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Don't Count Us Stutterers Out

Sitting in my training class, I was excited to meet new people in the program. Stuttering wasn’t going to stop me from introducing myself.

I didn’t think my instructor would ask me about my participation in the sessions due to the amount of speaking involved. Kind about her approach, not wanting to draw attention to her concern about my speech, my instructor asked via email if I would like to sit out during speaking moments. The email matter felt like a punch to my stomach. I wasn’t given the chance to feel anything about speaking activities — my instructor just assumed from the beginning that I was uncomfortable and ashamed of my speech.

I emailed my instructor and told her I wanted to be a part of the speaking activities, even the ones that would require more from me. Just like everyone else in the class, I deserve to be heard, not shut out. I refuse to be silenced.

I noticed my instructor looked uneasy whenever I spoke, which was because she cared about my struggle to speak. I assured her she didn’t need to be concerned with my stutter by showing her how strong and confident I am. I took on leadership roles by leading group projects and raising my hand every chance I got when my instructor asked questions.

I’m here to say, don’t count us stutterers out, our speech shouldn’t be a matter of concern. Really, stuttering isn’t a big deal as some people make it out to be. Yes, stutterers struggle to speak, but it’s OK, for we are capable of doing amazing things.

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Thinkstock image by AlexBrylov