Make Room For The Stuttering

Posts Tagged ‘men who stutter

Episode 29 of the very occasional series of male podcasts features Alex Reynolds, who hails from Eugene, Oregon. Alex and I met a few weeks ago in a Virtual Lounge session presented by the National Stuttering Association. Alex works for an assisted living facility, wear he wears many hats. He enjoys being in the food and hospitality sector because “food brings people together.”

Listen in as we discuss dealing with impatient people, his experiences with virtual speech therapy, and his first involvement in virtual events with the National Stuttering Association. Alex looks forward to when he can attend an in-person stuttering event or conference.

We also explore how it feels when blocking and the importance of breathing to help unlock blocks. Alex also offers the advice: “Be yourself. Everything else will fall in place.”

 

Episode 28 of the occasional male series features Anthony Crozier, who hails from Cleveland, Ohio. Anthony is 25 years old and works as a software developer. He originally planned to study healthcare but this great opportunity came his way, and he’s happy with the career choice he has made.

Anthony shares that his ability to handle the challenges of stuttering greatly contributed to his determination to succeed in his job. He believes stuttering is a strength. When he has disclosed that he stutters, deeper and more interesting conversations result. Being a stutterer has enabled Anthony to move outside his comfort zone both personally and professionally.

Listen in as we also discuss covert stuttering, experiences with speech therapy and the substance of “blocking.”

Feel free to leave a comment for either of us in the comment section.

Episode 27 of this occassional male series features Chris Constantino, who is a PhD SLP and Assistant Professor at Florida State University. Chris teaches both a stuttering course and a counseling course, both of which are vital if SLP’s are going to be confident employing a holistic approach to stuttering. He says that future SLPs need to be “clinicians” not “technicians.”

Chris’s research interests include studying how people experience their stutter so to help people make their stuttering experience as enjoyable as possible.

Chris remembers a personal therapy experience where he first learned that it was OK to stutter. He says, “I didn’t have to be fluent to speak.” That inspired him to want to help other persons who stutter to speak more easily.

Listen in as we discuss how to make it easier for people who stutter to speak, how to talk about stuttering differently, what experiences we have that we wouldn’t if we didn’t stutter, and solidarity with the disabled community.

This was a great conversation, that could have gone on for hours.

 

Today I am happy to host a guest blog from Oli Cheadle, a speech and language therapist based in the UK. I had the pleasure of sharing a conversation with Oli a number of years ago on my podcast for men who stutter, “He Stutters: She Asks Him.”

My name is Oli. I am a speech and language therapist and also a person who stutters. I am based in the UK. I have a mild stutter and can block in some specific situations, e.g. making telephone calls to unfamiliar people, asking directions from strangers.

Pam has very kindly given me the opportunity to write about a new intensive program for stuttering called Modifying Phonation Intervals 2 (MPI-2) and to feed back on my own experiences of going through the program.

What is the MPI-2?
MPI-2 was developed by Dr Roger Ingham and colleagues at the University of California and is based on research which shows that when speakers reduce the number of short phonatory intervals in their speech by 50% there is a significant reduction in stuttering. The MPI-
2 program uses an iOS app that gives biofeedback to help you learn a new speech technique that results in very low levels of stuttering.

The program then guides the speaker through progressively more challenging speaking tasks, requiring them consistently use this new technique at every step. MPI-2 is a very fluency-focused therapy and, as a result, it is obviously not a good a fit for everyone.

I have tried to give an idea of the MPI-2 iOS app, what short phonatory intervals are, and the speech technique involved in the below video.

A study by Ingham et al. (2015) found that most participants who undergo this intensive fluency shaping program achieve very low levels of stuttering and are able to maintain this long-term (73% of participants). It is designed for adults and older adolescents approximately 15 years and up.

 Was it helpful for my speech?

Definitely. Having completed the program, which took me about 7 months, I am finding that I am able to speak without stuttering in situations where I previously stuttered often, for example stopping a stranger in the street and asking directions or making telephone calls to unfamiliar people. It has taken a lot of work to complete the program and I have found it really worthwhile.

 

He-StuttersEpisode 26 of this occasional male series features Andy Fitzenrider who hails from Seattle, Washington. Andy has worked for eighteen years in the Identification Unit of the Seattle Police Department.

Listen in as Andy shares about some of his speech therapy experiences and why he was drawn to engage in therapy as an adult. He talks about “wishing he knew back then what he knows now.”

We also talk extensively about a program that Andy uses and has done outreach for called Speech to Speech. This is a service that anyone with a speech disorder can use. A live “Communication Assistant” answers your call and you let the person know where you wish to call. The assistant will stay on the line with you and repeat as much or as little of your speech as you would like to the person you are calling. The assistant may explain at the call onset that you are a person who stutters and then not say anything else, if that’s all you want or need.

Andy says this service has brought him peace of mind and has helped him to not fear the phone as he once did. The service is free for anyone to use and any carrier will work. See below video for more information.

Music used in today’s episode is credited to DanoSongs.

 

He-StuttersEpisode 24 of this occasional male series features David Alpuche, who originally hails from Mexico City, but presently makes his home in Dallas, Texas. David is a self-employed photographer and also created a company where he sells photography inspired yoga mats.

David shares that someone like him with a stutter and who is really creative would do better here in the US than in Mexico and he has found that to be true. He shares that years of experience and good therapy helped him grow into the person he wanted to be.

David got into the creative arts because of stuttering itself – he found drawing and photography a way to “say things without having to say things.”

We talk about the importance of community and how growing up, like so many of us, he felt he was the only one who stutters. When he found the NSA and went to his first conference, he was “blown away.” And now he attends the oldest NSA Chapter in the US, Dallas, which is 36 years old.

David realized that the thing that isolated him all his life was actually the secret key to a world wide community of really cool and interesting people.

The music used in today’s show is credited to Bensound.

 

He-StuttersEpisode 23 of the occasional male series features Ian Mahler, who hails from Salt Lake City, Utah. Ian is married and stays busy with three girls. He is also a full-time receiving manager for a large wholesale club. Ian works long days, usually 10-11 hours a day.

Listen in to a great conversation as we discuss acceptance, mindfulness techniques, and self confidence.

One of the things Ian does to advertise that he stutters is that he adds a line in his professional email signature that he is a person who stutters. He also has a line that reads #LetMeFinish. If someone cuts him off, he always finishes talking so that the person has to hear him anyway.

We wrap up the conversation talking about resilience and empathy.

The music used in today’s episode is credited to ccMixter.

 

He-StuttersEpisode 22 of the very occasional male series features Chaz Bonnar who hails from Glasgow, Scotland. Chaz is 24 years old and is a dancer and freelance creative artist. He works with young kids building their confidence and self-esteem through dance.

Chaz believes that dance has helped him to express himself without words. He has been dancing – specifically breakdancing – since he was 15. Now he works with kids with the hope of offering them the same opportunities for self expression.

Listen in as Chaz shares what has helped him overcome his stuttering. He is a strong believer in the laws of attraction and feels that we have more control over our lives than we have been led to believe.

Chaz also talks about the importance of being completely honest with ourselves with regards to our speech and other areas of our life. And finally, we hit on social anxiety, which has many parallels to stuttering.

Chaz encourages listeners to reach out to him on social media if they’d like to talk with him about his ideas. Instagram: @chazbonnar Snapchat: @chazbonnar Twitter: @ChazB

The music clip used in todays episode is credited to Dano Songs.

We all know the statistics. Only about 1% of the adult population stutters, so it’s common to not meet another person who stutters in our everyday lives.

I’ve talked to many people around the world who have shared that they have never met someone else who stutters, which may add to the isolation of stuttering.

I work in an organization that employs about 450 people, and I’ve met three other people who stutter through work. Statistically, that plays out as it should, but it seems strange that I’ve actually met all three of them. I don’t work directly with any of them but we have occasion to see and talk with each other.

They all happen to be men, which bears truth to the belief that there are 4 times as many men who stutter than women.

I have spoken about stuttering with two of the guys. In fact, one of them always asks me whenever I see him if I’ve done anything stuttering related recently. He’s referring to things he knows I’ve done in the past to raise awareness of stuttering, like organizing talks at local libraries and schools.

One person is a relatively new colleague that I see at least once monthly at meetings. I noticed that he stutters, but I didn’t go up to him and say, “hey, I stutter too,” I did that once with someone and it backfired. The person got offended and profusely denied he stuttered, even though to me it was quite obvious.

Everyone is at a different juncture with their stuttering journey and I don’t think it’s up to me to bring it up when I hear someone else stutter. But if this colleague approaches me and wants to discuss stuttering, I will gladly talk his ear off about it!

In an odd way, it feels good that I’ve met others who stutter in my workplace. Growing up, I never met anyone else who stuttered and always wondered if I was the only one.

It’s good to know I’m not the only one in the workplace.

He-StuttersEpisode 21 of the occasional male podcast series features Dylan Madeley, who hails from a suburb of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Dylan is a writer. He currently works as a copy editor for Auxiliary Magazine and is preparing to self publish his own novel. He is readying a Kickstarter campaign to secure a publishing budget.

Dylan’s book is an ambiguous-magic fantasy titled “The Gift-Knight’s Quest.” Check here to find out more about the book.

Dylan discusses his plans to advertise and promote his first book, which leads us to talk about advertising stuttering before public speaking events. Dylan plans to be more “out there” with his stuttering once he is published.

We also discuss his strategies for book readings and how performance anxiety really triggers his stuttering.

This was a great conversation. Dylan shares professionally about his writing and personally about his stuttering. Feel free to leave comments or ask questions.

The podcast safe music used in this episode is credited to DanoSongs.

 

He-Stutters

It’s been a while since I hosted a conversation with a guy about stuttering. So, I’m delighted to bring you today’s show.

Episode 20 of the conversations with men who stutter features Oli Cheadle, who hails from South London, in the UK. Oli is a student at University College London, studying to be a speech language therapist. He enjoys music, playing the guitar and singing.

We discuss the speech therapy that Oli had as an adult that strongly impacted how he really feels about his stuttering. He has decided that he wants to work with people that stutter once he is qualified.

We also discuss Oli’s interest in mindfulness. He runs two blogs about mindfulness – about stuttering and walking. Oli describes what mindfulness is and how helpful it is to be more aware and get into the moment of stuttering when it happens. Oli is currently on a clinical placement with a speech therapist who is well known for using mindfulness in the UK.

Oli shares how he has been influenced by Ellen-Marie Silverman’s book Mindfulness & Stuttering: Using Eastern Strategies to Speak with Greater Ease. He also references a book titled Stammering Therapy from the Inside, for which his placement supervisor wrote a chapter.

This was a great conversation that only scratched the surface about mindfulness. We were both so amazed how quickly the time flew.

Please feel free to leave comments or ask questions. Feedback is a gift and is encouraged.

The podcast safe music used in this episode is credited to ccMixter.

Episode 19 features John Harrison, who “ran away from home at age 25.” He went from New York to California with nothing but a 5 day hotel reservation.

John wanted to go to California to find himself and his identity, and understand his stuttering, which took the form of silent blocks.

Listen in as we discuss how John found the National Stuttering Project (now the National Stuttering Association) and his involvment in the self help community over the years.

We also talk about how John came to see his stuttering as a system, which he details in his book “Redefining Stuttering: What The Struggle To Speak Is Really All About.” This is available as a free download on his website, HOLDING BACK: for people who stutter.

We also chat about Toastmasters, helping others and the richness of sharing our stories with each other.

Music used in this episode is credited to Dano Songs. Feel free to leave comments or ask questions. Feedback is a gift.

Episode 18 of the conversations with men features Ray Welchman, who hails from South Australia. Ray is a systems engineer in a defense company.

He also runs “Feel The Fear” workshops as a licensed trainer for Susan Jeffers training. Jeffers wrote the wonderful book Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway.

Listen in as we talk about different therapy experiences, the McGuire programme, avoidance, denial, hiding and so much more.

We talk about courage, growth and Toastmasters. Ray is the president of his Toastmasters club and and often finds himself privately exclaiming “look what I’m doing now.” Confidence and courage help us expand our comfort zones and grow.

Speaking of growth, see this video of Ray performing in a Toastmasters Humorous Speech Contest.

This was a great conversation. Feel free to leave comments or ask questions. Feedback is a gift.

Music used in this episode is from DanoSongs.

Producer note: apologies for the abrupt beginning. Technical difficulties resulted in a few seconds of Ray’s introduction being “cut off.”

Episode 16 features Geoff Johnston, who hails from Strathalbyn, South Australia. Geoff is presently the Regional Director for the McGuire program.

“There is so much more to stuttering than speech.” Geoff talks about how fears, anxieties and self-limiting beliefs are well addressed in the McGuire program and how satisfying it is to see people’s lives change. You can watch Geoff in action in this video.

Listen in as we chat about self-esteem, confidence, voluntary stuttering,  relapse, social anxiety and embracing speaking situations.

We also talk about having a “compelling reason to change” and the bravery and effort needed to maintain change.

Feel free to leave comments or questions for Geoff (or for me!) in the comment section.

The podcast safe music used in this episode is credited to ccMixter.

Episode 15 of the series of conversations with men who stutter features Hanan Hurwitz, who hails from Ra’anana, Israel, via South Africa.

Hanan is an electrical engineer, and works for a company that makes server control equipment.

Hanan attended his first National Stuttering Association conference in 2010. We discuss the power of support and community and what a relief it is to realize that we are not alone.

Listen in to a rich conversation about Hanan’s journey, one which he describes as one of incremental steps.  He is excited about sharing his story, as it has been so valuable for him to hear others who have shared their stories.

We talk about avoidance, “mental gymnastics,” losing track of conversations, and talking about stuttering. One thing (among many) things that I loved in this conversation was when I asked Hanan if he does any advertising of his stutter.

His response: “People know I stutter because I stutter.”

Please leave comments for either of us in the comment section, or just let Hanan know what a great job he did. Feedback is a gift.

The music clip in this episode is credited to ccMixter.


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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2020. 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 2020.
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