stammerheadshark * blog about living with an acquired neurogenic stammer

“You have to believe that it’s for a reason”

Posted on: October 25, 2009

Or so I keep being told.

The interview I had on Thursday couldn’t have gone better. Short of having normal speech again, it was pretty much a textbook example of how an interview ought to go. I was engaging and informed, and they were enthusiastic and impressed; but somewhere it all went wrong. I got a phone call later that day to “regrettably inform me that on this occasion I was unsuccessful”. Great.

After going over it all to the nth degree, you just have to believe that there was simply a better candidate; and that – as everyone seems to be telling me – it must be for the reason that something better is around the corner. You would hope.

Sure, I stammered constantly throughout the interview; but for me that’s normal. There was no increase in repetitions as I expected, and I haven’t needed to take any more tranquilisers to retrieve my stowaway speech. The interview panel didn’t struggle to understand my stutter, my presentation went really smoothly, and I had no problems answering their questions.

It was suggested by a family member that perhaps it was a strategic decision by the panel to award the position to another candidate knowing that I would have been taking a substantial cut in salary and therefore more likely to move on to a better job imminently. Well, perhaps. I’d still rather believe that there was simply someone who was better qualified.

What is difficult is knowing whether the stammer was a factor in their decision. Obviously they wouldn’t have been able to openly discuss my speech in a discriminatory fashion, but in relation to making “reasonable adjustments” as per the DDA I do wonder if not being so easily understood might have played against me, as it’s possible to deem that as being an important requirement for the job.

I know that many in the stuttering community will view my disclosure of the stammer as a disability on application forms as weak. After all the threads, forums, websites and literature I’ve read up on as to whether a stammer counts as a disability under the law, there is a resounding answer of  “yes, but it is down to the individual’s willingness to identify as disabled”.

Many stammerers claim that it is defeatist in their attempts to overcome their stutters when self-defining as disabled, and I can see their point. However, these stutterers have developmental stammers which can often be overcome and are often related to levels of self-esteem. Mine is not.

Resulting from brain damage, acquired stammers rarely disappear and are often impenetrable by speech therapy (as I have discovered).

Incidentally, I’ve got another interview on Tuesday morning which I’m hoping will be somewhat more successful than the last. While it’s not the end of the world to be going home to no job, it’d certainly make me feel a great deal more secure than I currently do.

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1 Response to "“You have to believe that it’s for a reason”"

Hi. I am also a stammer and just like u mine is also a permanent type. Few years ago I really tough that I can cure my stammering but after years of self research I have discovered that my mouth just cant say words as rapid as normal person does, resulting stammering. I am totally OK talking t my self because I will always talk slowly in my monologue. But, with people there is no way I can do that, people would definitely get bored of me or think that I am retarded. I begin to accept stammering as a part of me.

Just happy to meet another person of my kind. Keep up the blog.

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