The Peasant’s Speech

January 08, 2012  |  Posted in: Blog,Members' Blog - Stuttering Perspectives   |  By:   |   0 Comments

And thus commences another year. Everyone constantly strives to be a better person, either in their personal life, their careers, their finances etc. We the stutters, however, face another year of struggle in the face of society with our speech impediments while we try to navigate life. The only thing is that a majority of us don’t have control over our affliction. Some will get better, others will remain the same, and unfortunately others will get worse. Nevertheless, with our support group at the NSA-Queens chapter, our courage, and our tough ability to adapt, we will overcome and succeed this year.


Growing up in an indigenous/Latino society as a person who stutters isn’t easy. Firstly, the level of education of those around us has caused our community to think of our stuttering as having a spiritual basis; branding our abnormality as something caused by god’s punishment, sort of like a scarlet letter. Secondly, due to the level of education, the level of understanding in our community entails others to be less understanding and caring of our ailment. People can be pretty harsh. Thankfully, I have only had to deal with such people during my vacation visits back home as a young man. On the other hand, in the United States, at least there are open discussions and support groups for stutters but as we have discussed during the meetings, we are still being ridiculed and teased for something we have no control over.


I didn’t start stuttering until I was about nine years old. I went through all the “fun stuff” like being made fun of by my classmates, my co-workers, my family, etc. I also faced constant problems talking on the phone, purchasing items, talking with administrators, interviews, and especially during class presentations. Oh the many excuses that were made to avoid all the above. I have tried various techniques to stop or more realistically speaking, to reduce my stuttering. I was in speech therapy, saw a shaman, cursed, shouted, read aloud, and tried speaking more.


After much stuttering from the ages of 9 to 22, I simply didn’t care anymore. I didn’t care who made fun of me, what anyone said, or about anything in general.  I started to wonder why nobody made fun of me in a while, or why no one was bringing my stuttering to my attention. Due to possible new neural connections made in my brain, my stuttering reduced dramatically. Needless to say, I still do stutter. I stutter mostly when I become overconfident in myself and don’t pay attention to my speech. I tend to talk fast, stutter, and once in a blue moon someone points this out and it is then when I realize that I am still a person who stutters and I am not entirely cured. I have faith that my stuttering will go away once I reach my 30s, just as it did with my uncle.


It is clear that no matter how much we stutter, we still have the potential to overcome it. This is true as most of those that do, or that I know, have managed to be productive members of society. They are driving cars, obtaining graduate degrees, getting jobs, following a career choice, running a business, etc. Perhaps this small pool should not be seen as a representative of a whole. For those of us who have managed to succeed, and for those of you who haven’t yet but are understanding of the situation, it is our job to help those in need, reach out them, and encourage them.

-Vinicio P.


Disclaimer: Please note that the information and opinions expressed in the articles contained in the Blog section of the NSA Queens Chapter website do not necessarily concur with the views or beliefs of the National Stuttering Association (NSA) or the Queens Chapter of the NSA. They are the opinion of each individual contributing author who attends the Queens chapter.

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