Make Room For The Stuttering

Stuttering Well – Episode 21

Posted on: August 26, 2010

Episode 21 features Stephie Hirsh, M.A. CCC-SLP, who hails from Highland Park, Illinois. Stephie had been teaching 4th and 5th grades before deciding to return to graduate school to pursue a career as a SLP. She chose to pursue  speech language pathology after being inspired by the FRIENDS organization.

Stephie’s story is really one about “paying it forward”. She shares how profoundly impacted she was by meeting therapist Kristin Chmela when Stephie was just 16. Meeting Kristin was the first time Stephie had ever met another woman who stuttered. She was struck by how strong and confident and successful Ms. Chmela was and by how important it was/is to have strong women as role models in our lives.

I first met Stephie last year at Friends 2009 in Tampa, Florida. We only briefly talked then, but I was impressed with Stephie’s  confidence being a woman who stutters and a SLP. I got to talk with her more this year at Friends 2010 in Chicago. I wanted to find out more about what makes her so passionate about working with kids and teens who stutter.

Listen in as Stephie shares her story of finding her voice and wanting to help others do the same. Stephie also talks about what it was like going to her first self-help conference at 18, and meeting so many guys who stuttered. We also discuss acceptance and how important it is to find and embrace good therapy.

Stephie founded The Center for Communication & Fluency Therapy and has also been actively involved with Camp Speak Up, which is a stuttering camp for children and adolescents. She is a member of ASHA’s fluency special interest division (4), and the National Stuttering Association (NSA), as well as FRIENDS.

Credit for the clip “Echoed” goes to ccmixter, which provides podcast safe music under the creative commons license.

Feel free to leave comments or feedback for Stephie, and for Pam as well if you like!

6 Responses to "Stuttering Well – Episode 21"

I enjoyed this conversation! Its good to hear from a person who stutters who has had a good therapy experience and wants to pass that on to others.
And its nice to hear so many different perspectives on stuttering.

I really enjoyed this podcast. It is great to hear other women SLps who stutter. I agree that is so important to change one’s perception of stuttering. You are a great role model Stephanie and being a SLP and PWS, I so appreciate you sharing your story. Thanks Pam for having Stephanie on your podcast.
I remember the first time I heard Kristin Chmela talk. I really was amazed by her perspective on stuttering.

First, thanks for sharing, as always.
Everyone has a story – I am thrilled to be a part of this process as it unfolds the way it is. I truly feel this has become something quite special and I look forward to what seems to come so naturally as the chats continue.
I am looking forward to a conversation with another SLP who stutters – her story is different yet.

A friend of mine just told me about this site. It is a great idea. I just listened to episode 21 – Stephie’s story and found it very interesting. I too am a woman with an established professional career who has largely overcome stuttering. I’d like to see you do a profile a woman who either currently stutters or did stutter and who works in a professional or managerial capacity in an industry not related to speech.

Hmmm, well if you listen to some other episodes, you might find that. The whole point of this is to give woman who stutter – especially still stutter – an opportunity to tell their story and how they manage in their everyday life.
Episode 17 features a woman who is exploring stand-up comedy, among other things, and does quite well. The current episode, 22, features a woman who is a weather technician and was previously in the military.
Episode 16 features a woman from outside the US who has been involved in very high profile work in politics in her country, and she stutters very overtly. Also, episode 18 features a woman who stutters very openly and intends to pursue a career in mass media communications.
So I most definitlely get what you are saying and that is a huge part of why I started this – so we can see that stuttering does not define or limit us from satisfying careers that are non speech related.
I have two pending episodes – one features a journalist/writer, and another a high school senior, both with overt stuttering.
I myself stutter openly, and I am a high school career counselor.
I am looking to soon feature a woman who is completing her medical residency and stutters openly.
And I would be happy to include you as a guest as well.

I’m tuning into all your previous episodes, especially the ones featuring SLP’s who stutter, because listening to them share their stories and experiences provides me so much food for thought.

I couldn’t stop to ponder and smirk at Stephie’s comment, when she said that she can notice and point out to a client when they’re substituting a word or so because, being a person who stutters, she gets it!! How cool is that right?!

This is yet another superb and honestly shared episode!

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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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