11 Jun 2016
Sarah Berkowitz joins Peter Reitzes to discuss the physical exhaustion of stuttering.
This conversation stems from a post Ms. Berkowitz made at Stuttering Arena in which she said, “Does anyone else ever feel physically exhausted from their stutter? Sometimes I feel like I just ran a marathon.”
Other topics include how and why telling your teacher about stuttering may be helpful, an amazing idea Ms. Berkowitz has to raise stuttering awareness by offering people who stutter the option to have stuttering listed on driver’s licenses and identification cards, her work with the The Stuttering Association for the Young (SAY), how she uses “phrasing” to help manage stuttering and so much more.
When discussing the physical exhaustion of stuttering, Ms. Berkowitz is asked about the following statement from Did I Stutter?
“Stuttering is only a problem—in fact is only abnormal—because our culture places so much value on efficiency and self-mastery. Stuttering breaks communication only because ableist notions have already decided how fast and smooth a person must speak to be heard and taken seriously.”
Ms. Berkowitz responded:
“I completely disagree with that statement. Stuttering is a problem in itself. We know stuttering is a real diagnosable disorder with a cause and that is not caused by society’s pressure to decide how fast or slow a stutterer should speak. Stuttering itself is separate from what society believes someone should sound like…That makes me feel like people are denying that stuttering is a real problem.”
Sarah Berkowitz is a 17 year old senior at Adlai E Stevenson High School. Sarah aims for a career working with children with special needs. She is one of the founding Board members of The Stuttering Association For the Young’s Chicago chapter. Recently Sarah performed at SAY’s 14th annual benefit gala and is one of the authors of SAY: Storytellers Vol. 1.