Make Room For The Stuttering

Should I Have Said Something?

Posted on: October 16, 2009

Earlier in the week, I had to meet with a student and the assistant principal regarding a fairly serious rules infraction the kid had. I had taken a statement earlier from the other student involved. During the statement taking, it was just me and the student and I was mostly fluent.

In the assistant principal’s office, she sat behind her desk and I sat fairly close to the young man. He was being cooperative and respectful. I think he was in a little bit of shock that the other student had actually “told on him.” He may have thought he was going to get away with it.

Anyway, while talking, I was making good eye contact and the kid was acknowledging that he understood what he did was inappropriate and what the consequences would be if the infraction persisted.

Towards the end of the conversation, I said something that I blocked very hard on.I don’t remember the word, but it began with k, and came out, “k-k-k-k-k-k-k, then the word”. It was a very “dragged” block, but I was able to finish the word. I then finished my thoughts, and had a couple of minor repetitions there as well.

The assistant principal knows I stutter, but this kid didn’t. It was the first time this kid and I had interacted. He didn’t say anything when I blocked, but a look of surprise washed over his face, and he looked like he was trying to figure out what was going on.

I didn’t say anything. I didn’t acknowledge that what had happened was stuttering. I felt slightly self-conscious and uncomfortable, but I just let the moment pass. I felt that was OK to do.

Soon after, we dismissed the kid and had him return to class. The assistant principal didn’t say anything to me about the stuttering moment either.

But then I had second thoughts. Should I have said something after the block? Would it have helped educate the kid? Would I have felt less self-conscious? What would you have done?

Has this ever happened to you, and you chose not to acknowledge the moment?

2 Responses to "Should I Have Said Something?"

I think you did the right thing in this situation. If you and this kid need to speak again, that would be a good time to bring it up. before you stutter. I am sure the focus needed to be kept very much on him.

Hi Pam;
I can totally relate. I think that the word “should” is a very strong word, and can conjure up guilt. I kind of agree with what Jamie said. This situation was about the student not about the stutter.
There are many times when I don’t say anything. I don’t want to feel like I should or have to, because this will just increas the pressure making things more difficult…When I disclose or talk about stuttering after a momment of stuttering I want it to relate to the momment at hand, or the discussion in some way. Other wise I feel that I am taking away from what is being discussed and making it about me and what I need when the focus should be on something else.

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2022. 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 2022.
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