June 14, 2011

How TISA helped me

Well I must say, being a severe stutterer at times, and not having a Self-Help-Group in my city, I find the TISA blog a shoulder-to-cry-on. Its not that I have been ignorant about stuttering, I have been living with it for the last 11 years. I am 21 now, and stuttering devastated my teenage and adolescence, my school and college life. But the TISA Manual in the website was the first document that described the reality of the causes and effects of stuttering.

I remembered the false hopes that many speech therapists had given me, the advertisements that said "Cure Stammering in two weeks", I cursed them for blinding me from the reality. TISA was the first organization that didnt look like a commercial body, like the numerous SLPs who 'sell' hope to stutterers for a huge price. TISA was like a friend who genuinely wanted to help me.
The first method I tried was the Record, Review and Analyze, to study your own body language. On one evening meeting with my girl-friend I asked her to record me when I was speaking to her. Back at home, I reviewed the video and noted down, what's unusual about my body language. The results surprised me, because I could see the struggle I am doing to have a normal speech, and the secondary effects of the struggle that showed up. To her, it wasn't anything new, she was used to it, but I almost laughed at myself when I saw my speech. Then I thought how strangers would be reacting to it. The secondary behaviors that I noted down were:
  • Fickleness, and looking here and there (unable to keep my head constant at a place)
  • Avoiding to speak much, and waiting for her to complete the sentence. (Very bad, one of the greatest reasons why we don't share a good chemistry)
  • Feeling of embarrassment, and checking my face and hair constantly in the mirror.
  • Feeling of guilt and helplessness (and falling silent and trying to calm myself down)
  • Forgetting what to say and speaking on rubbish topics (other than the stuff that she'll love)
  • When I got conscious of the recording, stuttering increased many fold (with stuttering in every word of a sentence)
  • She asked me why I am feeling nervous, and says "tumhara hath bhi stammer kar raha hai.."
  • Trying to substitute words a lot, (I am poor in hindi, so running out of words too soon, causing a block)
  • Laughing off for no reason, when I get stuck on a word.
There might be other observations that you may notice (I have posted the video right here). I decided that I had to work a lot on my speech. Its enough now, I have to stop this behavior and act normal. The biggest question that struck my mind that day was - "Of course I am very lucky to have a girl like her who understands me and wants to be with me despite my problem. But, isn't unfortunate that I am failing to give her the chemistry that every girl dreams of?"

I had stated thinking from the moment I saw the video. Thanks to Dr Sachin for writing such a great manual. I immediately started a SHG on phone and internet with two guys whom I met at Stammering Cure Center in Bangalore. They all have the same story of the shame and guilt of severe stuttering even with their friends and family.

Stammering is a social problem, it happens when we are with other human beings. Stammering doesn't happen when we're alone. It should be dealt in the real world amongst people, rather than slow-reading practice inside a closed room with a mirror. Will post more about my experience soon. Have a great day PWS. :)

10 comments:

sachin said...

Dear Biswaranjan
Thanks for checking the manual out, actually implementing it and getting back with your feedback! Amazing!
Yes, you are lucky to have a friend like her. Your observation is very true: many of us are too caught up with our own speech and our own fluency- and become quite indifferent to the people around us. Having a genuine interest in the other person, can do miracles to a relationship. All it takes is a little unselfishness and interest in other human beings..
You are on the right track- keep walking and sharing the feedback..Your words may help others, who knows! (they certainly help me!)
sachin

sachin said...

Biswaranjan- a thought struck me: TISA is not only a shoulder to cry on- you can also CLIMB this shoulder and look faaaar out- beyond stammering and its "cure".. How is that? :-))

Biswaranjan Rout said...

Yes Dr Sachin, TISA is more than a shoulder to cry on. Its our friend, philosopher and guide.

lalit said...

hi Biswaranjan..ur post is true expression of pws felling . unfortunately i am unable to see ur video(blocked by firewall) ...if possible can u mail me this video ..iam keen to watch it...

and thanks for ur post(today it help me to cope with my feeling related to stammering )

Biswaranjan Rout said...

@lalit: Sure.. Just add me in gtalk. My id is bisu9861861136@gmail.com
And we will be talking right away. Send me your id.

J P Sunda said...

Biswaranjan you are the first person (out of a lot of people to whom I had suggested this manual)who actually checked out the manual and tried the activities mentioned! Bravo. Buddy if you can keep this kind of initiative going, there's nothing stopping you :-)

Harish Usgaonker said...

Dear Biswaranjan,

I really loved your post. The way you have taken this initiative to record yourself and then review and analyze it to such minute details, is really worth a praise. There's a lot to learn from you... I see you go a long way ahead. Would love to converse with you some day. My cell number is - (0)9823211467

Really appreciaate your girlfriend too for being co-operative and helping you with this exercise.

Biswaranjan Rout said...

@JP: Thanks to you for suggesting me in the first place, and for being a guide to me.
@Harish Usgaonker:
I would love to talk. I will call you soon.

Ashutosh Nayak said...

i loved reading your experience..
yes u r on the right track and with the right person.. so there is no one stopping you..
ud chal tu..
:-)

sujit said...

Keep doing things like this, it helps a lot. All the best!