How “cluttering” changed my life
What is your cluttering experience? When you clutter, you may know how it feels. To finally bump into the “holy grail” that I’d been looking for since ages: speech therapy that was finally helpful to me. The ultimate cluttering experience, so to speak. A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with cluttering. The news blew me away. It took me some years to find out more about this “new thing” called cluttering. Particularly about the way I talked and what could be done about it. The more I got into this subject, the more I began to understand what cluttering meant. And the better I was able to control my speech. It made me even write a book about it.
Cluttering Podcast: my cluttering experience
After my book was published I was interviewed by Daniele Rossi, owner of stutteringiscool.com and a passionate podcast producer who has thrown over 250 podcasts in the air on stuttering. Now cluttering is part of that, too. Daniele and I talked about how I discovered that I cluttered, how on earth it came about that cluttering was overlooked for decades, and how one can cope with it. Listen to this excellent “podcast too fast for words” to learn more about my cluttering experience. Note that I just let the cluttering ‘flow’ and am not doing any efforts to control it. You can also hear me talking on many congresses and other occasions.
Our cluttering experience
Like you, people who clutter have their own personal stories to tell. About what cluttering means to them, how it impacts their lives and how they are coping with this sometimes difficult speech impediment. Take a look at some video interviews below. Joseph Dewey, Manny Gonzalez, James & Mary and Saujanya all talk about their cluttering experience. But let’s first introduce our newest star, Alysha.
Alysha (23) loves to work in high-paced environments. She even works as a 911 dispatcher. On the one hand her job seems like a pleasant challenge for her, but on the other hand the cluttering gets in the way sometimes. Alysha talks about how it feels like to clutter, how she would describe the cluttering in her own words, and what it meant for her to get the right diagnosis. Also, she gives some examples about how other people respond to her cluttering and what she needs to do to be more in control over her speech. A very interesting interview with a smart young lady!
Being a person who clutters, Manny Gonzalez in this video elaborates on how he discovered that he cluttered, what the diagnosis cluttering meant to him and how cluttering has impacted his life. Manny has learned to deal with the speech disorder in his own way. He explains what has helped him to better manage the cluttering, but also goes into more detail on the difficult parts of that and the way other people have responded to him cluttering. Finally, he shares his tips for people who clutter based on his own cluttering experience.
Joseph Dewey has been cluttering all of his life, but only got to know this when he was in twenties. He tells about this revealing experience and what he has done after he find out that he cluttered. Joseph has an interesting view on his cluttering and the symptoms that occur in his speech. In his own words he describes what cluttering means to him, how he sees the differences with stuttering and how he is coping with his speech impediment. Last but not least he likes to share his advice with every other clutterer out there.
Mary and James
James is a 19-year old boy who clutters. His mother Mary and he talk about how the cluttering has impacted their lives. Not only for James the cluttering is sometimes frustrating, it also has had its effects on his family. Mary describes what difficulties she encountered when she was looking for a therapist that could treat cluttering, and what reactions they got at James’ public school. She goes into more detail on how she explains the concept of cluttering to other people. James outlines what kind of cluttering therapy he went through, what happens inside of him when he clutters and how other people respond to him cluttering.
Meet Saujanya. He is a person who clutters and lives in Nepal. Since there’s little known about cluttering in his country, Saujanya got his information about this specific speech-language disorder on the internet. He explains what he tries to do in his communication with others to better control his speech, like mindful speaking. This helps him in slowing down. Saujanya also talks about how he gained more empathy for listeners and tells about his worst and best experiences with cluttering. His message is that you can still be grateful despite having a speech impediment.
Looking back on when I was younger, I have always felt that my speech was “different“. In my mind I can still hear my parents telling me to slow down, or to think first before opening my mouth. I always wondered why that was. Simply because I could not tell the difference between how fast they were talking and the pace of my own speech. Not to say that I don’t know that I am talking fast. But I often don’t know how fast I am going. Or that I am going fast pretty much all the time…
Besides some playful remarks from people mocking my “stuttering” throughout the years, I was not aware I had a real communication problem. I only started noticing this when I got older; when I went to college, or started my first job. I could not longer avoid telephone calls any more or refrain myself from participating in meetings. In that period I learned the truth. I was not a stutterer at all. I cluttered. That was big news to me. I realized that I was misdiagnosed as a stutterer for years.