Make Room For The Stuttering

He Too Will Have A Voice

Posted on: January 20, 2011

I got this letter from a gentleman who read the print newspaper article I had written about The Kings’s Speech movie. I was surprised to hear from someone in Pennsylvania, as I did not know my article had been printed outside of the Albany NY area.

I share this to show that we have no way of knowing that what we do can impact others. And also how touched I was to learn he has a three-year old grandson in therapy for stuttering.

Dear Pam:

The piece that you wrote for the Albany Times Union, “The King’s Speech” Puts Spotlight on Misunderstood Disability: Stuttering, appeared in our local paper, The Sunday News in Lancaster, PA. It caught my attention because I am a stutterer. It brought back some old feelings from the days of my struggle with my speech. I first became aware of my “handicap” when I was 12 and in sixth grade.

Jumping ahead to Penn State at 19, my sophomore year, I met a fellow stutterer in Speech 101, a required course. He introduced me to the Speech Clinic at PSU. I attended therapy sessions through my senior year. The “graduation” effort was to address a large class of students on a topic I had chosen. It was a big step toward liberation. Some people accuse me of not shutting up since.

I still stutter/stammer occasionally but I get past that pretty quickly. I graduated with a degree in forestry (I could live in the woods and hide from people), began a program in rural sociology, served two years in the army, completed additional credits in secondary education and earned a certificate in education and became a science/health teacher. I continued on and got my Masters Degree and became a counselor in secondary education, sometimes call a guidance counselor, a term I dislike.

My experiences and interests led me to become a high school career counselor. I was responsible for establishing career development centers in four schools districts for which I worked in Delaware, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. I began my career in 1960 and retired after 40 years in 2000. I volunteered as an aid in the Career Development Center in PA after I retired.

This year at 77 I finally hung up my last life and career rainbow.

Three things prompted me to write to you: first, the title of your piece; second, your last name and its similarity to mine; and third, the fact that you are a career counselor. I am interested in hearing how you arrived at your destination.

Coincidently or otherwise, my three-year old grandson is in therapy for stuttering. He too will have a voice.

I wrote back to this gentleman and shared how I arrived at my destination of career counselor, and he shared a little more about himself.

It is always such a nice surprise to hear from someone unexpected that shares stuttering in common and feels comfortable enough to share it with a stranger. Proof that we never know who we may impact on a day-to-day basis. Our words and actions often have a farther reach than we know. It is nice to acknowledge that, and thus, be acknowledged.

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3 Responses to "He Too Will Have A Voice"

I think it’s clear you have a world wide reach now Pam!

It is always a wonderful feeling to know your words have helped others. Keep on writing and talking. You are making a major impact on the world!!

Pam dont be too surprised when things like this happen, you are doing what you are doing for a purpose, to help yourself and others. Keep going on.

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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.