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My Stutter Is Not 'Stubborn Speech'

Although I am proud and satisfied with the way I speak, I do not appreciate people misrepresenting me. Someone recently introduced me to another individual (whom I do not know) by saying, “This is Dariel, and she has stubborn speech.”

I strongly felt that person’s introduction of me was an insult. I am so much more than my stutter; it does not define who I am. The fact that the person felt the need to warn someone about my stutter before I could even open my mouth was totally disrespectful. I felt like she was telling the lady, in so many words, how she should communicate with me according to how I speak.

No matter what condition someone has, I would never introduce them as someone who has a disability or disorder, for it has nothing to do with who they are as a person. I do not want to be defined as someone who has a speech impediment, just seen as Dariel. I’m not mad at the woman who wrongly introduced me, because I do not think she meant any harm. However, I do believe that people should be careful and mindful of how they interact with us stutterers. Saying the wrong things can hurt our feelings; not everyone is not as strong as I am when hearing comments that could easily be taken as offensive.

My advice is not to point out a person’s stutter. It takes confidence and courage for us stutterers to speak.

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