If you feel stuttering is holding you back from doing what you want to do and saying what you want to say, you are in the right place.
This blog will help you:
- minimize fear of stuttering.
- view stuttering as just another aspect of your personality, just something you do, as opposed to a negative characteristic.
- react to stuttering differently.
- communicate more efficiently and spontaneously
Why should I guide you on your stuttering journey?
I am a person who stutters, who used to live in constant fear of stuttering. But several years ago, I learned from an inspirational group of fellow people who stutter that it was possible for me to live a full life
… by simply allowing myself to stutter!
I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, as it slowly dawned on me: Stuttering wasn’t holding me back from doing what I wanted to do and saying what I wanted to say. My fear of stuttering was holding me back.
I could do any of the things I thought I couldn’t, like talking on the phone or introducing myself or giving an oral presentation. I would just stutter while doing these things .
I learned how to react to moments of stuttering differently as well, first identifying all the things I did to try to struggle out of a stutter—like blinking and tapping my fingers—and later replacing those behaviors with open stuttering.
I am also a speech language pathologist. As such, I have the inside scoop on stuttering-related research and theory and have helped others who stutter along their journey toward self-acceptance and living a life free of stuttering-induced fear.
Hi, I’m Catherine, a person who stutters, a speech language pathologist, a mom, wife, and a plant and cat lover. I also love hiking; the Dolomites are our happy place, but any mountain will do in a pinch. I am an amateur photographer; I shoot almost constantly with my ten year old DSLR, but I really love my little Olympus 35 RC, and I’m starting to get into shooting with my old-old (but new to me) Leica 2F. I am obsessed with the German language and always miss Berlin.
The idea to create Permission to Stutter emerged when I was almost nine months pregnant with my son. I knew I wanted to stay home to enjoy his precious first few years. This meant having to scale back my work as a speech language pathologist — a lot!
I wanted to reach many people who stutter, but I knew I wouldn’t have time to treat many direct clients, as raising my son takes up much of my time.
So, I decided to create an online resource to help others who stutter think differently about the experience of stuttering. I wanted to ensure this resource was backed by research and theories of top academics in the field. But I also wanted to share my experiences living as a person who stutters.
This resource, of course, does not purport to — and cannot — replace therapy. Therapy, is above everything, client-centered, and the nature of a blog just doesn’t lend itself to that.
Instead, information on Permission to Stutter is offered as food for thought. You can apply principles to your life and complete suggested assignments or challenges as you deem appropriate, based on your unique situation.
Why is this blog called Permission to stutter? Because I think that is the most valuable gift we as people who stutter can give ourselves.
After we accept ourselves as people who stutter and allow ourselves to stutter, we realize that we can do anything.
Stuttering wasn’t holding us back from living life to its fullest. Fear of stuttering was holding us back.
How is this blog different:
- Perhaps the biggest difference between this and some other online stuttering-related resources is that I don’t view fluency as something to aspire to. Increased fluency is not considered a success. That’s because fluency is a false friend and techniques that induce fluency are as unreliable as fluency itself. And when you think about the experience of stuttering for any length of time, you realize that the root of the pain stuttering causes is not the simple sound repetitions and prolongations in our speech. The root of the pain is our fear of stuttering, which causes tense and struggled speech and avoidance of words, situations, and people. Once our avoidance behaviors are stripped away and the pure stuttering is left behind, we realize we are just as efficient communicators as our fluent peers. Even if our stuttering patterns are not entirely devoid of avoidance behaviors like blinking or tapping — and they likely won’t be, because we are human! -we can still communicate extremely effectively.
- In that vein: I don’t hold techniques in very high regard. Whether they are aimed at increasing fluency or stuttering more easily, techniques give us the illusion that we can control stuttering. When they fail us, we feel like failures. Plus, using techniques decreases our spontaneity. One of the frustrations of people who stutter is the lack of spontaneity in their speech due to their fear of stuttering. The lack of spontaneity they experience using techniques replaces the lack of spontaneity the experienced due to avoiding stuttering!
- Unlike some other online resources, claiming to help those who stutter without using any sort of evidence base, most of the information in my posts is backed by research. Information that isn’t will be labeled as such. This may include my opinion or the opinion of others who stutter or study stuttering.
- This is a self-help blog. Self- help has been shown to be a common denominator in positive stuttering journeys (Plexico, Manning, Dilollo, 2005.) You take the reigns!
What to do now:
Ready to start learning about how to take back your life from stuttering’s control?
Check out my Start Here page or Latest Posts!
Or subscribe to my mailing list. Let’s learn about stuttering together!
Plexico, L., Manning, W. H., Dilollo, A., (2015), A phenomenological understanding of successful stuttering management. Journal of Fluency Disorders, 30 (1), 1-22.