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Stuttering as Honest Speech

acceptance

The striking young woman is poised and confident on the stage. Her voice is strong as she describes her own stuttering in eloquent poetic language. Her stuttering is “…in breath calm and measured… stripping speech of nuance…” She addresses the trepidations of saying her own name: “I have let it sit heavy in my throat…. a tool of betrayal…” She reveals that “the stuttering is the most honest part of me…” and “…the only thing that never lies…”. To applause, she states “…when I stutter I am speaking my own language fluently…”.

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Talking to Children about Stuttering

For many years, I was involved in community self-organizing on behalf of people who stutter. Years ago I formed a Toronto-based self-help group for people who stutter; our first meeting was held in September 1988 at the North York Library.

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Age of Acceptance

acceptanceAs society evolves, equality, above all else, is a key factor. Topics once not talked about are now coming to the forefront and light is being shone where there once was darkness. In my career in social services I've seen society's view on minorities change, and I've seen acceptance in the communities of developmentally challenged individuals. We have come so far, yet we still have so far to go.

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Has stuttering affected your career?

illustrationI’m fidgeting in my chair.  The room is cold – not just the air – but also the room itself. I wait as the next speaker walks without haste to the front of the room. I’m at a work all-staff meeting, an annual event intended to have all of us sit together for a day to team-build.

When the speaker talks, I immediately notice the very slow deliberate tempo of his speech. Listening more intently, I start to pick out fluency techniques. He is good. No disfluency. “He is a fellow stutterer”, I think to myself. And smile.

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Law Student who Stutters Inspires SLP Students

Joshua PatlikJoshua Patlik

Josh Patlik is a second year law student at York University in Toronto. He is also a person who stutters. Josh recently met with a class of SLP graduate students at the University of Toronto for a conversation about his experiences, his perspectives, and his life as a stutterer.

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