Stuttering Mentor

As I think back about my stuttering growing up, I think it would have been helpful to have a mentor to navigate stuttering. Someone who actually stuttered and managed to still move through life confidently.

I think someone who could have explained the iceberg to me as well as challenged me to get out and speak more.

Most “discussions” I had about stuttering were with myself — like, I knew that there were groups out there meeting, but I simply talked myself out of it.

I think what held me back about reaching out for help was that if I did that, then I’d admit that I had a problem. And if I’m having to reach out, it must be a pretty big problem. I suppose I equated it to seeing the doctor. Of course now I know that’s not true. We should reach out for help in all facets of our life — work, play and home.

An older mentor would also have known about the NSA Conference and other groups like Toastmasters. He or she would explain the reality of things like college (you only need a small solid core of friends), looking for a job (how to network), and the corporate world (it’s not necessarily as speaking-intensive as some people make it out to be.)

I think if you’re the parent of someone who stutters, finding a mentor is pretty important. And how would you go about it? I’d think that either through your therapist or through your support group. A monthly support group is nice, but you still have to feel comfortable stuttering the other 29 days.

For me, I’d feel comfortable being that mentor to someone. I imagine it’d happen after I move back to the States.

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