April 16, 2013

Stammering - To Accept Or Not To Accept?

I speak to many people who have a stammer on a weekly basis. This probably does not come as much of a surprise to you due to the fact that I do offer weekly stammering courses. Even to this day I am surprised at the number of people that tell me that they have been advised, in the past, by people such as speech and language therapists and even stammering support groups, that they should merely accept that they have a stammer - as to do so would somehow make their lives easier. I am not entirely sure as to why this surprises me so much as I was also advised to do the same, in fact I was advised to do so on numerous occasions. I chose to ignore this advice and I am very glad that I did.

So why did you choose to ignore the advice Steve?

There were a number of reasons as described below:

1. I guess it was mainly due to the character that I have, which was built around the philosophy of my parents - which is to never give up and to never accept second best.

2. With certain support groups their advice mainly directed me to my local speech and language therapists which I just found hilarious (not) - in fact I could have screamed out at them:

"Why are you directing me to my local speech therapists? I have already been to see these people and they have not been able to help me. I was informed that you represent people in Britain who have a stammer and this is what you have to say to me. This is a joke!"

This is what I wanted to say but this is something I always refrained from saying. I would, instead, remain calm and collected. I would not show them the disgust that I felt and would simply carry on, on my less than merry way. But inside, of course, I would be fuming and would be extremely frustrated. And then would come the famous line:

"I would also advise you to start to accept the fact that you have a stammer."

And here would be rather sarcastic reply:

"OK, thanks for all of your help."

3. With the speech and language therapists it was rather a similar story to the above, the only difference being that in the above the people that were attempting to advise me from the so called stammering help organisations had a stammer themselves. They had accepted their stammer for whatever reason. Perhaps they had an altogether different upbringing and philosophy to what I had - we are all different after all.

I attended speech and language therapy in the 1980's and 1990's and as you may well have read on other posts from this stammering therapy blog, I was less than impressed with the help and advice that I received from them. It was therefore very easy for me to ignore all of it, as I just knew that they had a very poor understanding of what it is like to have a stammer.

To accept or to not accept? This is the question.

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