www.stutteringhelp.org • 800-992-9392 • www.tartamudez.org T HE S TUTTERING F OUNDATION A Nonprofit Organization WINTER 2010 Since 1947... Helping Those Who Stutter Neurobiology ofStuttering: Are there distinct subtypes?By Anne L. Foundas, M.D. The exact cause of stutteringis likely to be complex and maybe multifactorial. One potentialmechanism relates to a defec-tive speech monitoring system.The basic theory is that ongoingsequential and fluent speechoutput is dependent on auditory New Film NewInsightssensory feedback, which moni-tors and corrects errors online.In normally fluent individuals, adysfluency would be detected Tools for Success: Solution signs of change along the way.as an “error”, and this error Focused Brief Therapy Taster is a “Solution Focused Briefwould be automatically correct- new 31⁄2 hour DVD offering high- Therapy has given me a greated on-line via auditory self- lights from a workshop featuring way to find out what my clientsmonitoring. Stuttering behav- Willie Botterill and Frances Cook have been doing since our lastiors, such as involuntary repeti- as they provide insights into using session to move themselves for-tions, blocks, or prolongations Solution Focused Brief Therapy ward. I really like how the ques- in the ut- with those who stutter. tioning leads them to solutions.” terance of This taster introduces partici- said Brian Heskin, who took part speech el- pants to the principles and practice in the workshop featured in this ements, of Solution Focused Brief Therapy, new film. He added, “I use the may be providing examples of children, rating scale that clients do by induced parents, and teenagers describing themselves all the time since itby disrupted auditory self-mon- their ‘best hopes’ for the seems to give themitoring within a closed-loop sys- future, using scales to de- ownership on what theytem. Thus, stuttering can be termine the skills and re- are or are not doing tomodeled, as the result of dis- sources they already have move themselves for-turbed auditory feedback. to attain that future, and ward. The positive ap- In 2001, we found that the identifying the small proach fits so well.” Kplanum temporale (PT), a brainregion important in auditoryprocessing, was anatomically Solution Focused Brief Therapy...atypical in adults with persis- What is going well? And what else? And what else?tent developmental stuttering(PDS). However, the associa- being “stuck” in problem pat- By Frances Cook, MSc, MRC-tion of atypical PT anatomy to terns in which attempts to re- SLT (Hons) Cert. CTatypical function was not di- solve or cope with their difficul- (Oxford)rectly examined in this study. ties have become part ofTherefore, in another study we the problem. De Shazer’s model ofattempted to determine whether However it is assumed Solution Focused Briefthere was a relationship be- that there will be times Therapy is based ontween fluency and the anatomy when problems do not occur or several core assump-of the PT under conditions of occur less and that clients tions about the nature of Continued on page 13 change. Clients are viewed as Continued on page 6
THE STUTTERING2 www.stutteringhelp.org FOUNDATION 800-992-9392 Longtime SFA Supporter Edward Rondthaler was one of the 20th century’s foremost men of letters – actual physical audible letters. An outspoken advocate of spelling re- form, he spent decades trying to impose order on his 26 lawless charges. As a noted ty- pographer who first plied his trade 99 years ago, he helped bring the art of typesettingPhoto by Joyce Dopken of the New York Times. from the age of hot metal into the modern era – and he was a per- son who stuttered. Mr. Rondthaler established a national reputation by helping usher in the age of photographic typesetting. Phototypesetting was for decades a vital bridge between the hot-metal days of old and the dig- ital typography of today. A man of strong constitution and ardent enthusiasms, Mr. Rondthaler died on Aug. 19, 2009. He was 104 and attributed his longevity to having taken cold showers daily since 1918. Mr. Rondthaler first became known more than 70 years ago for his seminal work in ‘81 photographic typesetting. November 23 In the mid-1930s, he and a colleague, tion of America Harold Horman, perfected a phototypeset- Speech Founda Rd. ting device that helped streamline the tra- 152 Lombardy . 38111 Me mphis, Tenn ditional art of setting type. Known as the Rutherford photo-lettering machine, it Gentlemen: u this check re th at I send yo ed your book was one of the first such devices in wide ormous pleasu I receiv It is with en dollars. Two weeks ago have read it with commercial use. for a thousand for the Stutterer” and . And I speak from y ‘Self-Therap ery word in it rings tr ue Bogue Armed with their new machine, the Bassett, and amazement. Ev experience---from Adler, itmyer and Warren. two men founded Photo-Lettering Inc., a Tw a lifetime of alphabet to Scripture, right down th e , the highly respected New York typographic ago. Today, at 76 ences ar e from long r half of my life stam- house whose clients included many of Those experi ch much less, and fo handicap. mu severity is en more of an inconven ience than a en to the the country’s best-known magazines e has gott mering has be me is that at last someon t it in an under- and advertising agencies. What excites n write abou line. trouble and ca total empathy with every Edward Rondthaler III was born on root of the d way. I have standi ng, luci June 9, 1905, in Bethlehem, Pa. His fa- sense. It all makes rers. There ther was a bishop of the Moravian young stamme a boy ther e were many ng time I had been won- When I was for a lo e lit- Church, as was his paternal grandfa- wer now, and e I’ve seen th seem to be fe ’s been a long time sinc ve in almost every ther. Edward III was reared in Winston- It used to ha dering why. e and others s at last ri sen tle ads that Bogu y speech correction ha dation has had Salem, N.C., where his father was magazine. Clearl at your foun president of Salem College. ry, an d I’m sure th above quacke th that. At 5, Edward received a toy print- much to do wi I’d like e Foundation re inform ation about th er it in my will. ing press as a gift and began pub- If you have mo it. I’d like to rememb lishing his own newspaper - a very to know about y, small newspaper, about the size of a Very cordiall postcard. Only a few years later, he and a friend opened a print shop in a nearby basement, doing jobs for
THE STUTTERING WINTER 2010 FOUNDATION 800-992-9392 3Edward Rondthaler Dies at 104paying customers; they ran thebusiness through high school and Ed Rondthaler with Jane Fraser (left photo) andfor a year afterward, to earn col- Stuttering Foundation Boardlege money. member Jean Gruss (below) After studying at at a reception honoring Stuttering FoundationWestminster Choir College — Founder, Malcolm Fraserbesides singing, he played the (middle photo). Ed had lobbiedflute, oboe and bassoon — Mr. tirelessly for Malcolm to receive the Doctor of HumaneRondthaler earned a bachelor’s Letters from Hamilton Collegedegree in psychology from the in 1989 for his work on behalfUniversity of North Carolina, of those who stutter.Chapel Hill, in 1929. He wrotehis senior thesis on the effects ofdifferent typefaces on the read-er’s perception of a text. Throughout these years, hestruggled with stuttering andhoped that his music studieswould help alleviate the difficulty. Mr. Rondthaler then moved toNew York, where he was an artdirector for a commercial type-setter. In 1936, he and Mr.Horman founded Photo-Lettering, which specialized inheadline and display type. The two men finally met face to facecompany was built around their “So we all move the morning of June 15, 1989, afternew phototypesetting machine, along trying to many years of corresponding.which helped modernize a tech- Earlier Rondthaler had this to saynology that had changed little in make the world a about Fraser’s book, “I have readhundreds of years. little better because your book, Self Therapy for the For centuries, type was cast in Stutterer, with amazement. Everymolten lead and set painstakingly we were here.” word of it rings true. And I speakby hand. In the mid-20th century, from a lifetime of experience.”the advent of phototypesetting ~Edward Rondthaler wrote in “What excites me is that at lastfreed the alphabet from its leaden a letter to Jane Fraser in 1987 someone has gotten to the root of theshackles, making it possible to trouble and can write about it in an He was a prolific writer of letters understanding, lucid way. I havemanipulate letters as pure photo- to the editor on a variety of subjects. total empathy with every line. It allgraphic images. He invented many things, including makes sense.” Mr. Rondthaler also helped K a slide rule that calculated currency-found the International Typeface When asked why exchange rates and another slideCorporation, which designed and rule that computed cooking times oflicensed many commercial fonts, foods based on weight. he supported theand the Type Directors Club. Mr. Rondthaler’s long campaign Even after he turned 100, Mr. Stuttering Foundation, Rondthaler embarked on a new ca-to reform English spelling did not he replied, “Because it reer in television commercials, ap-bear much fruit, yet he had a great pearing in campaigns for Pearle completely changeddeal else to occupy his time. He Vision and Genworth Financial.wrote several books, among them my life – for the good.” In 1989, Rondthaler lobbied tire-Alphabet Thesaurus: A Treasury of lessly to ensure that SFA founderLetter Design” (Reinhold, 1960) and Malcolm Fraser received an hon- This article is based on an obit-a memoir, Life With Letters — As orary degree from Hamilton uary written by Margalit Fox of theThey Turned Photogenic (Hastings College in Clinton, New York. The New York Times.House, 1981).
THE STUTTERING4 www.stutteringhelp.org FOUNDATION 800-992-9392 Number 10 BSA Chair Leys ... Again Geddes raising awareness of stammering, by stammering at Stuttering Foundation No 10! President Jane Fraser was the only American at a re- Jane Fraser, Baroness Whitaker and ception in honor of authors Dame Margaret Drabble and the British Stammering David Mitchell. Association at 10 Downing Dr. Trudy Stewart (University of Street on Dec. 1. Leeds) in In attendance during animated Frances Cook, the London event were discussion with Jane Fraser and Ed Balls MP. Cabinet Minister Ed Balls Willie Botterill and other dignitaries, celebrities, and leading researchers and therapists in the field of stuttering. Jane Fraser “A second visit in a and Sarah Brown Dr. Robin Lickley from Queen Margaret year!” said Fraser. “It is greet University, Edinburgh, really a thrill to be back at Frances Cook. with Jane Fraser and Number 10.” Frances Cook. During the fall of 2008, Fraser joined actor Michael Palin and the staff of the Michael Palin Centre for Stammering BSA education British Stammering Children during a recep- officer Cherry Association Chair Leys Geddes tion hosted by Mrs. Sarah Hughes with and Ed Balls MP Brown, the wife of Prime Matthew Sumpter Minister Gordon Brown. K and Ed Balls MP.Economy Doesn’t Derail Support for Stuttering Railroad Vice President KirkShelby Railroad Tarver said of his grandmother. “It didn’t matter to us, but it embar-On Board to Help rassed her. Back in the ‘30s, there wasn’t any help.”Kids Who Stutter “We are so grateful for the ded- Kirk and John Tarver and icated friendship and support thetheir Memphis-based Shelby Tarvers and Shelby Railroad haveRailroad Services Inc. raised an shown us,” Fraser said.astonishing $6,000 for the Kirk and John Tarver Shelby Railroad Services Inc.Stuttering Foundation. with Jane Fraser. was founded by John Tarver in Shelby Railroad held their an- August 1974. The family ownednual fund-raising golf outing and Trophies for the event4 company is committed to provid-dinner on Oct. 1 at Wedgewood This is the eighth year the com- ing the railroad industry with theGolf Club in Olive Branch, Miss. pany teamed up with the Stuttering highest quality materials and con- “This generous gift comes at a Foundation to honor Ruth struction services in the Mid-perfect time to boost our fall cam- McGuiness Tarver, the late mother South and surrounding areas.paign. What is even more amazing of company president and founder Their services include design, newis that people came forward to sup- John Tarver. Ruth stuttered from construction, maintenance, repair,port our cause during these hard the time she was a young child. and the supply of rail materialseconomic times,” said Jane Fraser. “She was a great lady,” Shelby and equipment. K
THE STUTTERINGWINTER 2010 FOUNDATION 800-992-9392 5 A Voice for the Big Cats S tuttering tists, researchers Foundation and partners to spokesman document their fa- and conser- vorite encounters vationist Alan with big cats in Rabinowitz, actress the wild, known Glenn Close, and as “Cat Tales,” former Assistant were on display Secretary of State throughout the re- Claudia McMurray ception hall. were on hand for Award winning the annual Panthera photographer Conservation Steve Winter, au- Advisory Committee thor Luke Hunter, reception in honor and conservation- of Carlos Manuel ist Andrea Rodriquez of Costa Heydlauf shared Rica whose vision- their stories with ary policies helped “Catching jaguars and guests. secure crucial habitat for jaguars. tigers, negotiating with Panthera and the Stuttering Also in attendance to applaud this presidents and dictators Foundation share a common goal – exciting award were Stuttering - that’s easy stuff! The to always work hard to set the bar Foundation President Jane Fraser and challenge for me has ever higher for excellence in our re- Vice President Joe Fulcher. been living with the lit- spective fields. As a result, Mr. Rodriquez, who advises gov- tle, stuttering, insecure Panthera continues to develop and ernments worldwide on adapting boy inside. The boy implement conservation strategies his groundbreaking strategy of who’d come home from for the world’s most imperiled wild payments for ecosystem services, school every day and cats, and the Stuttering Foundation was the 2009 recipient of the yearn for the darkness works to promote excellence in re- Rabinowitz-Kaplan Prize for and safety of his closet.” search and to provide resources, Excellence in Cat Conservation. ~ Alan Rabinowitz services and support to those who Stories from Panthera’s scien- stutter and their families. K In the 1980s, Dr. Alan Rabinowitz radio-collared jaguars for a Luke Hunter study leading has conducted to establish- Field work to ment of the protect large worlds first cats in Africa jaguar reserve since 1992. His in Belize’s efforts have fo- Cockscomb cused on lions Basin. Hereas well as chee- Alan remem- tahs and leop- bers one of ards. He is the first leading the first jaguars he intensive study collared, Ahof Persian leop- Renowned actress Glenn Puch, who ards and of the Close shares her passion tragicallycritically endan- later died gered Asiatic for the big cats in award- after breaking cheetah in Iran. ing the 2009 prize. two teeth.
THEWINTER 2010 STUTTERING 800-992-9392 7 FOUNDATION Stuttering Didn’t Silence the News Byron Pitts has brought much teria but could only say the word ago cast outside as outdated. attention to stuttering with his soda. I’ve never liked soda. Today, there are a number of insti- memoir, Step Out on Nothing: Would never drink it if I had the tutions that work faithfully and How Faith and Family Helped choice…. At the time self-esteem skillfully with people of all ages Me Conquer Life’s Challenges, was a term with little meaning in who stutter. I have done a few released in September, 2009. the world of a child, but it’s clear news stories on stuttering but have The book not only details his to me now I had very little self- never sought specialized training. speech difficulties, but also his esteem back then.” I could certainly still use it. There illiteracy until age 12 and his un- Dr. Ed Robinson, a speech are words with which I still strug- stable family life. Pitts overcame communications professor at gle. Phrases I avoid.” Pitts noted. the odds to become a national Ohio Wesleyan, took an interest He does tell of the time he stut- correspondent with CBS News. in Pitts and led him toward the tered on TV during a live shot Born in 1960, Pitts graduated path to fluency. Dr. Robinson and when Terrell Harris and Pitts were from Ohio Wesleyan University a Ohio State colleague worked both covering a case of govern- in 1982. Beginning as a weekend with Pitts over the course of the ment corruption. To avoid stutter- sports anchor in 1983 at WNCT- next year on speech exercises ing, he prepares and rehearses TV in Greenville, N.C., what he has to say. However Pitts worked his way up the Pitts states, “….. rather than ladder before being named hearing the introduction I ex- a CBS News correspondent pected on the corruption in 1998. He later became a story, the anchor asked me a contributor to 60 Minutes question about the weather. I and the chief national cor- froze. I was unable to react respondent for The CBS quickly to the unexpected Evening News with Katie question. In trying to respond, Couric. He has received I stuttered. I intended to say numerous awards including that it had started to snow national Emmys for his when we first arrived this coverage of the Chicago morning. But it came out as ‘s- train wreck in 1999 and for his which culminated in Pitts never s-s-s-s-snow”. I looked at my feet reporting of the Sept. 11 attacks. stutterering while on live radio. to try to kick-start my brain.” Early in life he struggled with Pitts was encouraged to host a “That night I ate my dinner many of the same difficulties that program at the radio station and alone in an edit suite and watched are common for young people used the technique of singing his that live shot over and over again. who stutter. In an interview with sentences to transition between I made a copy on VHS tape and CBS News, Pitts stated, “I was the words without taking a breath. took it home so I could watch it bullied through elementary “Through the years I have again. I wanted to see if there was school and much of junior high talked with skilled speech pathol- a way to prevent something like school … I didn’t have many ogists who talk about the dark that from ever happening again. friends because of my stutter. I ages of working with people who But the shame has never left me.” was embarrassed a lot of times stutter. Many of the things Dr. The multiple challenges Pitts and out of that embarrassment Robinson had me do were long had to overcome in his early came anger and isolation.” years are truly inspirational. In his book Pitts noted, While the most dominant “… from my childish per- challenge covered by the spective, I was simply a press since the release of Step freak: the strange one, the one Out on Nothing has been his who couldn’t get the words years of illiteracy, Pitts’ open- out, couldn’t do a simple ness about his stuttering has thing like speak clearly. For brought great attention to this me, it was like living as a disorder. It is safe to say that prisoner inside a cell … and Byron Pitts is a role model for the times I just wanted a generation of young people lemonade in the school cafe- who stutter. K
THE STUTTERING8 FOUNDATION www.stutteringhelp.org 800-992-9392Stuttering Didn’t Ground Me Uncovering aBy Lt. Jason Mansour, NOAA, MasterpieceAviation Operations Coordinator By Paul Noor I am currently a uniformed As a child growing up in aservice pilot who struggled - sig- small village north of Iran, justnificantly - during my youth south of Russia, I struggled with awith stuttering. severe stutter and even considered There were times when I would not talking and learning sign lan-go weeks guage. Today I am a speaker andwithout speak at businesses, clubs,being able to schools, colleges, churches andsay a sen- correctional facilities.tence without When I was a young man, Istuttering, made a promise to myself that oneand of course day I would overcome my stutter-the social ing and become a public speaker. Itconsequences was a huge promise as I could notand anxiety even say my own name, but I alsowould only make the problem made another promise to myself:worse. Heck, even hearing a dial conquer in and out of the cock- not to give up or lose hope until Itone on the phone was enough to pit. I can recall the impact it had achieved my dream.raise my heart-rate and anxiety on my adolescence and am About 30 years ago after I grad-knowing I would have to speak to grateful for the support of my uated from the engineering schoolsomeone in the next few seconds. friends and family during that in my home country of Iran, I My family graciously was difficult time in my life. came to the United States to getable to access a speech therapy It’s important for young peo- my Ph.D. and find a cure for myclinic at the local college in ple to understand that stuttering severe stuttering. For the first 10Maryland and after several years is not, and should not be, consid- years, I tried different therapies—I was able to receive treatment ered an ‘absolute’ condition, and nothing worked—no cure.and assistance with a problem that it can and often does im- Actually when I moved to thethat I have, frankly, been able to prove with proper treatment. K United States, my stuttering got worse as stuttering and learning a new language do not go together very well. ‘Words of Wisdom’ I came across a story of how The Stuttering Foundation re- “I think trying to improve flu- Michelangelo created the “Statueceived this letter from longtime ency, for many people, is very of David.” There was a piece offriend and supporter Dan much like trying to lose weight marble left on the side of thePappas, and we thought it would or quit smoking. It’s not the one- road. It was covered with dirtbe an inspiration to others time fix that counts but the con- and trash, and no one was paying “I frequently think about what tinual effort. During my lifetime, attention to it. One day asMarty Jezer said in his mar- I’ve had some marvelous periods Michelangelo was walking onvelous book, Stuttering: A Life of fluency while at other times, I that street, he saw David in thatBound Up in Words. The book is have had some inexplicable peri- marble. He took it to his shop,a recounting of all his attempts ods of relapse.” cleaned it up, and turned it into ato find a way to stop stuttering. When asked how he deals piece of art. The story of DavidAt one point, he said in exasper- with stuttering, Dan replied with and how it was created from aation ‘I’ve tried everything...’ another question, “How do I leftover and unwanted piece of “Well, I could not get past that make speech therapy part of my marble inspired me. I determinedsentiment for many years. everyday life?” K to uncover the masterpiece that IFinally I came up with a reply, Editor’s note: Making therapy a believed was hidden inside me.summed up in the short phrase, part of your everyday commitment My goal was to overcome my‘Have you tried again?’ can make a difference. stutter and become a speaker. Continued on page 12
THE STUTTERING FOUNDATION 800-992-9392 9WINTER 2010 Therapists Jazzed in The Big Easy Photos courtesy of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. Treally jivingFoundation AmericanConvention. he Stuttering at the booth was Speech-Language–Hearing Association Popular items included new products as well as many of the classics: The 2009 DVD Tools for Success: A Cognitive Behavior Therapy Taster, the teen brochure Stuttering Myths, Beliefs, and Straight Talk, and the 8 Tips for Teachers and 7 Tips for Talking with Your Child flyers. Older, yet still popular products, were The School-Age Child Who Stutters: Working Effectively With Attitudes and Emotions workbook, the DVD Cluttering, and the book Self-Therapy for the Stutterer. An energetic group of 29 volunteers helped staff the twenty-foot booth. A special thanks to Elise Kaufman, Kathy Swiney, Joan Babin, Charlie Osborne, Peter Ramig, Nancy Ribbler, Julie Gasway, Joel Korte, Rick Arenas, Robin Jones, James Panico, Susan Cochrane, Joe Donaher, Sheryl Gottwald, Katerina Ntourou, Lisa Scott, Kristin Chmela, Judy Kuster, Rita Thurman, Jim Tsiamtsioursis, Steffi Schopick, Kathleen Scaler Scott, Jennifer Watson, From top: Jane Fraser helps speech Courtney Byrd, Wendy Wingard-Gay, therapists select resources; Terri Geoff Coalson, Jeffrey Mock, Dahye Choi Jones andwith an attendee; discuss a DVD Katerina Ntourou Renee and Rich Ecke. K Shepherd takes time to wave to the camera as she helps set up the booth; after setting up the booth, Jane 5From top: Charlie Osborne; Carol Ecke and Sheryl Gottwald; Katerina Ntourou and Terri Fraser, Carol Ecke, Terri Jones and Jones; Carol and Rich Ecke; Renee Shepherd answers questions; and Jane Fraser discusses Renee Shepherd gather for a picture; Stuttering Foundation materials with John Van Borsel and Monica de Britto Pereira. Peter Ramig and Nancy Ribbler.
THE STUTTERING10 FOUNDATION 800-992-9392 www.stutteringhelp.orgDear SFA: Reader ResponseSend letters to SFA, P.O. Box 11749, Memphis, TN 38111-0749 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.VP Knows Stuttering you will discover new strengths and helps me while speaking. TheseDear SFA: skills to help you overcome not only strategies all help me speak better. My name is Paul. I go to speech this challenge, but also future life I hope that all kids who stuttertherapy because I have trouble with challenges as well.” use their strategies. Also, if anymy language skills and I stutter. My Excellent advice for everyone, classmates tease them, theyfriend, who also stutters, my speech from Paul and the VP! should just ignore them and keepteacher and I did a presentation in moving forward.front of my class about stut- Ghiovaneytering. We talked about how Orlando, Fla.Vice President Joe Bidenused to stutter. And, I also Everyone Stutterswrote an article in the school Dear SFA:newspaper about it. Everyone My name is Jean. I’m 10at school liked it and I hope years old and in 5th grade.you do too: I like to play soccer, video “Did you know that in games, basketball, football,the vice president’s young and I like watching TV.life he had some trouble in When I stutter, I get furiousschool? He took speech because I can’t get my wordstherapy because he had a out correctly. I feel shy whenlittle bit of trouble speak- I’m talking to someone.ing… (and also to)…make Then, in the middle of ahis stuttering better. word, I stutter. I get nervous “How come the vice presi- when I have to speak to adent had trouble in his young Paul holds a letter from group of people. Sometimes,life and now he is the vice the vice president and I get frustrated because peo-president? Because he never a copy of his school ple laugh at me. I just try tolet it bother him … That newspaper. ignore them and keep talking.means that if you have any The strategies I learnedproblems in school or out of with my speech teacher areschool, don’t let it get to you. slow, easy speech, pausing, andDon’t let people make you feel like Keep on Talking phrasing. Slow, easy speecha bad person. …pick friends that Dear SFA: helps me not talk so fast.will guide you and help My name is Ghiovaney and Pausing and phrasing help meyou…and…keep on trying and I’m 10 years old and in the fifth break up the sentence and takeyou will be successful...” grade. I’ve been going to speech pauses so I can slow down.Paul for two years. I like to play soc- The only thing I can say to peo-Arcade, NY cer, football, and basketball. I ple who stutter is to never give up Editor’s Note: Paul was thrilled to also like to play video games and keep your speech moving for-receive a personal letter of thanks after I finish my homework. I ward. Ignore the people who both-and encouragement from the vice have two brothers, one younger er you. Don’t get mad about yourpresident, who thanked Paul for and one older than me. stuttering. Almost everyone in thewriting to him and for sharing his When I stutter, I feel OK with it. world stutters sometimes, evenpersonal experiences with stutter- To me, it’s not a big deal. I’m posi- Darren Sproles! If you don’t knowing, saying, “…I personally under- tive about it and don’t let people get who he is, he is a famous footballstand the terrible fear and frustra- to me. Sometimes I stutter when I player. Don’t be shy when talkingtion of a stutterer.” talk to my classmates, but I just to other girls and boys. Don’t let “If I could share one piece of ad- keep on going. The strategies that stuttering control your life.vice it would be this: when you com- my speech teacher taught me that Jeanmit yourself to a goal and when you work are “easy onset” and “phras- Orlando, Fla.persevere in the face of a struggle, ing.” Making good eye contact also Continued on page 11
THE STUTTERING FOUNDATION 11WINTER 2010 800-992-9392Letters Continued from page 10 the kids in my class understandStuttering is OK why I stutter. I stutter at home A Word About too — a lot. I am learning newDear SFA: I am 8 years old. I am OK with strategies to help with my stut- Stutteringstuttering but not perfect. tering. It doesn’t really matter if I stutter because I am a super By Myles BuchananSometimes I stutter with a friendor my mom and dad. I go to ther- cool kid. T.J., My stutter has been with meapy so I can have help. since before I can remember.Jonathan, Milwaukee, Wis. Over the years, it has manifestedNew York itself in numerous ways: When I Speech Teacher Helps Dear SFA: was young, in loud whole-wordTeasing Hurts repetitions; when I was in theDear SFA: My name is Dylan. I am 8 years old. I stutter when I talk fast. My nervous beginnings of adoles- My name is Chynna and I’m 8 cence, in frantic sticking jittersyears old. A lot of people in my speech teacher helps me not to stut- ter with pull- on a single sound; and now inclass tease me less conspicuous but still dread-about stutter- outs. This helps me relax. This ed silent blocks in which wordsing. When I simplytalk, I stutter. helps me get out the stutter. stop deadPeople finish in mymy sentences. Dylan, Missouri mouth.I tell them to I’ve hatedstop but they it, laugheddon’t. I feel Friends Make a at it, madeembarrassed. light of it,Chynna, Difference Dear SFA: come close to tears about it, andGeorgia above all have resented it, but Editor’s Note: 11-year-old “J” from Brooklyn, My name is Cohen and I stuttering has become an inte-Sometimes it gral part of who I am. N.Y., drew this picture telling us that stutter. Whenhelps to talk to My frustration with the spo-your classmates people around the world stutter. I turned 8 in ken word began when I was fiveabout stuttering second grade I was teased and I did not like and endured on into middleand how it hurts to be teased. Your school, and I learned to despise it at all.speech teacher can help you make a my stutter. My teachers were Even though I was teasedpresentation to your class. Read kind and my classmates accept- about my stuttering I still madeJean’s letter on page 10 for tips. friends. I got better with my ing, but neither of these things stuttering because I go to could dispel the constant irrita-‘Super Cool Kid’ speech. tion that I suffered because ofDear SFA: I went to a stuttering conference my speech impediment. I had I am T.J. and I am almost 9 1⁄2 in Phoneix. It was so fun because intelligent, thoughtful, impor-years old. I don’t like it when we make a lot of things. We made tant things to say, but my stutterpeople make fun of my stutter. our own T-shirts. The hotel had a hindered my speech.It hurts my feelings. I try not to pool shaped as a U. It had a raft I’m sixteen now, and havedo it. I try to use “slow, and slide. come to view my stutter with asmooth, speech,” and it helps a There are a lot of people who healthy touch of levity. Throughtad bit. I try breathing in and stutter besides me. There’s work with my speech patholo-breathing out and then talking. Johnny Damon for example. gist, Kristen Haines Mangan,That helps too. Sometimes, I People need to stop teasing other I’ve become well-equipped todon’t want to talk in class. My people about their stuttering. deal with my speech impedi-classmates say, “Why don’t you I have friends who will stick by ments and exercise a measure oftalk a lot?” I tell them why and my side and don’t care if I stutter. control over them.when I tell them why, they start They don’t call me names.laughing at me. to be continued... visit Don’t let other people get to In class, we talked about every- our Web site, www.stutter- you about your stuttering.one having something that is Cohen, inghelp.org, for the rest of thishard for them. That helped. Now, Boston, Mass. K article. Click on “Teens.” K