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How I came to realize stuttering is my gift that keeps on giving!

Dan&MaryIn honour of the upcoming one-day Canadian Stuttering Association conference, CSA board member Daniele Rossi is featuring interviews with attendees from our events in the past.

Kicking off our series is long-time conference attendee and presenter Mary Wood. Mary recently gave a number of workshops at the National Stuttering Association in Baltimore, one of which on forgiveness. In the video at the end of this article we chat briefly about her workshop and what forgiveness means to a PWS. Let’s get to know a little more about Mary...

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Isolation and self-image

Dylan Madeley

I recently had an interesting experience attending part of a Canadian Stuttering Association board meeting. Although I have been stuttering since around the age of five, I first experienced a meeting of so many people who directly understood what this was like at age twenty-nine.

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Listening is a tool to use before you speak

illustrationThere is a well known saying, “we were born with one mouth and two ears because listening is twice as important as speaking”. For those of us that stutter, we probably think about communication more than most. However, what we often fail to realise is how communication is a two-way process. If I am to become a better communicator, and I don’t mean someone who does not stutter, it is imperative I listen, and do it actively. Words have for some time been my nemesis. I’ve changed what I wanted to say mid sentence, used fillers and avoided those awkward vowels and consonants to make my delivery appear more fluent. It’s a tiresome and frustrating sequence of events that has led me to wonder if I ever have the time to actually listen to what others are saying to me.

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Community Involvement and Stuttering

It all began with a problem. The problem was that, fifty years ago, I stuttered so badly there were times I could not get out any words at all. Fortunately, I found a way to address this problem – by attending the ISTAR (Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research) clinic in Edmonton in 1987. After that, I was able to speak more or less fluently even to large audiences.

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Jaan Pill video: A guide for listeners

This video is from 2011, and contains some good information about stuttering, speech therapy, and how to listen to a person who stutters. Jaan Pill is one of the co-founders of the CSA (originally the Canadian Association for People Who Stutter). He is also a co-founder of the Estonian Stuttering Association and of the International Fluency Association. For more information about Jaan, see his website.

Stuttering – A listener’s guide from Jaan Pill on Vimeo.

Learning to fly

plane

I was born in 1972 and raised in Conception Bay South, Newfoundland, Canada. As a very young child I knew my alphabet and was very well spoken, but about the age of 6 something happened. My parents describe it as almost an overnight change in which I was no longer able to get words out. My speech was paused, interrupted, and uncomfortable. This was devastating to my parents and family.

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