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My Label and Me: Having a stutter has kept me grounded

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From the moment I introduce myself my label becomes apparent. My name is Sascha. But it will come out sounding more like S-s-s-Sascha or Ssssssascha. I am a stutterer.

It began when I was four. No one knows why, as physically there is nothing wrong with me. Speech therapists say it could have to do with emotional trauma I experienced at a young age.

My mum’s mum was convinced it was because of a scare I once got from falling on the stairs. She’d hide behind doors and leap out at me in the hopes of reversing the damage by scaring me anew.

Although she’d startle me every time, it did nothing to rid me of my speech impediment.

For a little over a year, I attended a special school for children with speech difficulties and during one exercise I remember being asked to repeat my name over and over.

I think the therapist thought I’d get fed up and eventually pronounce it correctly. But I never did. Still, I remained calm. I didn’t let it affect me.

At mainstream school, I was never ridiculed. Or if I was it was done so behind my back.

Perhaps because I was respected by my classmates, was funny and good at sports I avoided hurtful comments. I........

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