They say, big surprises come in small packages. In TISA, big inspirations too come in small packages. This story is about one such BIG inspiration that can teach us- the stammering community a lesson on self-help.
10 year old Saandrushka from Goa attended the 3 day workshop with her father in Mangalore last year. For Saandrushka, the biggest role model is her father- a PWS himself. The amazing thing is- her father is a lawyer. A profession which is driven by ‘speech’. The biggest nightmare of any person who stammers is to venture into a career that requires nothing but talking! For Adv. Melwin, his love and passion for law comes above all the fears. He chose to embark on the journey he always dreamt of. Stammering was not going to be a hurdle. Never!
Saandrushka too loves to speak. She loves story-telling, poetry and is one of the aces of the language ‘Hindi’ in her class. She has also joined the junior version of the Toastmasters Club, called the Gavel Club. And, like her father, she too wants to be a lawyer. It’s just that, this ugly face of stammering showed up time and again, as she delved into her hobbies. She wanted to deal with it, overcome it and win over it. She enrolled for the TISA workshop with this goal in mind.
On day one, little Saandrushka while interacting with the facilitators of the workshop asked a question- “Why is stammering so scary?” Dr. Sachin answered- “It is nothing, just a small thing. Just like a cockroach. We do get scared of it… but if we just show some courage and bash it with our leg, then it is gone! Stammering is scared of you now!”
Throughout the workshop activities, Saandrushka was 100% participative. She was the first one to raise her hand when facilitators asked for volunteering in activities. She was whole-heartedly involved and was having fun. Two wonderful lessons that she taught all the adult PWS- to deal with stammering, one needs to take the self-initiative, be participative and all this becomes possible when you have fun in the process.
Saandrushka enthralled everyone with her talents- story telling, poetry recitation and acting (Role play activity). She brought in a new colour to the workshop- the tinge of childhood. By the end of third day, a few of us re-lived our childhood with her by running and shouting around the hall.
On day 3 of workshop, Saandrushka was well placed in dealing with her stammering head on. Not just that, she shared two techniques that she had realized on her own-
The Empty Room Technique: Whenever you speak, imagine that the room is completely empty. Even though you know it is not- imagine that there is no one in the room, feel it and then you will speak freely… stammer freely.
The Angel-Devil Technique: Focus only on the positives, and always imagine that your guardian angel (as per catholic belief, there is an angel by your side that helps you) is besides you to help you. Do not focus on the negatives and bad things. That will drive away the Devil.
(Check video below in which Saandhrushka is talking about her techniques)
This is what self-help all about! Accept your stammer with courage, embrace it, learn from other’s experiences and then find your way. Just like Saandrushka has found hers. Why can’t we learn from her? Let us also explore and find our own techniques…