Stuttering does not make you incompetent

Casey, second from right,
at the NSA Conference in 2014
This is the second of a series by CSA Board member Daniele Rossi interviewing attendees of Canadian Stuttering Association conferences past. Here is new SLP and also a CSA board member, Casey Kennedy. The CSA's 2015 one-day conference will take on Saturday, October 24 in Toronto, with author Katherine Preston as a keynote speaker. Further details including how to register here. Take advantage of early bird pricing before September 13!

1. Tell us about yourself.

My name is Casey Kennedy, and I'm a speech-language pathologist who stutters. I recently moved from Halifax to Toronto, and so far I'm loving life in the big city! I'm also on the Board of Directors of the CSA. I'd love to meet you this fall at the CSA's one-day conference in Toronto - don't be scared to come introduce yourself!

2. What was it like for you to grow up stuttering?

I felt different and I felt alone. I was a covert stutterer even in childhood, so I felt like I had a dark secret that I carried around with me everywhere, and that I didn't want anyone to know.

3. What is your favourite memory/experience of CSA?

I attended my first CSA conference in 2014 in Toronto and I had so much fun! I mostly enjoyed meeting other people who stutter, sharing experiences, and learning that I'm truly not alone.

4. What difference has the Canadian Stuttering Association made to you?

I've had the chance to be actively involved in the CSA for almost a year now, which means I've had the opportunity to contribute to a community and an identity from which I spent so many years hiding. The CSA has connected me to people who know what it feels like – people who get it.

5. Do you have a tip you'd like to share with others who stutter?

Stuttering does not make you incompetent. I have met literally hundreds of people who stutter through my involvement with the CSA and other similar organizations, and people who stutter are some of the bravest, smartest, funniest, most competent, normal people I've ever met. We may all have a barrier when it comes to speaking, but I've found that most of the limitations we claim to be due to our stuttering, we put there ourselves in self-defense. You can start breaking down these walls – and you don't have to do it alone.

Thanks Casey!