www.stutteringhelp.org • 800-992-9392 • www.tartamudez.org T HE S TUTTERING F OUNDATION An introduction toChildhood Stuttering A Nonprofit Organization FALL 2009 Since 1947... Helping Those Who Stutter cognitive therapy A new look at how language, motor, and emotion factors may influence early childhood stuttering sometimes make errors, jump to con- clusions or generally get things wrong. By Jane Fry, While it is human nature to make mis-By Hayley S. Arnold, Ph.D. MSc (Psych Couns)., Dip CT (Oxon) takes, Beck proposed that some people As a postdoctoral researcher in Cognitive therapy, or cognitive-be-Purdue University Michael Palin Centre develop systematic, unhelpful biases inthe area of stuttering at Purdue haviour thera- the way theyUniversity, I am studying how py (CBT), is in- interpret infor- creasingly re-language, motor, and emotion fac- ferred to in mation, and tors may influ- work with peo- patterns of ence stuttering in ple who stutter. negative or young children. Jane Fry from unhelpful One way I’ve thinking the Michael explored these which help to Palin Centre, explain their factors is with London, UK, vulnerability electroen- discusses some to emotional cephalography of its’ key theo- problems. (i.e., EEG, electri- retical and clin- Cognitive ical principles.Hayley S. Arnold, Ph.D. cal signals from theory thus the brain) in emphasises thepreschool-aged children who stutter Jane Fry works with children. role of cognitions (thoughts, assump- Cognitive Therapy is a form of psy-and their peers who don’t stutter. tions and core beliefs) in explaining What is Cognitive Therapy? chotherapy which was originally de- During my previous doctoral veloped by Aaron Beck in the 1960’s the way people feel. For example,work with Edward Conture at to understand and treat depression. when people feel anxious it is becauseVanderbilt University, I measured they are predicting that an imminent Beck proposed that as human beings, situation will be threatening in someemotions using EEG and the be- we are constantly engaged in a process way. Furthermore, the level of anxietyhaviors produced by nine children of filtering and interpreting informa- will be higher the more a person viewswho stutter and nine children who tion in order to make sense of the the feared event as being likely to hap-don’t stutter. The EEG measures world and our experiences. While this pen, the more that is at stake should itof emotion did not distinguish is helpful because it makes the worldchildren who stutter from those more predictable, he argued that we all Rio Resonates! R i o Res o n a t e s !who don’t stutter. However when Continued on page 2I analyzed behaviors, the childrenwho stutter, compared to theirpeers who did not stutter, wereless adept at emotion regulation. Rio de Janeiro was the site of this year’s The study had children listen to International Fluency Association Worldseveral conversations in which Congress. Speech therapistsadults were happy, angry, and from 29 countries were rep-neutral in their emotions. resented, including Estonia, I found that the children who did Turkey, Iran, Sweden,not stutter responded with signifi- Argentina and Brazil.cantly more frequent self soothing, There was great interest in Stuttering Willie Bottherill and Jenniferproblem solving, and other regula- Foundation materials; and on the last day, Watson with an SLP fromtory behaviors immediately after Dr. Jennifer Watson relates, “I gave out Estonia at the Stuttering Continued on page 4 Continued on page 3 Foundation booth.
2 800-992-9392 THE www.stutteringhelp.org STUTTERING FOUNDATION Therapy All or nothing thinking: One of the first tasks is to help clients This is where you look at things in ab- happen, and the less the person views Continued from front What happens in therapy? explore the links between their thoughts, solute, black and white terms rather themselves as being able to cope. feelings, physiological reactions and be- than considering a continuum of pos- Beck also proposed that thoughts, havioural responses, to introduce the sibilities. Perceiving something to be a feelings, physiological and behavioural responses are linked. For example, when ‘total failure’ or ‘rubbish’ because it is we get anxious a ‘wired-in’ response not 100% perfect is an example of all triggers physical feelings, such as ‘but- or nothing thinking. terflies’ or an increased heart rate, and Catastrophising: also a natural and instinctive be- You expect that the worst will happen havioural response to something protec- even when there is no evidence to tive, such as avoiding the source of threat. Furthermore, in difficult situa- suggest that it might. You don’t con- tions people tend to respond in ways sider other possible outcomes which which inadvertently exacerbate or rein- might be just as, if not more likely. concept of the vicious circle and help force problems, creating a ‘vicious cir- Mind-reading: them weigh up which of their typical cle’. Continuing with the example of You make assumptions about what other ways of coping are helpful and which anxiety, avoiding a feared situation people are thinking or are going to think. are less so. might get an individual ‘off the hook’ Next, clients are encouraged to Over-generalisation: but ultimately it stops them from finding carry out ‘experiments’ which help You make a sweeping conclusion on out that things might have actually been them to test predictions and see how the basis of one event, that goes far OK, or not as bad as they feared, or in- accurate they are. For example, a re- beyond the current situation. deed that they might have coped. The cent group of teenagers at the Michael person loses the opportunity to build Mental filter Palin Centre spent a morning watching confidence and their fears associated You dwell on the negatives and mag- their therapists stuttering and noticing with that situation are reinforced. nify them or blow them out of propor- how members of the public reacted, a task which they threw themselves into tion, while ignoring or minimising the People who stutter often notice that wholeheartedly, ensuring that we all positives. How might this relate to stuttering? when they feel apprehensive about stuttered sufficiently to make the ex- Post mortem thinking speaking this is linked to negative periment valid. You go over in your mind all the thoughts or predictions about the situa- things that went wrong and don’t pay tion. These tend to be about stuttering it- ...thoughts, feelings, attention to the things you did well. self (i.e: “I’ll get stuck”; “It’ll go on for- “ physiological Importantly, in cognitive therapy ever”), how other people will react (i.e: “they’ll laugh at me, they’ll ignore me”) and behavioural there is recognition that adverse events and how they will be viewed (i.e: responses are linked... do occur. At times people who stutter “they’ll think less of me”, “they’ll think there’s something wrong with me”). Cognitive therapists use questions to ” face very real social stigma and some- times fears are justified. One of the real They may then find that they approach help clients explore other perspectives, strengths of this approach is that it fo- the situation with more emotional and and reach their own conclusions, taking cuses on building coping strengths and physical tension than they would other- problem-solving skills so that individu- care to work collaboratively and avoid wise have done, and that as a result they als are more flexible in their thinking any sense of debate or instruction. are indeed more likely to stutter. and more emotionally resilient when Questions that we encourage clients to things are less than ideal. Alternatively they may cope by doing ask themselves include: something protective, such as deciding • What is the evidence that supports not to speak, or choosing a safer word, There is not a great deal of research my prediction? which may offer a short term solution Research and the evidence base • Is there any evidence that what into the use of cognitive therapy with but not fit with how they want to cope people who stutter yet, however several with stuttering in the long term. I’m thinking is not entirely accurate, or that something else could be true? studies have discussed links between Importantly, the dynamic of negative social anxiety and stuttering, lending self-talk and use of unhelpful coping • Is there another way of looking at weight to a theoretical argument for its’ strategies can become a pattern which things? use. Fry, Botterill and Pring (2009) and reinforces rather than diminishes anxi- People are also helped to recognise Menzies, O’Brian, Onslow and ety about speaking. At a deeper and when they are adopting an unhelpful Packman (2008) have recently referred more complex level, individuals may pattern of thinking or ‘thinking trap’. to the use of cognitive therapy as a com- develop an underpinning system of neg- Our group of teenagers, and not a few ponent of treatment for, respectively, ative assumptions and beliefs which of the therapists and students too, teenagers and adults who stutter, and more generally influences how they ex- recognised some of the following: certainly at a clinical level it seems to perience the world. Continued on page 4
800-992-9392 3 Journalism Award Winners THE STUTTERINGFALL 2009 FOUNDATION Dr. Jennifer Watson and Tom Media Awards Celebrate 18th Year The Stuttering Foundation has Blake shares accurate informa- Watson. announced its 2009 Awards for tion with viewers. Tom pitched Excellence in news reporting. in with The winning entries successfully Telegraph, Alton, much-needed Third Place: Jill Moon, The enhanced public understanding Illinois. “Don’t help at the of this complex speech disorder stifle stutterers.” conference site. during the past year. “Journalists Moon focused on in a variety of media have done help for classroom an outstanding job of focusing teachers with stu- on the causes and treatment of dents who stutter stuttering over the past year,” including resources said Jane Fraser, president of the at the local library. 62-year-old nonprofit founda- tion. “We were particularly Jill Moon pleased this year to see an in- creased focus on young people.” Category: Television Three distinguished journalists are honored for their outstanding Speech therapists look over contributions. They are: Stuttering Foundation materials. Rio everything we had very quick- Continued from front ly. Many were disappointed when we ran out of materials.” Category: Daily Newspapers “Rio was a wonderful con- The Orlando Sentinel, Orlando, First Place: Martha Phifer, ference,” said therapist Willie Florida. “Take con- Bottherill. She added, “We had trol of stuttering.” a lovely time distributing SFA The English and materials to people who really Spanish articles wanted and needed them.” K give readers the tools needed to identify stuttering Diana Montano, left, speaks and offers useful Hits Home Run with Lisette Betancourt. advice on how to Martha Phifer Producer Diana Montano and Honorary First Place: help children over- Telemundo TV for their timely come stuttering. These articles segment on stuttering, targeting provide different points of view on Spanish-speaking parents with the problem, offer lots of re- help nationwide. This excellent sources for help, and reach a large segment featured speech-language Hispanic audience. pathologist Lisette Betancourt of Don’t Let Stuttering Miami Children’s Hospital. Put You On the Bench. Jupiter Courier, Stuart, Florida. The awards were announced Second Place: Kit Bradshaw, “Kids who stutter during National Stuttering don’t want to be Awareness Week, May 11-17. COURTESY OF NBC SPORTS NBA All Star and Hall of Famer Bill Walton never let his defined by their San Diego Charger Darren stuttering problem keep him out of the game. Today millions of fans recognize his authoritative voice as a sports commentator. Bill Walton got in the game, and so can you. If you or someone you know stutters, write or call: speech,” a multi- Sproles led this year’s awareness THE STUTTERING ESPN readers from across the 1-800-992-9392 www.stutteringhelp.org FOUNDATION A Nonprofit Organization ® Since 1947—Helping Those Who Stuttercountry are calling and emailing media presenta- campaign. Among other famousthe Foundation after seeing full- tion, provides people who stutter are VP Joepage public service ads in not readers with posi- Biden, actor James Earl Jones,only one but two issues of the tive and accurate 20/20’s John Stossel, and bas-magazine this summer. The donat- information about Kit Bradshaw ketball star Kenyon Martin. Aed ads are reaching hundreds of stuttering through complete list of famous peoplepeople who want help with stut- the viewpoint of two teens. who stutter can be found attering. Thank you, ESPN! K Speech-language pathologist Liz www.stutteringhelp.org. K
4 800-992-9392 THE www.stutteringhelp.org STUTTERING FOUNDATION Childhood thirteen who don’t, were in their stand that the brain activity for hearing the happy and angry first year of a longitudinal project language may differ for some Continued from front conversations compared to the directed by Anne Smith and children who stutter when they neutral one. Christine Weber-Fox at Purdue. are simply listening to speech The children who stutter used When we analyzed their brain without speaking themselves. about the same frequency of regu- I’ve also started studying the latory behaviors across the happy, body’s response to emotions angry, and neutral conversations. (i.e., autonomic arousal) by mea- I also found that the children suring changes in the skin relat- who stutter using fewer emotion ed to sweat gland activity and regulation strategies also stuttered blood flow. This study includes more. In other words, it appears school-age children who stutter that use of regulatory behaviors is and their peers who do not dur- related to stuttering; however, we ing speech and non-speech tasks. do not know if the stuttering de- Because the recordings we use Hayley S. Arnold works with a creases the occurrence of the regu- responses, we saw subtle, but sta- are “kid friendly,” the children young client. latory behaviors or if less regulato- tistically significant, differences often talk about how much fun ry behavior results in more stutter- for the children who stutter com- they had and even ask when they ing. Further research is needed to pared to their peers who do not can return! I hope that these and answer this question. stutter. The differences in brain other studies will help us better More recently, I studied electri- activity were more pronounced understand stuttering and even- cal brain responses (i.e., event-re- when the children heard words tually lead to therapy that helps lated potentials) when 4 and 5 that were out of order in a sen- prevent chronic stuttering. year old children who stutter lis- tence (“He wanted this that ball”) If you live in Indiana and tened to sentences while they rather than the meaning of words would like your child who stut- watched a cartoon. These 26 chil- (“He stood on the one music”). ters to participate in our studies, dren, thirteen who stutter and This study is helping us to under- e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. KTherapy in our work with children, parents and trainer at the Centre for Cognitive young people where developing a ro- Therapy (www.padesky.com) whohave a good fit with clients’ experience Continued from page 4 bust and positive self-view is likely to provides training and resources forand therapy goals. protect against future difficulties. mental health professionals. Cognitive Therapy is not concerned References There are a number of self-helpIn summarywith teaching clients to ‘think positive- Where to find out morely’ or to be more ‘rational’. It is con- resources available which provide a Fry, J., Botterill, W., & Pring, T (2009). The ef-cerned with helping people to under- good place to start, some of which fect of an intensive group therapy programme for are listed below. young adults who stutter: A single subject study.stand the way in which their thinking af- International Journal of Speech-Languagefects them on a day-to-day basis, and to In addition, the Stuttering Foundation Pathology, 11 (1): 12-19.cope with difficulties more effectively has recently released the DVD, Tools for Menzies, G., O’Brien, S., Onslow, M., Packman, Success, which provides a “taster” to the A., St Clare, T & Block, S. (2008). An experimentalby being more flexible in how they look core skills of CBT, presented by speech clinical trial of a cognitive-behaviour therapy pack-at and respond to situations, developing age for chronic stuttering. Journal of Speech,more effective problem-solving skills, therapists from the Michael Palin Centre Language and Hearing Research, 51, 1451 -1464.maximising the use of more helpful self- and based on a workshop held in Boston Butler, G. (1999) Overcoming Social Anxiety in 2008. (Photos shown in this article are Self-help bookstalk, and developing life-enhancing core found in the new DVD) Behavioural Techniques. Robinson, London.beliefs. It provides a structure for thera- and Shyness. A self-help guide using Cognitive Butler, G. & Hope, T. (1995) Manage yourpists to explore their own negative In the USA Christine Padesky is a Mind: The Mental Fitness Guide. Oxford: Oxfordthoughts, emotions and responses, and high-profile clinician, writer and University Press. Willetts, L., & Creswell, C. (2007).to understand parents’ anxieties better. At the Michael Palin Centre cogni-tive therapy may be integrated into Overcoming your child’s social anxiety and shy- havioural techniques. Robinson. London ness: A self-help guide using cognitive-be-work on fluency skills, desensitisationor general communication skills, or it Jane Fry, MSc (Psych Couns).,may be delivered on its own for young Dip CT (Oxon), is a specialistadults and adults who want to focus speech and language therapist atmore the psychological aspects of their The Michael Palin Centre forexperience. It is particularly important Stammering Children, London U.K., www.stammeringcentre.org. K
A ero of Their Own 800-992-9392 5 THE STUTTERINGFALL 2009 FOUNDATION By Casey Pearce NFL Star Inspires Students Darren Sproles spent a May Chargers.com morning encouraging approxi- mately 30 youngsters who, like the star running back, battle stuttering issues. When Alex Scharnitzky, a sixth grader at San Diego’s De Portola Middle School, shook hands with Darren Sproles, it wasn’t just about meeting his favorite athlete. It was about finding c o m m o n ground with NFL Star someone who Darren Sproles has faced and signs autographs overcome similar obstacles. for young fans. “I didn’t know anyone else who stutters and my dad told me that there was a famous football player who stutters, too,” Scharnitzky said. “It was cool to know that I’m not the only one.” As part of National “They got right to the Stuttering Awareness Week, point,” Sproles said. “I Sproles visited roughly 30 San told them that I never real- Diego students who also strug- ly worry about it. If you gle with the speech disorder. let something bother you, The students gathered at Morse it can get in your way. It’s nervous. High School where Sproles an- like football. You just have to That’s swered many of their ques- work at it. when it tions, signed autographs and Sproles became acquainted (stuttering) mingled with the group for ap- with the Stuttering Foundation comes out proximately an hour. through San Diego native and the most. “I was nervous at first, but I’m former NBA star Bill Walton. Once I get glad I got to meet these kids,” Sproles has formed a friend- relaxed, Sproles said. “Hopefully I encour- ship with Walton, and Walton I’m fine. aged them a little.” has helped Sproles with the I’ve got to Sproles, who has stuttered running back’s speech issues. stop and throughout his life, sat in front Sproles now serves as a na- breathe and just try to talk slow- of the room as students asked tional spokesman for the er. That helps.” him not only about life in the Stuttering Foundation, and his The students’ questions NFL, but also about his person- image is featured on a large were pointed. They asked if he al speech struggles. poster that each student re- was picked on at school be- “Sometimes when I talk, I try ceived. The poster contains the cause of his speech and were to go too fast, and that’s what gets message, “Stuttering didn’t keep eager to hear how he’s over- me in trouble,” he explained. “If him out of the game.” come his struggles. you put a camera in my face, I get Continued on page 12
6 800-992-9392 Western Workshop is Best Ever ... Again www.stutteringhelp.org THE STUTTERING FOUNDATION Once again, Susan Hamilton and By Susan Hamilton, M.A. Jennifer Watson concluded that this years workshop was the best ever! Susan Hamilton Both presenters agree that "We facilitates couldnt have done it without our a session. awesome organizer Ellen Reuler." Reuler, a former workshopper, is the Director of Clinical Services at Portland State University and was responsible for the behind the scenes tasks that made the workshop flow Small groups seamlessly from start to finish. work together. Susan Hamilton and Jennifer Watson joined forces at the podium for this 5 day event where partici- pants were chosen from across the world. This year we had attendees from Canada, Thailand and Argentina as well as across the United States. Watson and Hamilton’s goals for this year’s workshop were to help the at- tendee’s to increase their “comforta- bility,” competence and confidence when treating children who stutter. “This group really impressed me in that they were positive and so sup- portive of each other during the learn- ing process,” commented Watson. Both presenters agreed that the par- ticipants were willing to step out of Front row: Claudia Zapata, Ellen Reuler, Jane Fraser, Susan their comfort zones and build on past Hamilton and Jennifer Watson. Middle row: Jaimee Kupferman, experiences to learn more about pro- Srinikorn Prohmtong, Carrie Smigelski, Kristy Stefanucci, Amanda viding therapy to children who stutter. Wells, Jennifer Irvine and Liliana Bejarano. Back row: P.J. Seymour, “It takes courage to practice newly Alicia Fox, Mary Ackles, Cecelia Myers, Jennifer Katz, Gail learned skills in front of your peers,” Rothwell and Stephanie Cooper. stated Hamilton. This years group took it a step farther and took their newly acquired skills and tools out to the streets of Portland! Workshoppers agreed that its vital to be willing to do what we ask our clients to do! One workshopper stated that " I feel that a conference is suceess- ful if I take one thing away from a conference, well Ive taken hun- dreds," another remarked that this was the best conference she had attended in her career. " I cant wait to get back to work and start practicing all of my new skills with my clients!" K Participants enjoy Susan and Jennifer’s interaction.
New England Hosts 11th Workshop 800-992-9392 7 THEFALL 2009 STUTTERING FOUNDATION By Diane Parris, M.A. Boston University Twenty speech-language pathol- ogists gathered at Boston University’s Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences for a 5-day workshop. They came from twelve states and two foreign countries - Thailand and Australia - with backgrounds as diverse as their geographical origins. However, from June 10 – 14th, they shared one thing in common: increasing their exper- Front row (left to right): Sheryl Gottwald, Judi Cheng, Jane Fraser, Voon tise in the diagnosis and treatment Pang, Rachel Whorton and Christian Oliva. Middle row: Kathy Thomas, Joy of children who stutter. Kling, Maryann Kaminsky, Nittaya Kasemkosin, Adriana DiGrande, Andrea Hosted by Diane Parris, MS Elson, Beth Deiter, Carol Hinchey and Gayle Daly. Back row: Laura Graham, CCC/SLP Clinical Associate Kari Meyer, Francine Vasquez, Laura Buckley, Patricia Keiling, Joanne Professor, a team of extraordi- Boucher, Beth Baccari, Diane Parris and Michele Coogan. nary researchers and master clin- icians provided the right blend of Dr. Luterman information and skills training to conducting help increase confidence and direct skills competence in an integrated ap- training. proach to fluency therapy. The program included: Dr. Edward Conture, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at Vanderbilt University, Diane Parris, Dr. Sheryl Gottwald, Assistant Professor at the Dr. Conture reviews Dual University of New Hampshire, Diathesis Stressor Model of Dr. David Luterman, Professor at Stuttering. Emerson College, and Adriana DiGrande, MS CCC/SLP, Dr. Gottwald focuses on treat- Adjunct Clinical Faculty at ment of preschoolers. Boston University. Direct clinical skills training culminated in mock therapy ses- sions with children gathered from the local area. Diane Parris facilitates Participants commented that a practice session for scoring disfluencies. the ‘hands on’ learning was a Workshoppers relax highlight of the program. One As they begin to implement during a break. workshopper said, “This is the their new learning with clients, this journey with such wonderful Many were inspired by the most will also be offering in- colleagues.” practical nature of the training service training to colleagues in best professional training I have and by the friendships that result- upcoming months. Spreading had since grad school. It was so ed from the intensive nature of the knowledge and skills pro- empowering to have these ex- the program including sharing vided in the regional work- perts here with us for ‘stuttering living quarters in the shops is essential to the mission boot camp.’ I felt quite comfort- University’s dorms. of the Foundation. able exploring the limits of pro- fessional knowledge, and making K
Iowa Workshop Sizzles !8 800-992-9392 THE STUTTERING www.stutteringhelp.org FOUNDATION By Patricia Zebrowski, Ph.D. University of Iowa This year’s Midwest Workshop was held in Iowa City, under the leadership of Dr. Patricia Zebrowski with Dr. Lisa Scott of The Florida State University as guest lecturer during the five day course. “We continue to attract strong applicants to the Midwest Workshop – and this year’s group of prac- titioners met our expecta- tions – and then some,” says Front row: Julie Raynor, Brenda Ross, Kavita Kaul, Susan Beers and Pat Tricia Zebrowski. Brush-Lorey. Second row: Juliane Svingen, Barbara Johnson, Diane Monroe, This year’s attendees hailed Jane Fraser, Jennifer Mollerud, Toni Cilek and Jamie Ryan. Third row: from Iowa, Illinois, California, Kathryn Johnson, Tricia Zebrowski, Donna Smith and Nereida Ybarra. Back Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, row: Terry Douglas, Yoshimasa Sakata, Michele Mikita, Julia Hollister, Stacie Virginia, Texas and Japan. Greene and Kyle Brouwer. Added Zebrowski, “Teaching this workshop gives me the op- portunity to talk about how re- search and clinical practice complement each other and to hear from others about how this relationship functions in the real world.” One attendee remarked, “I hope to be much more effective when treating children who stut- Jennifer Mollerud and Kavita Kaul. ter and be a better communica- Donna Smith and Yoshimasa Sakata. tor with parents.” Another said, “The way I pro- vide stuttering therapy has changed dramatically. I now feel that I have a plan of action...” K I plan to make changes“ in all aspects of my Dr. Scott demonstrates assessment tools. interactions with A “get-together” at the end of the students who stutter day. and their families. I now have a clearer understanding of evaluation and counseling. ” ~ Workshop Attendee Participants hard at work.
Rising Blues Star 800-992-9392 9 THE STUTTERING FOUNDATIONFALL 2009 Following in the footsteps of effort to overcome blues legends B.B. King and their stuttering. John Lee Hooker, teen guitarist Myles Mancuso loves the Q. Do you think about “blues.” Myles is an outstanding your stutter when you performer and also a person who are on stage? around my friends and so a lot of stutters - just like King and A. When Im on stage all of my them dont notice my stuttering. Hooker. He has shared some per- problems seems to disappear be- My family treats me like I speak sonal insights with the Stuttering cause Im so comfortable in front normally. Foundation not only about his of an audience that I usually music but also about how he dont stutter. Q. Do you think stuttering holds deals with stuttering. you back in anyway? Q. How did you get started A. My stuttering does not in the music business? hold me back because Ive learned that even if I do stut- A. I got started when I was ter and people do make fun nine years old when I of me - no one can change played on stage with Levon who I am inside. Helm from "The Band" in Woodstock. Then shortly Q. You have met many fa- after that I played at a few mous people. Is there a per- shows in NYC that were son who stands out as par- promoted by Sid Bernstien, ticularly meaningful to you? he is the promoter that brought the Beatles to A. Tab Benoit stands out America. most to me - not only be- cause of his great guitar Q. What instruments do playing and song writing, you play, and how do you but because of his pas- classify your music? sion for sav- ing the A. I play Louisiana the guitar, Wetlands. I piano, bass, have a lot of sax and respect for drums. Even someone who though my devotes their music has life to a certain "bluesy" ele- cause. ments, I still consider it to be Q. Have you sought therapy to help with stuttering? Q. Do you plan to stay in the classified as a mix soul, funk entertainment field as a life- and R&B. A. Yes, I went through speech long career? therapy most of my elementary Q. What was your reaction to the years and the first part of my A. Yes, I plan to play music B.B. King and John Lee Hooker middle school years. I feel the and be a producer or composer feature in the last SFA newsletter techniques my speech therapist like Quincy Jones. Im starting issue? gave me have helped a lot to look at music colleges be- through the years. cause Im going into High A. It surprised me because I School this fall. never knew that BB King and John Lee Hooker were stutterers. Q. How do friends or family Ive noticed when they talk - they members treat you in regards to control it so well. I really re- your speech? spect them for their music and A. I try to talk as smooth as I can For show dates, more articles, pictures and other information, visit www.mylesmancuso.com. K
Dear SFA: Reader Response10 800-992-9392 THE www.stutteringhelp.org STUTTERING FOUNDATIONBe YourselfSend letters to SFA, P.O. Box 11749, Memphis, TN 38111-0749 or e-mail email@example.com. me. It only gets on my nerves slow at the same time. This bookDear SFA: when other people say, “Why do helps me go with the flow and Hi I’m Tyrell. This is my story. you go ahah ahah ah?” Then I just let it out sometimes. I have been stuttering for as get mad. I try to stop but some- Thank you and goodbye from,long as I can remember and it re- times it is hard. I only stutter Mustafah, 10ally is a big thing with me. Well, when I am trying to get myselfwhen I was little that is. I always out of trouble or tell on some- Answering Californiahad a hard time controllingmy stuttering. I would talk Questionsreally fast and then get Dear SFA:caught up on a word. I My name is Aaron and Iwould try to talk fast be- am in 5th grade.cause I won’t stutter. The I do not really mind stut-time I usually did was tering but it really annoyswhen I talked slow. me when people ask about I don’t get mad over it it. Because it annoys me, Ianymore because I’m don’t answer. They keepolder now, and I won’t let asking and trying to get itpeople get to me when out of me. After about thethey talk about me and my millionth time, I answerstuttering. I just brush it that some other people dooff and keep going. I real- it and no one is quite surely can’t say I was born stut- My name is Andrew. I am 8 years old. I am in 2nd why. This answer does nottering because maybe I was grade. I stutter so don’t feel like your alone be- always satisfy them.and maybe I wasn’t. To tell Because it doesn’t satisfyyou the truth stuttering is Andrew, 8 them, they don’t bother cause our bodies stutter sometimes.the main reason I never talk Litchfield, Maine with me. That makes meout loud during class. It’s feel unhappy.also the reason why I don’t go on body when they have done some- In my speech class, we are goingstage in front of anybody or even thing bad. How do you make to be putting on a video with aread out loud. It’s just something people stop stuttering if they power point presentation to edu-I have never been able to do. So have a really, really hard time cate the school about stuttering.for every one who stutters, don’t stopping? Thank you for your time,let what others say about it get At school, I have a Speech Aaronyou down. Stay strong and be Therapist that is really nice and Iyourself. If they can’t accept you love her because she really helps Techniques Help Californiafor who you are, then that’s their me with my stuttering. Since Iloss. To every one like me: smile have been going to speech I have Dear SFA:and be happy. Never let anyone been getting a lot better at talking I started to realize I stutteredhold you back. and not so much stuttering. At when I was in first grade, and I Good-bye and good luck! speech, I am reading this book was 6 years old. Then, a coupleTyrell called Sometimes I Just Stutter. It months later, I started going to talks about how other people speech. This year is my third stutter and how they feel. Like, year because I’m in third gradeSpeech Teacher Helps people have different emotions now, and 8 years old. I’ve beenE-mailDear SFA: and do different things to stop using something called Frog I am a 10-year-old boy named stuttering. Some of the people in Eyes and Load the Raft. Now, IMustafah. I do not like when this book, do not have any am less bumpy and smoother.people make fun of me when I friends because they stutter and Nick, 8stutter. I do not like when I stut- make fun of them. I try to stopter, but it doesn’t really matter to stuttering by talking fast and Grafton, Wis. Continued on page 11
11 THE 800-992-9392 STUTTERING FOUNDATIONFALL 2009Letters friend or sang songs with my sis- was great! It was after that when I ters, my words came out more flu- realized that I couldn’t alwaysLike a Train Continued from page 10 ently. Our class was preparing forrely on someone to talk for, orDear SFA: a play. I was really nervous, with me. That’s when Susan My name is William. I am 8 Cochrane stepped into myyears old. I live in life. She’s been my speechMiami, Fla. I like to therapist ever since thatplay basketball. I just week in the Spring ofmight be a basketball 2006!!!player. I started stutter- I’m telling you this be-ing at age 6. I like my cause now I’m ready tospeech class. It helps me manage my own stutter-not to stutter. My friends ing. Not only am I readydo not tease me. I think to do this on my own, I amthat speech is like a train geared up to help othersbecause when you do who struggle with theirnot stutter, you are at the speaking. Since secondend of the train. I feel grade, I’ve come a longO.K. about my stutter- way. Over time, I haveing. I stutter a lot. learned to overcome fearsWilliam, 8 about speaking. Once I learned to accept my stut- tering I was able to learnReading LettersMiami, Fla. about belly breathing,Dear SFA, phonating, and learning Thank you for putting about what I call “socialletters from kids that chords” (vocal folds); notstutter in your magazine. to mention articulating! IIt shows that you care also learned about all ofabout stuttering kids. the parts of my body thatBecause in the letters we you’ve probably nevercan read them out loud I drew this picture of George because sometimes heard of before, like theand that will help us not you have easy speech days and some days you palate. Ask someone whatto stutter. If someone have terrible, bad speech days. If you are like it is!! I have really bene-says that you stutter, you George, here are some tips for bad speech days: fited from Ms. Susie. Thissay, “I do stutter. And 1. Relax your mouth all seems tiring to learn,I’m working on it.” I but not with an awesomefeel pretty good about 2. If you are talking fast and you start to stutter, speech therapist like Mrs.myself right now be- slow down! Cochrane.cause my speech teacher 3. If you try to push it out really hard, it might take Will, 5th gradeis helping me get better longer to come out and your face might turn red.with my speech.Shane, 11 Tips for Teasing Geneva, N.Y. I want people who have bad speech days to know Dear SFA: that it’s okay to stutter. When I stutter it’s becauseKeeping the UpperCrestline, Ohio Aaron, 8, Iowa City, Iowa thinking I would stutter, so I I’m excited. I talk really fast whenHand on Stuttering asked my teacher if I could say I’m excited. So, it doesn’t give my Hi, my name is Will and I stut- my lines with a friend. She said I speech machine enough time to con-ter. Even though my parents said could! It was a relief!! The playthat I started stuttering when Iwas 3, I didn’t realize it until I The Stuttering Foundation Continued on page 12was in second grade. I felt sad thatmy friends could speak better is a proud participant of thethan I did. At the same time I be- Combined Federal Campaign.came aware that when I said the Please note our number.Pledge of Allegiance with myclassmates, recited a poem with a CFC #11047
12 800-992-9392 THE www.stutteringhelp.org STUTTERING Famous People Stutter Basketball Dreams FOUNDATIONLetterscentrate. A way I help it is to talk Dear SFA: Dear SFA: Continued from page 11loudly and slowly. I practice it mostly My name is Andre. I am 11 My name is Edwin. I am 10 yearsin speech therapy. From practicing so years old and in fifth grade. I am old, and I live in Miami, Fla. My fa-much now, even if vorite hobby is Kids Speak Out on Darrenʼs VisitI don’t think about basketball be-it, I talk loudly but cause I want to benot so slowly. I’m a basketball play- Students gathered at Morse High School for Fluency Awarenesslucky because kids er. I started to stut- Day gave Darren Sproles high marks. It is not surprising the numberdon’t tease me ter at the age of 9. one comment was, “My favoriteabout stuttering, part of the event was Mr. Sproles, My speech teach-but my brother er helps me mostdid. It made me re- One student said, “I learned today of the time withally sad when he my stuttering. of course!”did, but he doesn’t Edwin, 10any more. If kids that stuttering should never get in mydo tease you, ig- way. It doesn’t have to stop me from Take Time Miami, Fla.nore them and tell Sproles. He stutters just like me. doing what I really want to do.”an adult or talk to Talking “It was great meeting Darren It’s okay to stutter!” commented another student.them about stutter- Vinita Rajah who worked so hard to make the visit a reality com- Dear SFA:ing and tell them mented, “I cannot even begin to say how amazing this event was. My name iswhat it is. You D’Angelo. I am 12could tell kids years old and live“that’s called stut- The students left feeling elated and empowered. Our school “We are extremely happy to have Sproles as our spokesman. in Miami, Fla. Itering. Stuttering is principal was just as excited!” like to play foot-when my speech because he never gave up working to achieve his dreams,” says ball. I like mymachine jams up He is a role model for young people who struggle with stuttering Jane Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation. speech class be-and I make my cause my teacherwords come out For the full story written by San Diego Chargers reporter, go to helps me withlike that. So some- “A Hero of Their Own” on page 5. speech and now Itimes I can’t help it take my time talk-and it is really the only person in my family ing. That helps me from stuttering.frustrating.” who stutters. When I was asked D’Angelo, 12Trevor, 10 about my stuttering, I felt ashamed. Donʼt Pressure Yourself Miami, Fla. But when I soon learned thatI Feel GoodDenver, Colo. many people who were kings, Dear Eddie,Dear SFA: I read your story in the book Hi. My name is Moshe. I’m 6 queens, etc., stuttered, I was as- tonished! Sometimes I Just Stutter. I had a com-years old. I’m in first grade. I stut- ment about what you said about yourter in school and at home. When I King John IV stuttered (in the stuttering problems. I think youstutter, it bothers me and I feel sad. U.K. he was called a stammerer) shouldn’t pressure yourself aboutMy mom takes me to a therapist to and Petolemy, ruler of Egypt, your stuttering. I do it too. I thinkhelp me. I feel good about myself. stuttered too. your therapist is right about stuttering.Moshe, 6 Andre, 11 TylerBrooklyn, N.Y. Miami, Fla. Portland, Ore. K Sproles of ways, they feel like they’re each question. alone, that they’re the only ones “As he said, this kind of a “It’s wonderful for these kids that have this kind of challenge. group environment is a chal- Continued from page 5 to have a role model like To see someone with the same lenge for him, yet he was out- Darren,” said Jennifer Taps, challenge that is so successful, standing,” Taps said. “It would Senior Speech and Language it’s really encouraging to them.” have been easy for him to just Pathologist for the San Diego Taps was impressed that sit down and sign autographs, Unified School District. “It Sproles engaged the students as but he didn’t ask for that. He means so much because in a lot a group and carefully answered was outstanding.” K
800-992-9392 13 THE STUTTERINGFALL 2009 FOUNDATION 1989 movie Look Who’s Talking *Bruce Willis starred in the LOOK WHO’S TALKING* While the world knows Bruce Willis Asirvatham, Willis admitted that at times strived for by first cutting-up in class and as the voice of baby “Mikey.”as an A-list actor, few know that he he was reluctant to discuss his childhood then becoming one of his high school’sstruggled with stuttering throughout his in probing interviews because it was too drama stars. Willis later told an interview-first 20 years. painful and a large part of the pain was er, “A big part of my sense of humor came Walter Bruce Willis was born in 1955 due to his stuttering. out of my stuttering, in trying to overcomein West Germany to his German moth- In high school, Willis became the class er, Marlene, and his American GI fa- cut-up, which eventually lead to getting ther, David Willis. The family set- involved in drama. Becoming the tled in David’s hometown of class joker was his way of Penns Grove, New trying toJersey in 1957, and the couple hasthree other children. that After Willis came onto the a n dradar screen in 1985 with have somehis role as David dignity. I said,Addison in the Yes, I stutter, but Ihot TV show can make you laugh.” However, Willis left high school with no definite deci- sion to become an actor. As a stuttering youth with poor grades and a family that could not fit in. In fact, fund a college educa- Anthony Rastelli, a high tion, Willis hung around school teacher vividly remembers town and saved his money. After a Willis’ struggles and first attempts to couple of years, Willis enrolled at speak before an audience. Rastelli is quot- Montclair State College in New Jerseythe actor would ed in Parker’s book as saying, “At an age which had a noted drama program. It wasMoonlighting,occasionally discuss his past struggles when most boys were finding their feet, there that drama professor, Jerrywith stuttering in both print and televi- Willis had a hard time. The stammer was Rockwood, was impressed by Willis andsion interviews. a problem and in the end he began to encouraged him to see a speech therapist In the 1997 book, Bruce Willis: The compensate for it by his antics. - making the combination of acting andUnauthorized Biography, by British au- He had to establish himself among the speech therapy the undergrad’s ticket tothor John Parker, Willis is quoted as say- pack, and, unable to do so with fluent both fluency and future success.ing, “I could hardly talk. It took me three speech, he did it another way – making Willis’ spectacular acting career explod-minutes to complete a sentence. It was himself stand out in the crowd by becom- ed from Moonlighting to Hollywood’s A-crushing for anyone who wanted to ex- ing the joker, the mini-tearaway. What he list, and to box office smashes - The Sixthpress themselves, who wanted to be heard was doing was saying ‘Yes, I stutter – butand couldn’t. It was frightening. Yet, when doesn’t mean I’m not good as the rest of Vanities and the Die Hard franchise of Sense, Armageddon, Bonfire of theI became another character, in a play, I lost you, better even.’ I nearly died for him movies. Willis ranks as the 7th highest-the stutter. It was phenomenal.” when he went on stage to make a speech. grossing actor in terms of leading roles. Parker also writes that Willis had a The kids were all laughing but somehow, Willis’ struggle with stuttering is in-definite formula to conquer his stuttering he stuck it out and finished his piece, spirational. Unfortunately, it is rarelyby implementing a series of confidence which was fairly typical of his spirit. And mentioned in interviews. However, bybuilding exercises encouraged by a eventually, of course, he discovered that identifying himself as a person whoschool speech therapist. in front of an audience, he could over- stutters, Willis has an opportunity to put According to a 2001 biography, Bruce come his disability.” a human face on the daily struggle stut-Willis: Overcoming Adversity, by Sandy Willis achieved the image that he tering often presents. K