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From: Kristin Pelczarski
Date: 14 Oct 2008
Time: 10:35:25 -0500
Remote Name: 22.214.171.124
Lauren, Thanks for your comments. You are correct, it can seem like a really easy thing for people who do not stutter to simply say, it is okay to stutter openly instead of trying to hide it. Some folks have no problem with openly stuttering. Still, there are a lot of adults who stutter who have what can be described as a complicated relationship with their stuttering. They struggle with many aspects of their stuttering and even if they wanted to stop avoiding stuttering – that is sometimes easier said than done. Different people are in different stages of their journey with stuttering and we can do our best to help them wherever they may be – but first we need to understand where they are coming from! That is a great lesson to learn in grad school. It is terrific that you are trying to understand more! Another analogy I use can help people who do not stutter understand why some people might not choose to change a behavior and may continue to hide or avoid stuttering. Sometimes I even use this analogy with a parent who wants to know why their child just won’t use his techniques all the time. This analogy involves weight loss. Who among us hasn’t wanted to drop a couple of pounds to feel healthier and lighter? I know that all I have to do is eat less and exercise more. It really is quite simple. Yet, there are times that even though I know what I need to do to lose weight, it can be hard to implement these simple strategies. I often have a million excuses – I’m busy at work, there are family obligations, I’m trying to finish this PhD – but really, when I’m truly ready to lose the weight, I’ll lose it. Sometimes other things take priority for me and I make the choice to not exercise more or eat less. As a result, my clothes fit snugly for a little while longer. Until then, I can do my best to be aware of the choices I make about food and exercise and try to make good choices for myself. I also try do my best to not “beat myself up” for not changing right away. Change can be difficult and scary at times and there is often more to change than just the behavior that we are attempting to change! We try to understand where a client is coming and remember how hard change can be – regardless of what we are trying to change. Thanks for participating in this conference and learning more about stuttering!