My name is Daniel, and I’ve been a stutterer since the age of 4.
I’m sure you saw the name of our organization and it made you curious. What do I mean when I say that “stuttering is cruel,” and why did I choose this as our name?
For me, stuttering has always affected my ability to say what I want when I want, which can be incredibly difficult and frustrating.
I don’t know how it is for other people who stutter, but the best way I can describe my fluency is to compare it to your garden-variety (no pun intended) pulsating lawn sprinkler.
As you know, these sprinklers cycle between smooth streams going one way, and staccato-like streams going the other way.
Well, those “smooth streams” represent the times when I can speak fluently, while those “staccato streams” are times when my fluency is limited (and that can range as well).
Those smooth/staccato ratios never last too long for me, which is great when I’m in a slump but horrible when it reverses course. Therein lies the cruelty of stuttering.
Having a stutter can be downright frustrating, disheartening, embarrassing, and well — “cruel.” But it’s also not the end of the world. If approached the right way, dealing with a stutter can make one very strong and resilient.
While the ugly truth is that stuttering has no known cure, our organization wants to accomplish 3 main goals:
- To reach people who stutter and get their stories seen and heard while also educating non-stutterers.
- To produce educational content and materials related to stuttering and other speech-related disorders.
- To fund a wide range of stuttering research initiatives, and support the most promising students in the field of communication sciences and disorders.
A BRIEF HISTORY
When our organization launched in September of 2019, I had secured a partnership to support the University of Michigan’s Department of Psychiatry and its speech lab. I was also looking to support Michigan State University’s Developmental Speech Lab because the two collaborated often.
Unfortunately, both of those opportunities fell through when our organization encountered two major issues:
First, we were affected by a reported IRS auto-revocation glitch that had impacted nonprofits all over the country. Not once, but twice.
Second, the pandemic severely impacted my small business, and in turn, my ability to bootstrap this effort. It also introduced home-schooling into our busy schedules, so we made the difficult decision to put everything on hold.
Despite the roadblocks, I refuse to give up on why I started this organization in the first place, which is to help people who stutter and their families.
It also helps that the world’s leading authority on the medical treatment of stuttering Dr. Gerald Maguire, complimented me on my vision for this organization. That continues to keep me pushing forward even during my darkest days (thank you).
REAL STORIES, REAL PEOPLE. SEND US YOUR STORY!
If you’re a person who stutters and want to share your story, please fill the form below: