Make Room For The Stuttering

We Can Achieve Anything – Episode 27

Posted on: September 26, 2010

Episode 27 features Aileen, who hails from Long Island, New York. Aileen is a senior in high school and already finding it unbelievable that she will be heading off to college next year.

Aileen is a member of Friends and an active mentor for Friends through the Stepping Up program. She has done classroom presentations and compiled ideas for other kids about talking openly about stuttering.

I had the chance to hear Aileen share part of her story at the Friends Convention held this past summer in Chicago. I was so impressed with her willingness to help others by sharing her personal journey. I was honored when Aileen accepted my invitation to share her story with us.

Listen in as we chat about positive therapy, moving from embarrassment to acceptance and the impact  Friends has had on her perspective and attitude. Aileen has tremendous insight into her stuttering and its place in her life already!

I noticed in my dialogue with Aileen that I used a lot of filler words – lots of “uhms” and “like”, which I was not comfortable with! In my listen-back, it seemed I was trying to avoid more stuttering. Wonder why?

Credit for the podcast safe music clip “Echoed” goes to ccMixter.

As always, please feel free to leave comments and especially let Aileen know what a great job she did!

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10 Responses to "We Can Achieve Anything – Episode 27"

Hi Aileen- I am a speech pathologist who stutters who lives on LI, NY. I hope you become a SLP. I would have never gone on a podcast at your age. I really admire your courage. I wish you the best of luck in the future and really enjoyed listening to you.

Hi Lori! Thanks so much for your feedback. I really do hope to pursue speech because it has such a presence in my life. Only recently have I been truly comfortable to do these sort of putting my word out things, and half the time I just push myself to do it. I hope I get to meet you at a Friends convention or somewhere down the line.

Having listened again to this episode, with a bit more time, I really 100% agree with Pam’s idea that Aileen should be a mentor to young people who stuter. And I’m sure she will take important positions in the stuttering community very soon.

Pam, I did not have the impression that you were using filling words at all. Maybe you are a bit too critical of yourself!

If I may take this opportunity to ask a question to Aileen, I’d very much like to know whether she thinks that her very mature ideas on stuttering/acceptance were the consequence of her involvement in organisations such as Friends, or if she already had this mindset before and this was somehow enhanced by Friends.

One final comment: I found it really very touching and brave that Aileen said that name of her therapist, despite it being very difficult to pronounce. I am not a therapist, but I think if I were I would find this extremely rewarding.

Thank you, Burt, for your belief in me. I like to have an active role in mentoring or just in the stuttering community in general because I feel like everyone can learn from everyone else, and I like to give back to what has helped me so much. I think that my ideas have been a product of both Friends and my speech therapist. My speech therapist and I have been working on those ideas for quite some time, and being a part of Friends has solidified them for me. For me, everything is a work in progress.

Hey Aileen,
Great episode, it is great that you love math, me I have a strong aversion to it lol. I am 21 years old and when I was 17 yrs. old I could have never done that, I couldn’t even do that now. I think you should follow your dreams whatever that might be. 🙂

hi aileen, its your brother jake. Dad and i just finished listening and i want to say how great you did. you are a great older sister to have as a role modle for stuttering

What an excellent job you have done sharing your story! You are an inspiration to many including myself. We are so proud of you. Keep getting your words out there…you have a powerful message.

[…] their stories here, which IS inspiration and connection. If you want to hear inspiration, listen to Aileen and […]

What an insight! Best wishes as you continue to impact others’ lives, Aileen. People like her give me hope for the future of our world. Thank you for putting this together, Pam (and no worries on the filler words– I don’t think they were really noticeable)! 🙂

… Oh, and of course, GO LONG ISLAND, REPRESENT. 🙂

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2017. 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 2017.