Peer support organizations and groups, such as the Canadian Stuttering Association and its regional support groups, are another source of support for persons who stutter and for those who care for them.
Stuttering can be a lonely and isolating experience. Some children and adults who stutter have never met another person who stutters. Discovering that there are others who stutter and who experience stuttering in similar ways can be comforting and encouraging. The fear of negative judgement vanishes. Persons feel understood and feelings of connectedness emerge. The personal stories, experiences and triumphs of others inspire and can lead to action. Sharing one’s story can be healing. Perceptions and perspectives change. New insights are gained. Long-lasting friendships develop. Strength is found in numbers.
Meeting another person who stutters is not an easy step for some, for various reasons. This might be the case for individuals who continue to be at odds with stuttering. They may fear that joining others who stutter will lock them into identifying as someone who stutters. They may feel embarrassed and fear how they will react when hearing and watching another person stutter. They may hold negative beliefs about stuttering and persons who stutter, even though they themselves stutter. They may need more information about what happens when people who stutter get together. It is possible that some individuals are simply not interested in meeting others who stutter.
There are small steps that can be taken towards meeting others who also experience stuttering to help dissipate fears. Reaching out to one person could be the first step.