Members’ Blog – Stuttering Perspectives

The Life of a Stutterer

Stuttering has become a big part of my life, whether I like it or not. It has made me who I am today, and it will determine what I become. I began stuttering when I was about nine years old. At the time, I didn’t know what hit me. All of the sudden what seemed so natural became a constant struggle.   The first time I realized I really had a problem was in school. My teacher asked me a question, and the words just didn’t come out. I had some major blocks and of course, the whole class burst out into laughter. I still remember the feeling I had in my gut. From that day on, I began to hide my stutter. I remember on the first day of school when everyone introduced themselves to the teacher I was shaking, so I wrote my name on a big piece of paper and showed it to the teacher. I was so ashamed, but I didn’t want to be laughed at again. There were so many situations in school where I wanted to comment or ask a question but I stayed quiet.   My family has never really mentioned anything to me regarding my stuttering. ...

The Peasant’s Speech

January 08, 2012  |   Blog,Members' Blog - Stuttering Perspectives   |   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 ...

A Flight to the Top

December 10, 2011  |   Members' Blog - Stuttering Perspectives   |   1 Comment

Imagine knowing exactly what you want to say but not being able to say it. That is the challenge stutterers face on a daily basis. As a person who has stuttered since childhood, every aspect of my life has been affected by this speech impediment; whether it is introducing myself to someone, ordering food in a restaurant or simply answering the phone. What most people consider to be an everyday “norm,” I consider a major obstacle. For over 20 years, I allowed my stutter to control me. I would avoid social situations, I would only order food that I knew I could pronounce without stuttering and I would let the phone ring unanswered. As a child, I had my share of strange looks, people finishing my sentences and avoidance.  Over time, these awkward moments took a toll on my self-esteem. I became withdrawn and tended to rely greatly upon my twin brother, who did not stutter, to speak for me. He was my crutch. Upon entering high school, we went to different schools and I had to find a new way to, so-called “fix,” the situation. My solution was to avoid speaking at all costs. For those four ...

My Journey Towards Being Free to Stutter

November 16, 2011  |   Blog,Members' Blog - Stuttering Perspectives   |   1 Comment

Striving to be stutter-free or free to stutter is the dilemma that many people who stutter (PWS) often deal with at some point during therapy. While becoming stutter-free seems like the ultimate goal; being free to stutter represents the alternate, overlooked path that is rarely considered as a goal in therapy. In a sense, it represents the opposing ideals between change and acceptance. I’ve always desired a stutter-free life and never thought about accepting my stutter. However, when I began my first session of speech therapy, I was faced with the challenge of openly stuttering… and liking it! When I first heard this I said, “Wait… come again? I’ve been stuttering all my life and I’m ready to become fluent… and you want me to stutter no-holds-barred? Are you crazy!?” I knew the purpose of this exercise was to desensitize myself to the fear of stuttering, but to bravely pet this ferocious beast that has wreaked havoc on my speech and my emotions all these years was asking a lot. But I was desperate for help… so I bought into the idea, closed my eyes, and took the plunge… Fast-forwarding five years later: That ferocious beast that I was once hesitant ...

Because of My Stutter: Remembering the Positives

October 06, 2011  |   Blog,Members' Blog - Stuttering Perspectives   |   1 Comment

As a Person Who Stutters, my speech affects my daily life, even the most common of circumstances.  It has an affect on what food I order when I am out, if I feel like making an important phone call today, or pushing it off till tomorrow, or if I want to tell a joke or a story in a normally innocuous social gathering.  These seemingly common occurrences are challenges for those who stutter.  For me, these occurrences are sometimes a cause of stress or embarrassment.  It is common that I feel stuttering holds me back.  As much as I always try to not allow stuttering to shape my activities and my daily life, there is no doubt that it has, and still continues to do so. It is often that I think to myself “because of my stutter…”. Because of my stutter, I am eating a salad instead of a Medium well hamburger.  Although a healthy choice, this isn’t what I actually wanted to have today.  Because of my stutter, I feel limited in social settings and I am not always my out-going self, until I get to know you.  Because of my stutter, I am not a phone guy, a ...

September Newsletter

As persons who stutter (PWS), we often look for support from our family, friends and fellow stutterers. On Tuesday, September 13th, the NSA Queens Chapter hosted their 2nd Family & Friends night. The meeting was filled with new and old faces as well as an overwhelming sense of support, understanding and encouragement from our loved ones and peers. A PWS suggested that NSA meetings are an “easy going place for PWS.” Attendees enjoyed a relaxing, insightful night while enjoying pizza from our new new sponsor - Fat Boys Pizza in Fresh Meadows. Instead of meeting as one group of 28 people (we know how scary that can be :) ) , the attendees were split up into smaller groups which included PWS, friends, and family. Topics discussed included obstacles and challenges for PWS as well as overcoming and accepting stuttering. One group discussed the idea of changing perceptions of PWS from “unable” to “capable.” The group felt that stuttering should not make or break a job interview or professional position. Stuttering is a part of us but we have many amazing qualities to share with our future co-workers that should not go unnoticed. I strongly believe that stuttering does not define ...

Hello. My name is…

September 06, 2011  |   Members' Blog - Stuttering Perspectives   |   0 Comments

What is most apropos considering this topic is to begin by asking you, the reader, to say your name.  It is a most fundamental aspect of individuality and certainly a most easily fulfilled request, correct? Well unfortunately it’s not.  If you are one of the estimated three million Americans that suffer from stuttering, a crippling lack of spoken fluency, such a request can be a daunting proposition. More than an offensive half-witted caricature found in film and television, excluding the diametrically opposed and justly acclaimed rendition of Colin Firth in the Oscar award winning movie, “The King’s Speech”, stuttering is real and a person who stutters is an intellectually consummate person who endeavors bravely against real hardships.  A stutter, or as it is known in the UK – a stammer, is a neurological and motor condition characterized by involuntary repetition of word sounds, pauses, or complete blocks of speech, often with facial contortions, all in an effort to say one’s name, order a simple bagel with coffee, or answer a telephone call.  The person may appear nervous, but the stereotype of inherent nervousness or a weak character is a fallacy. Succinctly as I may state it, any anxiety comes from the vicious cycle of inability ...

“Because I Knew You, I Have Changed for the Better” (Post-Conference Reflection)

July 19, 2011  |   Members' Blog - Stuttering Perspectives   |   1 Comment

NSA Queens Chapter at NSA Conference 2011 As persons who stutter, our day to day life can often be a struggle. Self-acceptance can be hard to find if you feel alone. From July 6th to July 10th, I attended my 2nd NSA conference in Fort Worth, Texas and I was NOT alone. Over 800 people who stutter or have an interest in stuttering came together for one purpose-to have their voice heard. It was a week filled with laughing, crying and beautiful stuttering. It was truly inspiring how friendships blossomed between people of all ages due to one unique common characteristic: Stuttering. For 4 days we did not have to worry about pausing for too long, controlling blocks or our listener’s perceptions of stuttering. We took comfort in relating to each other’s struggles and highs and lows in everyday life. There was no one to say “Why are you making a funny face?” or “Hello? I think we have a bad connection.” In fact, it was quite the opposite. Everyone was extremely patient and really took time to listen to what their peers had to say. ...

Leadership Through Inspiration

We as persons who stutter often struggle with acceptance. We have the constant fear of our peers judging us for taking a few seconds too many to speak our thoughts. I strongly believe in advertising my stuttering. While I understand it is not for everyone, I feel that advertising loosens the mood and acknowledges what some of you may consider the elephant in the room. I was not always pro-active about advertising my stuttering. In my senior year of high school, I had a life-changing experience at graduation. I had to give a speech as the Salutatorian of my class. Although it was a struggle, I can honestly say at that moment, standing at the podium with no words and just air, I decided that stuttering would no longer control my life. I was back in the driver’s seat and I was so proud of myself for conquering one of the most challenging moments of my life. At the end of my speech, my senior class, along with teachers, families and friends gave me a standing ovation which showed me they accepted me and quietly rooted for me throughout our four years of high school together. With my new acceptance of stuttering, ...

Lights, Camera, Speech

January 17, 2011  |   Members' Blog - Stuttering Perspectives   |   0 Comments

Hello my fellow stutterers! It’s a new year and this is a chance for a new beginning, starting with a new attitude about stuttering. No more being ashamed, no more ordering what you can say rather than what you want at a restaurant and no more feeling embarrassed for being the inspiring, courageous stutterer that you are. Your new outlook on stuttering starts now! Let’s start by envisioning stuttering as an iceberg. The surface above an iceberg represents what others can see-the physical features of stuttering such as repetitions, prolongations, blocks, pausing, etc. The surface beneath an iceberg represents the fears, challenges, avoidances and the negative feelings we feel about stuttering. You however are the only one who can decide how much of the surface you’re willing to show. I know that all of you are capable of expressing yourselves in a confident manner when it comes to acknowledging your stuttering but if it hasn’t happened yet…don’t worry! It will. There was a time in my life when stuttering took over and I felt that I would never feel free and in control of my stuttering. All of that changed the day of my high school graduation and with the help of ...

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Latest News

  • Fall Meeting Dates
    Happy Fall Everyone! I wanted to let you know that the Queens Chapter of the NSA will be meeting on Monday, October 2nd and Monday, November 6th at 7pm at the ...
  • Upcoming Fall Events
    Hi Everyone! I would like to thank everyone who attended Take Stuttering Out to the Ballgame. It was a wonderful event and a great time was had by all. ...