Happy International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD)!
ISAD takes place every year on October 22nd, and this year, Stamily created a video that was featured in the ISAD Online Conference, which takes place over October. The online conference features articles and videos from people all over the world, talking about their experiences of stuttering. Check out the online conference here and our post here.
The video features some of the Stamily members talking about the impact that Stamily has had on their lives, from pushing them outside of their comfort zone, to giving them a support network, or just providing a great way to raise awareness about stuttering. 16 people recorded videos for the project, and this was edited into a 7 minute video that we’re really proud of.
Since the online conference started on October 1st, we’ve had some amazing comments on the video, so we’d love to share some of those with you, and answer some of the questions that people have had about Stamily. A massive thank you to everyone who has taken the time to comment on our video and share it with friends, family, and colleagues! Please keep commenting and sharing!
Thank you so much for all of your incredible comments and we’re so happy to see people embracing the idea of Stamily. Here are some of the comments that you have left us:
· “this is a wonderful video about community, support and empowerment for people who stutter” -Lourdes
· “Keep on being an inspiration for people who stutter” – Arni
· “Thanks for creating this, and for all that stamily.org is doing to raise awareness about stuttering” – Hanan
· “This video was very powerful as is the concept of building an international community to support people who stutter” -Sarah
· “I love the idea of Stamily and appreciate how inclusive it is, allowing both individuals who stutter and individuals who do not to become members” -johnka14
· “It was always great to have a group of people who understand you and will be there for you unconditionally! This video was truly touching!” – Braedyn
From these comments, we can see that the message of Stamily has really been understood and that people are responding to it, which is amazing. We at Stamily want to build an international stuttering community that is supportive, accepting and committed to raising awareness about stuttering, by including both people who stutter and people who don’t stutter. We also had comments from people who don’t stutter, including Speech and Language Pathologists (SLPs), who said that these kinds of videos allow them to understand stammering more.
We would like to leave this section by sharing a comment from bosteos, who wrote a great comment that really sums up what Stamily means to us:
“Stamily is such an awesome word! The basis of the word, family, is a strong word. It represents a group of people who love each other unconditionally. This was touched on by each person in the video. Some of the other things I didn’t think about is that Stamily means shelter, connection, and honest and open communication. I think Stamily was related as a sort of low maintenance group therapy where you can share and hear others experiences. A group that was always available to talk and always listening. You also don’t have to listen if you don’t want to! In my own words, Stamily is finding out I can be an inspiration for others and that I can be comfortable outside of my comfort zone.” [bosteos]
Thanks again to everyone who commented! We love to hear from you!
We have also received some great questions for the members of Stamily, and we have reached out to our members so that we can answer them here for you. The responses are created from these comments.
“What words of advice do you have for a person who stutters who has not yet reached out to anyone else who stutters?” -Sarah
It’s never too late to reach out to other people who stutter! Some of the members of Stamily did not get involved in the stuttering community until a couple of years ago, but now they’re so active and involved. So we would say, what are you waiting for? It’s a big leap to join a community like this, but joining can enrich your life and open up opportunities that you would never have otherwise known about. We may live across the world and in different cultures and have very different backgrounds, but some of us have never felt more safe and secure than within this community.
If you want advice on where to get started, have you tried an online hang-out, such as StutterSocial? If you’re apprehensive, these can be a great way of introducing yourself into the community as you do not necessarily have to speak. You can listen to others and see how broad and interesting the stuttering community is. There are also other places to find a nice stutter community, including Facebook pages like ‘Stuttering Community’ or ‘Stuttering Lounge’ (or see if your national stuttering association has a Facebook page you can join). Also, join Stamily! Join your travels, meet-ups, and exchanges!
“What has changed in your life as a result of being an active member of Stamily?” -Sarah
Getting involved in Stamily has given some of us a big step towards acceptance of our stuttering. We can see that we’re not alone and that stuttering is just one little part of us, besides all the other things that make us the people we are. Taking part in the meet-ups within the stuttering community has had a healing effect because taking part in events where everyone stutters has made us realize how positive stuttering can be. We’ve learned to embrace stuttering as part of our identity.
When you’re part of Stamily, being open about stuttering literally becomes part of your life. Usually, you want to share those fun parts of your life with others, so if you want to tell someone about that ‘amazing friend’, they ask where you met them and you have to explain that you met them through Stamily. Stamily gives you the power to stand up and speak your mind.
Many people in Stamily are also active in organizing events, exchanges, congresses and more, both with their national stuttering organizations and within the international community. These are amazing accomplishments that have a great impact, and it makes us proud to be part of this community.
“This group seems very accepting and non-judgemental, but have you experienced any divide or hard feelings between individuals who implement strategies to reduce disfluencies and those who believe in openly stuttering without the use of techniques?” [johnka14]
The beauty of Stamily is that there is no judgment and we haven’t had any disagreements within the group. Diversity makes the stuttering community great. Our philosophy is to be positive about stuttering because it’s part of who we are. It’s okay to stutter, in any way you do it. We all try to stay away from a mindset of labeling stuttering as ‘not good’ or ‘something that should be healed’. We encourage everyone to pursue their own personal development and we support them at every step.
In other communities, people who choose to be covert or people who actively choose to stutter openly have been made to feel that their choice is wrong. However, with Stamily this isn’t a topic that really comes up. We understand that it’s not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ situation, so we try to produce a variety of information, making sure that we stay unbiased. Everyone is able to stutter and manage their stutter, in the way they want.
Thank you to everyone who left us comments and happy International Stuttering Awareness Day 2019!