Make Room For The Stuttering

Posts Tagged ‘different perceptions of stuttering

Episode 88 features Anna Deeter, a speech educator who hails from Russia (former Soviet Union) and presently lives in Temecula, California.

Anna has participated in several online stuttering groups and shared her strong beliefs about a unique stuttering program.

She has been mentored and taught by Russian professor, Roman Snezhko, who believes that stuttering can be eliminated through the intensive “relearning” of “normal speech” (similar to NLP, which we mention briefly.)

In the spirit of being open to different ideas, I was curious about Anna’s approach and invited her to tell her story. It is easy to misinterpret written messages on social media. Listening, asking questions and engaging sheds more light on where a person is coming from.

Listen in as we discuss a very different approach to managing stuttering, that might be tough for people to understand. For more information, please visit the website Live Stutter Free. If interested, you can also see some video of several people who have participated in the speech class called ETALON.

Feel free to leave questions or comments for Anna in the comment section below. The podcast safe music used in this episode is credited to DanoSongs.


Recently, I posted a piece about procrastination and stuttering. The topic had been discussed on Facebook after another blogger wrote about procrastination, using stuttering as an example.

Many people in the stuttering community were offended with the blogger’s comments, as they appeared to casually associate stuttering with procrastination, which has negative connotations.

This does not come as a surprise, as there are constant negative uses of the terms stuttering or stammering in the media. People who actually do stutter often get frustrated with the resulting poor perception mainstream then has of people who stutter. It is often thought we are lazy, intellectually impaired, nervous or just plain weird.

What does come as a surprise (and a pleasant one indeed) is when a blogger takes some time to reflect on how his words may have been perceived, and writes a thoughtful response on what to do if you have offended someone, whether intentionally or not.

That is the case with Mike Reeves-McMillan’s post titled “What To Do When You Offend Someone.” In this post, he writes about some of the push-back his guest post (on another blog called Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life) got from people who actually stutter. Some of us, me included, were annoyed to see the term stuttering used in such a way that it could be potentially misinterpreted.

Mike does a great job in his post explaining what you should do when you unintentionally offend someone. He did not get defensive, he did not inanely apologize, nor did he minimize feelings. He reflected that sometimes a writer will say something that triggers a backlash, and when that happens, the best thing to do is acknowledge, validate and respond.

He also reminds us that we cannot own other people issues or feelings. That is not healthy. We have enough of our own stuff to deal with.

I was pleased to read Mike’s post, and share it here. Like I said on my original post, stuff like this keeps healthy dialogue about stuttering, and other issues, alive.

Always a good thing!

The following is a guest post written by a good friend of the stuttering community. Hiten Viyas, from England, writes regularly from his blog, the Stuttering Hub.

Hiten is known for his short, powerful posts on managing stuttering in our every day lives. He writes just enough to make us really think about the topic at hand and how it may apply to stuttering (or stammering, as it is known in the UK and other parts of the world.)

Hiten also offers his services as a Mentor/Coach for people who stutter. I am pleased to have Hiten as a guest writer today, sharing how we can turn negative thoughts about stuttering into a more positive perspective.

Hiten titled his piece: 10 powerful reframes to deal with stammering

Dealing with the emotional aspects of stammering can be tough. Sometimes you can be so ‘into’ an emotion, it feels like no way out. Below are 5 common beliefs about stammering you may find yourself in, along with different ways of looking at each one.

1. Because I stammer, it means I’m lesser than other people

Society has falsely led people to believe they need to be as good as others. It’s a comparison thing.

But is the world really like this? I’m 5’7 in height and am from England. You might be 5’9 in height and from the United States. Is there any point in us trying to compare our heights when one of  is already taller than the other?

One person might speak fast. Another might speak a bit slower. Where’s the sameness in this? There isn’t any. It’s all different. It makes no sense to compare yourself to others and wanting to be the same as others, because everything is already so different.

2. Stammering stops me from doing what you want to

How does this work? I don’t think stammering would stop you from doing what you want to. What would stop you from doing what you want to, is if every time you got up, an invisible force kept holding you back.  Now surely that would stop you from doing what you wanted to, wouldn’t it?

3. If only I stopped stammering my life would be perfect

Exactly how do you define perfect? Being fluent perhaps? But that’s your definition of perfect. Another person’s definition might be to get 100% marks in every exam. The point is no universal definition of ‘perfect’ exists. Otherwise we would all define ‘perfect’ as meaning the same thing. So go ahead, believe that by being fluent you will be perfect. Only please don’t expect many others to believe the same as you.

4. Every time I stammer I get humiliated

If your statement ‘I get humiliated’ holds true then surely every part of your mind and body must be humiliated right? So which part of you gets humiliated? Is it your left arm? Or your big toe on your right foot? Or perhaps the toe on left foot is feeling bad? Does one toe get humiliated more than the other? How humiliated does that birthmark you have feel? Ask it to tell you a scale of 1 to 10 how strong the humiliation is.

5. I just can’t pick up the phone

OK. What stops you? Oh, I see! You’re afraid you will stammer, so you don’t pick up the phone…

What’s the worst thing that will happen if you pick up the phone? You will stammer? OK, I can see how this works… And by stammering, what does this mean? It means the other person will become impatient? How do you know? Oh right, you don’t know?

But you still think the person will become impatient? And by the person becoming impatient what does that mean? It means they might put the phone down? Alright! And by them putting the phone down, does your life automatically come to an end? It doesn’t? Are you sure? You are? Good.

And remember the next time you sense a person is becoming impatient with you over the phone, he or she might be desperate to go to the toilet! As much as you like to believe your stammering is important, if someone was to choose either giving attention to this, or to a call of nature, both you and I know which will one win.

From the 5 beliefs and the responses above, I hope you get the message I’m trying to convey. You may believe that your beliefs and views are the way things are, period. The truth is, there could be at least 10 different beliefs and views as well.


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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2019. 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 2019.
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