Make Room For The Stuttering

Why Be Angry? – Episode 33

Posted on: November 5, 2010

Episode 33 features Sadia Khan, who hails from Brampton, Ontario, Canada, by way of Pakistan when she was just 3 years old.

Sadia is a Grade 3 teacher, which was a life-long dream. Teaching is  meaningful for Sadia, as she was told in high school that she should not be a teacher because of her stuttering. Her guidance counselor told her she would be a poor role model.

Listen in to this fascinating conversation about being a teacher who stutters despite having a very negative experience herself in school. Sadia shares about her fear of judgment and largely keeping her stuttering hidden from work colleagues. She shares how important it is for her today as a teacher to create a place of comfort and safety for all of her students.

We also talk about how angry she was with her dad for many years, and how she finally let go of that anger and forgave her dad. Sadia tells us about how she was naturally left-handed and her dad forced her to become right-handed. She thought maybe that trauma of having that change forced upon her was why she started stuttering.

Sadia has been involved with the Canadian Stuttering Association, and gave a speech about her journey with being a woman and teacher who stutters. She has also spoke on the radio about stuttering.

At the end, we have a great back and forth about learning how to build confidence as women who stutter.

As always, please feel free to leave comments for Sadia. Please tell her what a great job she did sharing her story. I think many teachers who stutter will be inspired by Sadia’s courage to share.

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

16 Responses to "Why Be Angry? – Episode 33"

Sadia, I loved the interview with Pam. Interesting about your father’s attitude about stuttering. I like his attitude. The teacher who told you not to teach is pretty appalling, but probably all of us who stutter know how that feels. I am sure you are an excellent teacher and will change your kid’s comfort levels in the classroom.

I just listened to the podcast with Sadia Khan. This lady deserves acknowledgment. She would be a marvelous example to many of us who stutter. She not only climbed the brick wall that many of us face in not doing what we really want to do, but she climbed down the other side, turned around and reduced it to rubble.
My admiration goes out to Sadia and those like her.

I can understand the pain of being told that you can’t be a good role model because you stutter. I have been in a similar situation as a speech pathologist who stutters. As you explained, educators should be encouraging students to follow their dreams not discouraging them. You are a wonderful role model and this was fascinating to listen to. Thank you.

Thankyou for the comments, I was really nervous during the interview but Pam made it very easy for me.

Hi Sadia,

I just listened to your podcast with Pam and it was wonderful. You truly are someone to look up too. I am a Nursery school teacher and i have had some of the same experiences as you. Feeling uncomfortable to talk to parents, coming in contact with other young children who stutter or have other speech dysfluencies etc.
Also, i am from Toronto and i heard you say that you have never met another women who stuttered..well i feel the same way. I know Jaan Pill as well, he has come to a few of the meetup engagements we have had here in Toronto.
I am struggling alot lately with my stutter..and just love to hear from other women who stutter and their stories.

I would love to chat with you again.

Hi Rebecca, its great to hear from another woman who feels the same way I do. Toronto, thats great, what a small world, we should exchange emails and numbers and talk


Hi Rebecca not sure if you received my last email but i will send it again, having trouble with this, I would love to chat with you we should exchange emails or numbers


I would like to say a few words about my amazing sister Sadia. I just listened to the podcast and wish that guidance counselor who told her she cannot make a good role model could be listening as well.
Sadia is someone who I look up to! She is truly an exceptional teacher and I always watch her teach and guide my own 2 children and wish that she could be their teacher. She is what every parent wants in a teacher for their child. She truly cares about all her children and has such a creative mind coming up with some of the most wonderful ideas and incentives to motivate her class. The students who leave her class will always remember Mrs. Khan all their life. The one teacher who truly cared and made a difference in their life. I know being her younger sister I ask her for advice all the time when it comes to school work and what I should do to assist my own children when they are struggling in school.
When I was younger I recall the days where I stood by her side as she handed out flyers in the mall for the purpose of practicing speaking to others and to overcome that fear of stuttering. I watched her stutter and struggle with words and I was even tempted to finish her sentence which I knew was the wrong thing to do. If we ordered at the drive-thru and she was driving, she would ask me to order instead because she knew she would stutter.
My sister today has grown into a confident successful woman who I am proud to say that she is my role model! Someone who I admire for her perserverence and positive attitude. That despite the challenges she faced and the negativity she encountered she never gave up. The difficulties she has overcome and especially continuing with her dream to become a teacher is inspiring! When I listen to her speak on the podcast, she has not only moved past a fear of speaking in public but she is articulate too! I am proud of you Sadia! Always have been and I know my 2 children wish that they could call you Mrs.Khan instead of just Aunt Sadia.:)
Love you lots Sadia! xoxoxo

Wow, what a wonderful, affirming and loving response about your sister. That makes me so happy to hear that someone’s sibling listens to these too.
In my family, we never talked about it – so I grew up thinking stuttering was bad and was meant to be hidden, and was a source of shame.
When I finally “came out” and chose to open up about my stuttering, finally, finally, finally, one of my sisters and I started talking about it. She told me she always wanted to, but didn’t, becasue I never talked about it.

So Rafia, I am so happy to read this comment. It is wonderful to have family acknowledge someone who stutters, and recognizes her gifts and talents far transcend the tiny place stuttering takes up in her life.

Pam (the hostess of these great dialogues with women)

I appreciate all the wonderful comments not only from you Pam but my sister, I was debating about telling them about this podcast but then did. I thought why not, it will be something they can hear and learn more about my struggles and what I still struggle thru everyday. My family is very supportive and I love them all very much.

I would like to say a few words about my amazing sister Sadia! I just listened to the podcast and wish that guidance counselor who told her many years ago she would not make a good role model could listen as well.
Sadia is someone I look up to. I watch her teach and guide my own 2 children and wish that she could be their teacher. She is what every parent wants in a teacher for their child. Someone who truly cares and she is soo absolutely creative with all her ideas to motivate her class. She provides incentives to her students and creates an environment where the child is not only learning but having fun as well. I know that when these children move on they will always remember Mrs. Khan as that one teacher who has left a positive impression on their life.
I recall the days when I stood by her side as she handed out flyers in the mall for the purpose of practicing her speaking and watched her struggle with the words. I was even tempted to finish he sentence for her and I knew that was the wrong thing to do. If we ordered at the drive-thru and she was driving, she would ask me to order out of a fear of stuttering.
I know my sister has come a long way and today I am proud to say that she is a role model for me! She is to be admired for her courage to stay positive despite all the negativity she encountered. When she speaks she not only is confident but articulate too! Her story of perserverence and determination to continue her passion and dream of becoming a teacher is inspiring! I know my 2 kids would love to call her Mrs. Khan instead of just Aunt Sadia. 🙂
I am so proud of you Sadia!! Love you lots. xoxoxo

sorry for leaving the two comments. After posting the first I never saw my comment so I thought it didn’t post. I wrote the second and now see my first.

No problem! I have the blog set so that I have to approve every comment, to avoid spam (people try to write all kinds of crazy stuff on blogs). I was away fromthe computer for several hours this morning, thats why.
But the other comemnt was so great too, it can’t hurt to have them both. Sadia sure is lucky to have you as a supporter!

Thank you Pam. 🙂

It was the same for many years in our family too. Our family never really talked about it openly and I guess maybe that is why we always tried to finish Sadia’s sentences. We thought we were protecting her so others would not make fun.
Despite all that, Sadia was a very determined individual. I am certain she can only describe what she truly went through growing up. However, I see a remarkable strong woman who also has an amazing husband, my wonderful brother-in-law who is very supportive and stands by her side!

It was very nice listening to the podcast Pam. You are a wonderful hostess.

Thanks Rafia. When I first started out doing these podcasts, I was concerned with how I sounded – I stutter more over the phone or skype. I felt a little self-conscious, still do sometimes when I hear myself on one of my “p-p-p-p” words. BUT, I have relaxed and grown into the role. I feel it is so important to offer this space for women to share these stories. I have a feeling there are lots of listeners benefitting from hearing Sadia and others.
Thanks for the compliment! Really need to hear feedback once in a while!

Thanks Rafia, you are giving me too much credit. I am still struggling daily and today was not a good day. I had parent teacher interviews and yesterday at the interviews was fine but today was not, just stumbling left and right and didnt feel good afterwards. Anways, i know I have lots of support from you and the rest of the family, I have come a long way and need to remember to stop criticizing myself constantly, thats hard.


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