No Longer Covert

No Longer Covert

My name is Adriana and I’ve chosen to share my story and no longer live as a covert stutterer. Being a covert stutterer meant that I did everything I could to hide my stutter. Growing up I was afraid of what people would do or say if they found out that I was a person who stuttered. I’d go to speech therapy feeling so ashamed thinking stuttering was something that I had to change and that it was such a bad thing to have.

But this past year and a half I’ve grown so far from those thoughts.

I found the American Institute for Stuttering through a mutual friend who I met at a support group for people who stutter. During my time at AIS I learned a lot of things that I never thought were true. Two of the biggest ones that hit me were: 1) It is okay to stutter and 2) People who stutter can be great communicators too. In the beginning it was very hard to open up about how I felt about my stutter. I had never spoke about it with anyone other than my boyfriend and my mom, so having the opportunity to share my thoughts and feelings with someone else was just an amazing and heartfelt experience.

Although I still struggle with my stutter everyday, especially since I work as a receptionist at a doctor’s office, I’ve finally come to love myself and really appreciate my stutter. Stuttering has helped me become more compassionate and understanding of other people’s struggles because I know what it’s like to live with something you just can’t control. I also want to point out that being a person who stutters does not define me, it’s just a part of who I am.

In honor of International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD), I’ve used this opportunity to share this part of my life that I’ve never spoken about. I hope this can inspire you to learn more about stuttering and also embrace the unique parts of you that make you YOU. I now know that life is so much better when you do and also when you “Live fearlessly and Speak freely” -AIS.

The American Institute for Stuttering is a leading non-profit organization whose primary mission is to provide universally affordable, state-of-the-art speech therapy to people of all ages who stutter, guidance to their families, and much-needed clinical training to speech professionals wishing to gain expertise in stuttering. Offices are located in New York, NY and Atlanta, GA, and services are also available Online. Our mission extends to advancing public and scholarly understanding of this often misunderstood disorder.