Should Stuttering Be Considered a Disabilitydisa
Yes and no.
Millions of people think that stuttering is a disability, which is true. However, a few people believe that stuttering is not a disability. Let me explain. Those who have overcome stuttering testify that the process was not as complicated as it seemed. The only setback is that people who chose not to overcome stuttering believe society labeled them to be.
We all know that stuttering causes your words to stumble, losing control over your speech flow. Furthermore, stuttering doesn’t allow you to pronounce or speak words correctly. Instead, it is all formed out of fear, anxiety, and unbalanced breathing.
Here are a few helpful strategies that can combat stuttering:
1. Meditation (taking deep breaths and spending time with oneself in solitude is essential for the mind).
2. Talk to yourself in the mirror before conversing with loved ones or people.
3. Take pauses in between words while speaking so the words can come out clearly.
If you suffer from stuttering and find these simple strategies helpful, you will get a great result if practiced daily.
I began to stutter at an early age, but I never knew it was a disability. The notion that stuttering is a disability speaks to how society views it. In my case, the linguistic aspect of stuttering became the norm as I continued that journey. Although stuttering comes from fear and anxiety, it is also a choice to stay in that state of mind instead of overcoming it with decisive actions.
I remained stuck and would not ask for help; not even going to my mother, I asked for guidance. So instead, I stayed quiet, choosing not to speak, and ignored the stuttering, as if it didn’t exist.
This behavior showed up in school, so I was diagnosed with a “learning disability,” I would turn in all my homework at the last minute. Eventually, this behavior became a habit, and it would follow me throughout my early adulthood years. Over time, I became lost in my unpronounced words. Looking back, I never knew the reason as to why I would turn in my homework late. Maybe it’s because I didn’t care about learning and never took advantage of the opportunity to learn. Yeah, I was in my feelings. I was mad I couldn’t be like other kids and other high-level functioning adults. Later, I found out that was all relative thinking.
But when I was in my feelings, I thought maybe I was not present and practiced speaking slowly and pronouncing my words carefully; my learning capabilities early on would lead to future success. If I had been serious with my schoolwork and aligned with my passion, things would’ve been very different. I would’ve become a doctor, teacher, or even a dancer if I wanted to.
As a result, I allowed the stuttering to overcome my entire being. I froze and didn’t take learning seriously. There was no optimism for the future, and I lost hope. Until, one day, I decided to embrace the learning I didn’t take advantage of earlier. When I began to put in the work, I learned to conquer math, which included: algebra, linear equations, graphs, and science rotations, except for calculus.
For now, my confidence is up. I am calmer, and I try to be self-conscious. In terms of the stuttering, it is almost gone. When I speak slowly and calmly, I don’t stutter! With continued reps of speaking, it will be gone completely. Like I said before, the calmer control of my speech, the better my delivery.
To conclude, it is up to the person to not allow stuttering or any other form of disability to overcome them. Throughout the journey thus far, I’ve learned a lot about myself as I reflect on my life. Understanding who I am and how to grasp and respond to information is becoming less of a challenge and is rather quite refreshing.
For those who currently have a stutter, do not let stuttering become a disability.
YOU are able.
YOU have a voice.
YOU have a choice to allow the stuttering to control your life, or you can take the necessary steps to seek help and overcome it.
Remember, we are all our only setbacks.
I genuinely hope this post has been a help and support for you.
Don’t hesitate to clap and comment for significant engagements if you enjoyed reading this post.
Michael Rey — Disability Advocate and Podcast Host