Make Room For The Stuttering

Doing The Work

Posted on: August 4, 2010

I have been having this back and forth email discussion with someone who thinks that I should continue to do work on my stuttering. I have not been involved in any formal support or therapy for about six months.

Informally, I have been chatting with women who stutter at least weekly for the last three months. This is my therapy right now. I can stutter freely with others who understand me and I get to talk about feelings as well.

Is there some other type of work I should be doing? Is my stuttering getting worse? I don’t think it is, and I feel like I have a healthy and positive attitude right now. OK, it is summer and I am not as engaged in speaking situations as I am doing the school year. But no one has said to me, “Geez, you’re stuttering is getting out of hand. Maybe you should be working on it.”

The person who thinks I should continue to “do the work” hasn’t seen or talked to me in six months. She doesn’t stutter. I don’t know if she listens to my podcasts. I doubt it, but you never know.

I think living with stuttering and managing it every day and not letting it interfere with the choices I make IS doing the work.

What do you think?

9 Responses to "Doing The Work"

Sounds like she is trying to be helpful, but doesn’t know you or stuttering well enough to actually be helpful. I think the work you’ve done lately (talking comfortably in public, helping others do the same and educating the fluent population) is more useful than taking unproven therapies with unrealistic goals to change just yourself. You’re active in many communities and expanding your life.

I agree with you. “Not letting stuttering interfere with the choices I make IS doing the work.” I work on that everyday, whether it’s saying what I want even though I will block or calling myself to make my own hair appointment. Not letting your stuttering make your decisions for you.

and I think it means what your friend means by “work on your speech.” Is she referring to becoming more fluent or working on becoming a more effective communicator?

I think I already am a good communicator, so maybe she does think I should work more on fluency, which I don’t want to do. That’s a choice as well.
Thank you Sarah for thinking about this.
And Crickett, I do think I am expanding my life and pushing way out of my comfort zone – a lot.

Hi Pam,
If you don’t feel the need to “work” on your stutter, then you don’t have to. You’re of legal age and sound mind to make that decision for your own bad self! To me, your stutter is mild and doesn’t seem to be standing in the way of anything you want to do. Is this person wanting to profit from your “work”, e.g. charge you for it?

I feel really irritated by people (whether they stutter themselves or not) who tell PWS that they ought to work on their stutter. This has to be a personal choice. Also there is a lot of power in acceptance and that may mean actually stuttering more for a covert stutterer. Pam you are a fabulous woman. You do what you want to do. What everyone else thinks is what they think, but you don’t have listen to them if it is not right for you.

Great post and great topic.
I think that if working on fluency was so easy,so this person is right ,why not working on fluency?
But we know that any stuttering treatment is a long and hard process for most stutterers,
and you don’t know for sure what will be the final result.
I think that the people that say such things “why you don’t working on your fluency?”
,just don’t understand this complicated process.
So i know that “just work on your fluency”-is very tempting,but you need to consider weather you are unhappy with your speech,
and if you want to change it and pay the hard price.
For me it was easy question ,because i didn’t do anything and i avoided so much because of stuttering, and i look any way to change it.
But for others it may be harder!

Hi Pam,
You have good fluency (my opinion).
No doubt you have striven to improve the stammering over the years and that effort has resulted in improvements.
And your skills on the podcast interviews show a warmth and fun which makes it good to have a conversation with you (I assume this from listening to your podcasts).

Nobody is perfect. Perfection is the enemy of the good.

A+ would read again

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