Friday, May 15, 2015

Stutter Social Stories: Vishal Gupta

In another Stutter Social Stories post, this time we spoke with Vishal Gupta, a Stutter Social regular and web developer from India.

1. Tell us about yourself.

My name is V-V-V-ishal G-G-G-Gupta. I am from the north state of India and from the city of Allahabad. It's famous for Kumbh Mela (three rivers which flow together attracting people from around the world to come to bathe and also for spiritual reasons).

I am a person who stammers and I remember starting stammering at the age of 4. As I was excellent in mathematics, I decided to go into engineering. I graduated in 2012, and since then I have been working in IT company as a UI and web designer/developer and leading my five-member team.

Apart from that, I am the Delhi Coordinator of TISA (the Indian Stammering Association). I have been running the Stammer Freely Google Hangout for Indian People Who Stammer for 2 years and I am also a regular participant of the Wednesday Stutter Social Hangouts for 3 years.

2. What are your hobbies?

I have a long list of my hobbies which includes cricket, singing, blogging, illustration, business planning, app design, and hosting groups of people.

3. What was it like growing up as a person who stutters?

It was bit strange for me when have got to know that why i am having so much blocks, repetition and force while speaking. It was very difficult for me to pass msg , to give answer to other person or to take initiative of sharing anything among the people and even one on one. It was really bad but I sang song really well everyone knows me as a good singer. But after few months of stammering, my parents also observed the same thing and then they took me in a doctor clinic where doctor prescribed me a mind-full TONIC which was completely pathetic, he said its a mind weeknesss "once he start to take tonic automaticallly his stuttering will get vanish"

My school days were okay. I was kind of introvert but enjoyed every moment with friends and family. Sometimes I got bullied at school and, gradually, I started to become a real introvert and great thinker about future and all. Everytime when I wished to say something, I didn't know why words didn't come out from my mouth. I had blocks and problem in particular letters like A, K, E, P, CH, J, D, H and a few more.

As I was growing towards a college student, my social weakness was also running and growing very badly things were going to be very worst enough but something was very strange because there was a time I thought my stammering is seasonal. I used to stutter less in summer and severly in winter and there so much myth also I had in those days. Finally I got admission in engineering collee, life was bit changed and matured as that was new phase of my life but there are lot of situation where I had opportunity  to come in limelight and give my opinion or answer but I always choose the close door i.e avoidance and ignorance.

In my third-year, I decided to go to speech therapyand learn technique to cure my stammering and during my speech therapy sessions, i looked very fluent without a single block or repetition but when I came to real world that means when I started to talk with normal people again my stammering level became high then one day I found myself that somehow I need something else because inside the mind and heart I am very fear-full and scared person why not try to do acceptance and all then finally I have got info about TISA and then got to know about acceptance since then my jounrney became and now I am priety much comfortable with my stammering and also I am on recovery stage so I have learned many things frm the people who stammer and also from the people who are no stammerer.

4. How did you find out about Stutter Social?

It was in June 2012. I was searching for forums and websites related to stammering as I was very much tensed that time as I was in my final year so had lot of  stress of upcoming campus placement and all. Finally with the help of Google and the Stuttering Arena group on Facebook, Krishna Srinivasan, one of the Stutter Social hosts shared a link to his Hangout. I clicked on the link and saw 5-6 people were talking about stuttering. I was little stressed as there were 5 people and first time ever in my life I was going to speak in English. I started to talk and gave my intro with so many hard blocks and so much fear but finally, I did it :)

5. What made you give Stutter Social a try?

Of course my stammering :) I thought it was the best platform to start a journey of sharing things and learning from others.

6. How did Stutter Social help you?

I would say AMAZINGLY it has been helping me a lot. I know my first hangout in which I had practically blocks in each and every 3rd and 4th word and was very much tensed and stressed but after joining regular the hangout automatically, I started to speak very nicely. I know it took long time but it gave me confidence and believe that you can speak. Even you can pass your message, you can initiate and ask any question and  I have got so much knowledge from the other participants which I never knew before.

It made me socialize because Stutter Social is an international hangout platform for PWS so it taught me how one can understand accents from different countries. Stutter social has been very nice for me to improve my communication, english, confidence, and yes stammering.

7. What tips would you give other PWS?
  • I have spent many years trying to cure my stammering but the bitter truth is there is no cure. The only thing is you can manage your stammering up to 90-95%.
  • Just accept who you are but remember that doesn't mean your journey is finished. Acceptance is a beginning. Acceptance is not a target, it's a continuous process in each and every situation.
  • Speech is like a river, it finds its own way. Remember that letting go is very important to recover yourself from a bad day of stammering.
  • On the other hand, practice is also very important after acceptance, you can start with the techniques easy repetition, bouncing, voluntary stuttering and slow rate of speech.
  • My recommended books include "Speech is Like a River" by Ruth Mead,  "Operational Fluency" by Dr. Gunars and "Redefining Stuttering" by John C. Harrison.

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