Category Archives: Stuttering

What My Stutter Has Taught Me

 This post was contributed by Armaan Babai-Pirouz
stockphoto Stuttering Broken Words
My Stutter and Me: Lessons Learned
My stutter and me will never peacefully co-exist. I hate this stutter. As I grow older I learn more about it; the more I learn about it, the more I hate it. I’ve learned that I cannot pronounce the “y “sound in the word “yes” when it really counts, or the “n” sound in the word “no” when it really counts, such as at my workplace talking on the telephone. I’ve learned that having this stutter makes my voice louder than is necessary, which is really a bummer when more than one co-worker says I need to speak softly and I say I’ll try, although I am not certain that I can.
Patience in the Midst of Struggle:
I am not going to post that my stutter makes me a stronger person because I don’t know that. I know it makes me more patient with other people’s challenges, and for that I am thankful, because with my stutter I definitely ask for patience from my listeners.
    The one thing I know my stutter teaches me every moment of every day is what I learned at Capital Area Speech: To never give up on myself. No matter how many times my stutter embarrasses and frustrates me, I should keep trying to communicate, keep trying to make the next time I open my mouth a better experience than I when I opened it and just rasps and stutters happened.
Winning…..
    It may sound odd and scary to readers who do not stutter to hear speaking anywhere besides a podium or a stage described as a struggle, but for me that is exactly what it is. I don’t know if I will win that struggle. I do know what losing it will look like: Giving up. Thanks to what I’ve learned at Capital Area Speech, that is not going to happen.

National Stuttering Association: Austin Children’s Chapter Party!

NSA
You’re invited to the March 22nd NSAKids Austin Chapter Meeting!

When: Saturday, March 22, 2014 from Noon – 1:30 pm.

What: Children who stutter and their families come together to discuss stuttering, connect with professionals, and support one another.

Join us for 1 ½ hours of GYM fun for the Kiddos, and a special Q & A session for Parents lead by Jamie Putnam, MS, CCC-SLP, owner and director of CAS, and a clinician dedicated to the evaluation and treatment of stuttering.

Plus! PIZZA will be provided for lunch!

Who: Kids and families affected by stuttering; student clinicians and faculty at the University of Texas and Texas State University; Austin area-SLPs, and the UT and Austin communities.

Where: Capital Area Speech and Occupational Therapy
12710 Research Blvd Suite 395 Austin, TX 78759 US
Phone: 512-250-8706 or phone/fax: 800-280-4316

Parking: Free parking around the building.

RSVP to: Erin Stergiou erinstergiou@gmail.com, Jeff Loeb jeff.n.loeb@gmail.com

We are an official chapter of the National Stuttering Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing hope and empowerment to children and adults who stutter, their families, and professionals through support, education, advocacy, and research. Visit westutteraustin.org

Is Your Child Stuttering?

“My preschooler has started repeating sounds and words when he talks.” “My 3 year old seems to get stuck saying a word when he is speaking.” These are common comments parents express when they become concerned about childhood stuttering.

Diagnosing a young child who stutters can be tricky. Many children go through developmental stuttering or a period of time when they have disfluencies. This may last a few weeks or even a few months. About three-fourths of these children will outgrow this stutter though.

When a speech pathologist sees a young child who demonstrates stuttering, he/she will look at several factors.
Does anyone in the child’s immediate family stutter? – Approximately 60% of those who stutter have a family member who stutters.
At what age did the stuttering began? – It is more likely that they will outgrow it if disfluencies began before age three and a half.
How long has your child been stuttering? It becomes more of a concern if your child has been stuttering for more than six months. What types of disfluencies are noticed? Is your child repeating sounds in words l-l-like this? Are the getting stuck for long periods of time on the specific sounds? Can you see tension in the facial muscles? Changes in pitch or airflow?

More severe symptoms that may be a sign of true stuttering include: multiple repetitions (wh wh wh wh why?), blocks (the child seems stuck and cannot get the word out), tension, changes in breathing during speech, and showing negative emotions about speaking.

Although many children go through a period of developmental stuttering when their language skills are exploding, true stuttering also often begins at this age. If you have questions or concerns regarding stuttering, please contact a speech pathologist.

The Stuttering Foundation has useful information for parents of preschoolers who stutter. They also have a list of speech pathologists who are very skilled in working with those who stutter.

The National Stuttering Association offers great support for those who stutter and their families. They have individual chapters around the nation for support groups, parties, and more.

Support in the Austin Area for Those Who Stutter

By Mona
Regional Chapter Coordinator for the NSA
Past president of the Austin chapter

The fourth Annual Open House of the Austin chapter of the National Stuttering Association (NSA), the largest event of the year for the Austin stuttering community, is fast approaching. This year’s event is in just one week: Monday, November 4 at 7 p.m. at the University of Texas. As past chapter leader for the Austin chapter, and a person whose life has been transformed by the NSA, I am honored to be asked to emcee this year’s event. I will be reflecting on my experiences as a person who stutters, and facilitating an opportunity for others to share their own inspiring stories. We hope for as great a turnout as we had last year (when an astonishing 85 people from the community turned out).

This event originated as a forum to educate student speech-language pathologists (SLPs) about our disorder, and help them overcome reservations they may have (indeed, many of those in attendance are student clinicians at the University of Texas and Texas State University). However, the event is open to all those affected by stuttering, including adults and youth who stutter, and families.

Over the last few years, the annual open house has been the first exposure to the NSA for many individuals who stutter, as well as families. Many people who have contacted me about the NSA understandably have reservations, and are unsure of what to expect. Many are weary about attending a chapter meeting for the first time where they may be asked to introduce themselves, or have to deal openly with a topic they may not have even broached with family members, or friends. The open house is a great format to overcome these reservations.

As has been tradition, we will have a panel of about four individuals who stutter, each representing diverse backgrounds and experiences share their personal stories, and take questions from the audience. The panelists will reflect on challenges they faced in their lives and how they ultimately found success in their careers and relationships. At the open house, you may expect to have a person who stutters (PWS) share:

– How they overcame bullying as a child
– When the best time to enter therapy is, and what factors leads to success
– Positive qualities in their SLPs to emulate
– Tools for overcoming job interview as a PWS and succeeding in our careers
– How to begin to talk to family members about stuttering
– And much more.

Last year, I recall student SLPs leaving “blown away” by the presentations. Parents told me the event helped them feel at ease for the first time in their lives about their child’s stuttering. Children and youth came to understand stuttering does not have to stop them from reaching their goals or being successful.
openhouseflyer2013

I have been honored to work with Jamie Putnam and the clinicians at Capital Area Speech in the time I have been a part of the Austin chapter. I am looking forward to seeing many folks from the Capital Area Speech community next week.

For more about National Stuttering Association Austin Chapter, please visit the website.