven’t yet found in my reading – is whether there is a similar known cluster of attributes correlated to stuttering.

For example – dyslexia has often been identiied with creativity. I would guess you are a very creative person. Is there any established general corrolation?

Many thanks for your kind comments on my blog.

Rod

Rod,

I am not a Speech Pathologist or researcher, but happen to think I know a lot about stuttering due to my 40+ years experience.

The main components of stuttering (in my case and others) is involuntary disruption in forward moving speech. This can be manifested by word or syllable repititions, hesitations, or prolongations. Some people have sound stoppages or blocks as their primary component of stuttering.

Because of the propensity of some stutters to hide thier stuttering, as I did for many years, I think some of the “byproducts” include great vocabulary – due to word switching-strong writing skills; patience, compassion and increased tolerance.

Perhaps dyslexics and stutterers share more in common than we think. Thanks for reading, and I hope you catch some of my other posts. I will check in on you as well, as I work with kids with a variety of learning disorders, so having adult insight is helpful!

Pam

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