Remember, if you stutter, you're not alone! If you would like to send us a picture, letter, or poem, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, city, and a permission letter from a parent.
My name is Kyle, and I’m 12 years old and in the 7th grade. I live in Seal Rock, Oregon, and I go to Crestview Heights in Waldport. I think I started stuttering at 9 years old, and I have had a stutter ever since. I don’t feel embarrassed to tell people about my stutter, and you shouldn’t either. I have worked with two speech therapists, Mrs. N. and Mrs. F. The strategies I learned are to take a breath before you say something, or think before you speak, slow down and pause, but don’t slow down too much, but calmly slow down. If you have a bad stutter, just read lots of lists of words so you can process the words right. I like the outdoors. I like to play with RCs, ride my bike, and swim. I also like to fish, ride my dirt buggy, and play video games.
Kyle, 12, Seal Rock, OR
My name is Cristina. I am 9 years old. I am in 4th grade and I stutter. I like to do gymnastics and soccer. I will tell you some tools that help me. First, sliding. Sliding is when you hold onto the letter like "ssssslide." Next, light contact. Light contact is when you whisper into the word. Easy onset. Easy onset is just like light contact but you only use it on vowels. Now I will tell you how I feel. Well, stuttering is not bad. Lots of kids have it. I feel maybe a little sad because when I want to say something, I know I will stutter.
Cristina, 9, Beach Park, IL
Questions from the 5th grade class at Vandenberg Elementary in Box Elder, SD:
Dear Jane Fraser,
We are fifth grade students from Vandenberg Elementary, and we have some questions for you:
Is your job fun? Yes! How come it’s so hard to figure out how people talk? It’s the most complicated thing we do!! How close are you to finding a cure for stuttering? We don’t really know. What inspired you to become a speech scientist? My father stuttered. Do you teach sign language? No. Do adults stutter? Yes, they do! We want to wish you good luck on finding a cure for stuttering.
Jacob and Joha
We read an article about speech disorders, and one of them was stuttering. How do you help people not stutter? The key is sometimes to stutter more easily. Do you do surgery on people who do, or is it not curable? No surgery, but lots of therapy. Is your job easy or hard? Both. What is the hardest part of your job? Dispelling myths about stuttering. What is the easiest part of your job? Seeing people get better.
Bailey and Milayna
We just learned how children across the world suffer in silence because of speech disorders. Over 70 million people worldwide stutter, children and adults. Now we understand how hard it is for scientists to create a cure and improve people’s lives by giving them the courage to speak up. We encourage everyone to speak up – what you have to say is more important than how you say it. We think that children across the world should have the opportunity to enroll in speech and not have to bear the burden of not being able to communicate properly alone. We encourage you to find a cure for speech disorders because people everywhere deserve it. Thank you for your encouragement! The word “cure” may not apply – we want to help people speak with ease!
Mya, Lamara, and Joslyn
Editor’s Note: Jane Fraser is the president of the Stuttering Foundation. Her father, Malcolm Fraser, stuttered and he created this foundation so people could receive help and to encourage research. She tells us, “Anyone who stutters or is interested in stuttering can be a ‘speech scientist,’ though, and I encourage these 5th graders to keep asking questions!”
I am 11 years old. I am in the 6th grade. I like to play soccer. Some things that help me not stutter are sliding and light contact. Sliding gives me help on the words you could slide on like snake, shake, and more. Light contact gives me a good beginning like for the words: bat, talk, and dog.
A.M., 11, Plymouth, MI
Hi! My name is Rayne. I live in Menasha, Wisconsin. I have been stuttering since I was four. I am eight now, and I’m in third grade. I like to play on my Wii, and I like to read for fun. I also like to sing, and I think it’s weird that I don’t stutter when I sing. I have been going to speech therapy since I was in kindergarten. I think my speech has gotten better since kindergarten. I also don’t feel embarrassed by it anymore and you shouldn’t either. I gave a presentation for my class so that my friends could understand what stuttering is. They thought it was really cool, and they asked a bunch of questions. Now my friends know what stuttering is and how it feels to stutter. Maybe this is something you could do for your class.
Rayne, 8, Menasha, WI
Hi my name is Jasmine and I’m 11 years old and I’m in fifth grade. I have some strategies that can help you. I use them a lot. First one is easy onset, then light contact, bouncing, forward flowing speech, and sliding. Those may help you a lot. When I started stuttering I was in first grade. I’ve been in speech about 4 to 5 years already. If you publish me, I want to help other people to just be yourself, and don’t listen to bullies who can hurt your feelings. Jasmine, 11, Beach Park, IL
Hi, my name is Tessa. I am 9 years old. I am a speeder. I speed in my talking which causes me to stutter. Before I started speech therapy people said “You said, the 4 times!” I was sad and upset. So when I started speech therapy my friend Genevieve and I wrote out a presentation to read to our class at school. It worked out great!! :) I think it’s important for kids not to worry about their stuttering. Some of my strategies are to belly breathe, break up sentences, and to slow down. I love my speech therapy teacher. She really helps me. I like to read other people’s letters because they give me advice.
Tessa, 9, Eagan, MN
Hi! My name is Genevieve. I am 8 years old. I stutter sometimes, and I know it is not easy. When I stutter, it is hard to stop. When I was in second grade, my friend Tessa and I started speech therapy. It is fun. I learned to slow down, belly breathe, and phrase sentences. I’m getting better at practicing these strategies. This could help you too. I think it could help everyone. I still stutter every day, but it helps me a lot.
Genevieve, 8, Eagan, MN
Hi, my name is Quincy, and I am 8 years old. I like baseball, basketball, and soccer. I stutter. I go to speech therapy at my school. The tools I use the most to help my speech are easy repetitions and sound stretches. My advice: do lots of sound stretches to make your stuttering easier. My speech teacher and I did a presentation on stuttering in my class and that was awesome. It helped my friends and classmates understand stuttering and not make fun of me anymore.
Quincy, 8, Elwin, IL
Hey guys, my name is Devin. I’m in 4th grade at Beattie Elementary School. I’m 9 years old. I started stuttering when I was in 1st grade. Sometimes I like stuttering and sometimes I don’t like stuttering. My speech tools are Try Again and Stretch Words. Going to speech helps me get rid of my stuttering problems. Other people help me by not teasing me. I also like football, soccer, baseball, and basketball.
Devin, 9, Lincoln, NE
Hello. I am Sara, and I am grateful to be able to share my poem with you:
Everyone says words matter
But do they?
If somebody says “you did great,” after beating you by a mile
Do they really mean it?
If someone stutters, are they nervous or afraid?
Or are they just straining
To hold back the wave of emotion and knowledge
That might come pouring out?
Is stuttering a problem?
Or is it a tempo to a beautiful song?
Like a bass drum keeping a steady beat
If someone says “slow down” or “you afraid?”
They are blinder than the blindest being on earth
Deafer than the deafest man
More cold than the coldest ice of the Arctic
Because it’s not the words outside that matter.
It’s the ones inside.
Thank you again.
Sara, 12, Lake Oswego, OR
I am nine years old. I am from Framingham, MA. I cannot remember when I started stuttering — it’s been a long time. Once I stuttered so much, I screamed and went to my room I was so mad. I stutter when I’m nervous and when I talk fast. Sometimes people make fun of me. And when they say, “Why do you do that?” sometimes it makes me sad. Sometimes on the first day of school, I’m nervous because my classmates might make fun of me. What I do to help is I pause and use an easy onset and I talk slow. I pause when I stutter. I start easy and I use cancellations and pullouts. My teachers are Miss S. and Mrs. W. They helped me since I was in kindergarten. My favorite subjects are gym and speech. My favorite foods are ice cream, pizza and cake.
Ethan, 9, Framingham, MA
My name is Omar and I am 10 years old. I live in Framingham, MA. Sometimes I get mad when I stutter and I do not like it! One time in school a girl and I were partners, and I was stuttering when I was talking. She was copying me in a making fun of me way. It made me very ANGRY!!! Then I learned how to use my techniques: easy onsets, slow rate, speech breathing, cancellations, and, I am learning how to use pullouts. My teachers are Ms. S. and Mrs. W. and I love them!
Omar, 10, Framingham, MA
Hi, I’m Kamar. I’m 9 years old and I stutter. But it doesn’t mess with me. I just take a deep breath and calm down. I’ve been in speech for 5 years. Just remember, it’s ok if you stutter.
Kamar, 9, Omaha, NE
It is me, Unique. How are you guys? I am now 12 years old and a 6th grader at a South Carolina Middle School this year. I have six new teachers and lots of new friends. Well, I had a big situation earlier this school year, where students were picking at me on the bus and in the classroom about my bad stuttering. I told an adult at school and they handled it. Now it is all good. So if kids pick at you about your stuttering, don’t be afraid to tell someone. Thanks!
Unique, 12, Georgetown, SC
Hi my name is Dana and I stutter. If you stutter, here are some tips: talk slow, stop and start over, and stretch the word out. Sometimes I also pretend to be an ice cube and then melt into a puddle. This helps me feel relaxed. Most times when I was younger people used to laugh at me but then I told my speech teacher and she made me feel better. She made me feel better because we would talk about it and she would say it’s okay and that a lot of people stutter. So if you have any problems with stuttering, tell your speech teacher. She or he will take care of it and make you feel better.
Dana L., 10, Brooklyn, NY
My name is Bryshawn and I go to Whitehead Elementary School in Rockford, Illinois. I am 11 years old and I stutter. I started stuttering in first grade, 2011. I was surprised when it first started because I didn’t know what was wrong with my voice. Then it got worse, and after that I started to go to my speech teacher at school. I learned it was called stuttering. My speech teacher taught me different ways to not stutter when I talk. Here are the tools I use: talk slow, take a breather and say words only once. After that, I got better at it and nobody knew how much I used to stutter. Then one of my friends heard me stutter. He told my other friends, then my whole class knew and I was so embarrassed. Nobody talked about me but they kept asking me questions. I just tried to ignore all of them and stay cool. I was cool with it because I just kept talking a lot to other people and then they were cool with me talking to them. Now they think that I don’t stutter any more. That’s because I don’t do it so much now. I use my speech tools every day when I talk to others.
Bryshawn, 11, Rockford, IL
Ever since 7th grade when I would talk about One Direction I wouldn’t stutter, and still to this day it’s true. I’m in 10th grade and my teachers even say every time I talk about them it’s like the stuttering disappears. Even on my worst stuttering days when I talk about them it’s, like complete magic — I’m not even kidding! What do you think? I’ve been stuttering since I was 3 years old. I’m 15 now and I've been in speech therapy for 11 years!
Victoria, 15, Rio Hondo, TX
My name is Eric and I am 10 years old. I am from Smyrna, Tennessee, and I go to Smyrna Elementary School. I’m in 5th grade and I stutter. I'm not sure when I started stuttering but at first I didn’t know how to control it. When I started going to speech I started to learn tricks about how to overcome it. My feelings about stuttering are that when I started stuttering I was scared, but when people got to know me very well they didn’t get annoyed with my stuttering. It's because they have seen me stutter a lot and they got used to my stuttering. Stuttering isn’t something that will take over your life. You can overcome it.
Eric, 10, Smyrna, TN
My name is Taylor. I am six years old. I live in Lincoln, NE. I feel nervous when I talk to people because of my stuttering. Even though I get nervous, I’m ok with my stuttering. I have a speech teacher. She taught me strategies to use. Strategies I like to use are catching the stuttering and letting it go, touching the words lightly, and easy onset. Thank you for reading my letter.
Taylor, 6, Lincoln, NE
My name is Sarita and I live in New York City. I am 16 years old and in the 11th grade. I first started stuttering when I was in first grade and did not receive any speech therapy until the fifth grade. My stuttering has its days, but I can say now I have learned to take control. For advice, I would tell you that you are not alone and that to actually see results you have to use all the techniques.
Sarita, 16, New York, NY
My name is Alfredo and I’m 11 years old. I’m a 6th grader, and I’ll tell you how I feel when I stutter. When I stutter and talk with my friends, they are always like, “what?” and I always have to explain to them a lot of times – hear me? a loooot of times! And I feel too frustrated to explain a lot of times. But that’s not my only feeling when I stutter. When I’m with my cousin and I stutter, he’s like, “That’s ok!” and that makes me feel fine, no pain, no fury, just fine. When I stutter I sometimes am like, “Ok, stuttering is fine and there’s no reason to be mad.” But sometimes I feel bad about this and it makes me feel very sad, and it affects my language, and it makes me mix words with other words or even say weird things but that’s ok with me. I don’t care if I stutter, I’ll just do it. Now that’s all my feelings of stuttering!
Alfredo, 11, Austin, TX
Hello, my name is Joey. I have a stutter and I am here to talk about pausing. Pausing is when you insert short pauses between phrases or sentences. It has helped me with my stutter. One feature to stuttering that I have experienced is that it goes up and down, up and down. My stuttering started in 2nd grade and has continued until now 3 years later. Stuttering can often impact your mood. It can make you frustrated. It can make you proud, pretty much anything. I recommend strategies such as pausing, stretching and cancellations for younger kids who stutter.
Joey, 10, Bethesda, MD
My name is Noah and I am 9 years old, and I am here to talk about stuttering. For me it’s when words get stuck and that makes my voice bumpy. One of my techniques is deep breaths, which is breathing in and breathing out. It helps me talk smoother, but I still have a lot more to do
Noah, 9, Greenfield, WI
Hi, my name is Joey. I started stuttering when I was four or five years old. Every time I stutter I can get stuck or I can repeat a word two times. I’m in 4th grade. I’m 10 years old. I did a presentation on Famous People Who Stutter like George Washington, Albert Einstein, Shaquille O'Neill, Tiger Woods and James Earl Jones (Darth Vader). I did the presentation for my 4th grade classroom so they know what stuttering is and how people feel if they get teased for stuttering.
Joey, 10, Dedham, MA
Hi, my name is Christopher. I live in New Jersey and let me tell you, you’re not the only one who stutters. When I was in first grade, my speech therapist used to help me a lot. Now I’m in 5th grade and she still comes up with amazing ideas to help me control my stuttering. I’ve come a long way and I still am in control and I want to thank my speech therapist for all the help she does.
Christopher, 11, Old Bridge, NJ
My name is Matthew, and you’re not the only one who stutters. Some people find stuttering useful and not so useful. Personally, I find stuttering helpful because it’s a sign of when you need to slow down your speech. For example, I stutter when I am shy, nervous, and frustrated. These are some emotions that might make you stutter, and I have ways to control them. My amazing speech teachers, Mrs. S and Mrs. M, have taught me various strategies to help control stuttering. For example, sliding out of a word, bouncing the letter you’re stuck on, and cancellation, which is totally canceling out a word. If you get bullied, here’s a tip: Who cares what they think! Don’t see stuttering as a weird thing you do, instead, see it as a unique feature. But remember, practice makes perfect, and if you practice, you can shoot for extraordinary limits of fluency!
Matthew, 9, Old Bridge, NJ
My name is Sofia. I am 11 years old. I go to speech to learn how to control my air flow. It helps me when I am doing lots of stuttering. Air flow makes the words come out easier. When I get stuck on a word, I repeat it again and again. When I am reading a book or working on the iPad, I never repeat any words. I am never teased at home or at school. It is ok to come to speech. Sometimes it is fun. Sometimes it is hard work.
Sofia, 5th grade, Cedar Rapids, IA
My name is Dae’Von. I stutter a lot. Stuttering is tough. My speech therapist’s name is Ms. F. Sometimes when I stutter, it’s hard for me to get words out. I am in the 6th grade. I am 11. The best technique that works for me is BOSS. “B” is for “breath” and “O” is for “open tube” (keep your voice on). One “S” is for “softly” and the other “S” is for “slowly.” I use this technique when I speak, and it helps me a lot. I learned that stuttering is tough. So what if people make fun of me? There’s nothing wrong with stuttering. It’s OK to stutter.
Dae’Von, 11, Elk Grove, CA
My name is Lizzie, and I am 7 years old. I am in 2nd grade. My brother and my dad stutter. My brother stutters the most. I stutter the most at school. It makes me feel nervous when I stutter. I go to speech therapy. It helps me to breathe before I talk and use smooth, slow speech. I want to be a painter when I grow up.
Lizzie, 7, Kingsport, TN
Hi, my name is Mason. I am 7 years old. I like to do karate. When I grow up, I want to be a teacher, a doctor, or a weather reporter. There is so much in life you can learn. My stuttering doesn’t really bother me. My speech teacher tells me I can be anything I want to be. My stuttering can’t stop me.
Mason, 7, Kingsport, TN
Hello. My name is Lamere. I am 10 years old and I live in Erie, PA. I like playing football, basketball, baseball, and soccer. I like to sled and spend time with my family. I’ve been stuttering since I started talking. When people make fun of my stuttering I just say “I don’t care. What if you stuttered? Would you like people making fun of you?” When I stutter, I feel like its okay to stutter because a lot of famous people stutter. When I do stutter, I use my speech tools such as slow speech, pausing, cancellation, and easy onset. If you stutter, don’t get mad if people make fun of you. Tell people about stuttering. Stuttering doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. We don’t know what causes stuttering. It is a problem with your brain talking to your speech helpers, like your vocal folds and mouth. Don’t feel bad if you stutter too.
Lamere, 10, Erie, PA
My name is Lily and I stutter. I’m nine years old and I go to school at Sherburne-Earlville. I started stuttering in kindergarten and I started speech therapy. Some strategies I use are bouncing which means I tear the word apart and I sound out each letter. Another strategy I use is clumping words together. I say two words together then I pause. I continue clumping words till I finish my sentence. My advice to you is to not fight with your stuttering. Be friends with it. Also my advice is to tell people to ask one question at a time because the more questions asked the more overwhelmed I am and I stutter more.
Lily, 9, Norwich, NY
I am 7 years old. My name is Dominic. My stuttering teacher helps me with my stuttering and she tells me to talk like a turtle! We also work on breathing in and out and tapping on my leg. My favorite strategy is tapping on my leg. I hope my stuttering will go away some day. If it doesn’t, I will just keep practicing!
Dominic, 7, Lewistown, MO
Hi, my name is Max. I stutter a lot. I started stuttering when I was 5 years old. When I told my mom about it, she signed me up for speech. My speech teacher is a really good teacher. She teaches me about all new tips about stuttering. I go to speech therapy every Monday and Thursday. She lets me and my friends play games, and she teaches us. Some kids work on something else, like ‘s’ sounds and ‘er’ sounds. My speech class is really fun!
Max, 9, Miami, FL
My name is Evan. I am seven years old. I live in Lincoln, NE. Last year I started to stutter. Now I use some strategies like easy onset and catching the stuttering and letting it go. If you stutter, my advice to you is catching the stuttering and letting it go and doing the easy onset.
Evan, 7, Lincoln, NE
Hi, my name is Zamaryon and I am 11 years old. I’m in the 4th grade, and I stutter when I talk too fast. My mom always tells me it is okay to stutter. My speech teacher teaches me how not to stutter, but it doesn’t bother me. My uncle stutters too. Sometimes I get mad, but I take a deep breath and slow down. Thank you for reading my story.
Zamaryon, 11, Ocala, FL
My name is Larithza and I am in 5th grade. I think that stuttering is like quicksand. Sometimes when I stutter, I sink faster. When I stay calm and think about it, I can “get up”! If you get a block, don’t struggle … instead, take a deep breath and start over. Sometimes I get nervous when I have to read aloud in front of classrooms for leadership group. When I had to read out loud in my former third grade class, I didn’t stutter too much because I had this particular teacher, and I practiced reading my passage out loud at home at least 2 times a day. This helped me to not block as much. Other strategies that help me are: slowing down my speech, using continuous voice, and sometimes looking over the sentence and reading it to myself before I speak. I have two very close friends, Ellie and Jazmin, who I have known for 3 years. They are patient with me when I am in a block. They also make sure that others don’t rush me when it’s my turn to read or talk. I feel good because I have such good friends.
Larithza, 10, Eden Prairie, MN
Hi, my name is Jori. I started stuttering when I was 2. I am the only one in my family that stutters. I want to stop that, so this is why I have Ms. M. to help me with my speech. She is so good that I want to be a speech teacher just like her. I come here every Tuesday. I like to come to her, but when it is not Tuesday, I am sad. I wish today was Tuesday because I just want to come here so bad, so that I can stop stuttering. I like speech. I don’t like stuttering, especially when the kids make fun of me. This is why I have breathing strategies. So, when I grow up, I might be able to stop. I don’t want to move from Ms. M.’s speech, so I want to still come to her when I’m in a higher grade. When you stutter, kids laugh at you because they think it’s funny, but kids all around the world kind of stutter. Everyone will get a turn to stop stuttering. This is why I want to stop stuttering. I want to be a girl that’s free and not stutter.
Jori, 7, Pembroke Park, FL
Hi. My name is Chad. I just finished 6th grade last June at Jefferson Middle School in Torrance, CA. I’m 12 years old and I’ll be turning 13 in March. My favorite subject is math. When I started the 6th grade, I was really nervous about not being able to open my locker. I have had problems with that kind of lock before, but it really worked out ok. I started speech group in 3rd grade in elementary school. My favorite part about speech group is the games. My speech teacher, Mrs. D., told me that she thinks that I am a leader in the group and that I continue to improve with my confidence. I think that my speech has become easier as I got older. Thanks for reading my letter!
Chad, 12, Torrance, CA
We did an opinion poll in my class to find out what people think about stuttering, their knowledge about stuttering, and how they would act if someone starts to stutter. Some of the questions we asked were: Would you be friends with someone who stutters? Would you want to stutter? Do you know anyone who stutters? What do you think causes stuttering? Would you bully someone who stutters? Would you date someone who stutters? What would you do if someone started to stutter when you were talking to them? There were NO negative responses to the questions. All of the students said that they would be friends with someone who stutters and they would not make fun of anyone who stuttered. But everyone said that they would not want to stutter except me. I said, “It’s okay that I stutter because no one should care if I stutter.” It was fun doing the opinion poll and finding out what other people thought. If you stutter you should try doing an opinion poll.
Greg, 11, North Babylon, NY
Have you ever heard of stuttering? My name is Jillian and I am 10 years old. I live in Waterford, VT and I stutter. When I stutter my speech gets bumpy or I get stuck, and I cannot control it. Stuttering can be hard. I have learned to face problems, not run away! Long ago, when I was 3 years old I saw a speech teacher because I started to stutter. My speech teacher helps me not to stutter. I go two times a week. I am learning ways to make my speech smooth and to be confident. It is helpful when my friends don’t speak for me or laugh at me, keep good eye contact with me, and let me know it is okay to stutter. I feel annoyed when my friends don’t make eye contact or listen to me. My best friend, Delaney, is the most helpful girl I have ever met. She helps by standing up for me and she is accepting of me.
Jillian, 10, Waterford, VT
I started stuttering when I was 8 years old. I have a sense of humor to make jokes. I am a caring person when people get hurt. Sometimes I get stuck on words but that doesn’t make me not accomplish my dreams. The tools we are learning are light contact, easy voice, cancellation, and slowing down. It makes me feel sad but I don’t let it get to me.
Terrell, 10, Portland, OR
My name is Kimberly. Speech has helped me with my stuttering. I have been in speech for 5 years. I am graduating from speech now because I am better at speaking. I like reading. It also helps me to see if I am proficient in my speech. I can see that I am better. I also want to say thank you to my speech teachers who have helped me over the years: Mr. Alan, Ms. Maria, Ms. Regina, and Ms. Kelly. I would like to be a lawyer in the future. I feel that being in speech has helped me.
Kimberly, 10, El Monte, CA
My name is Jamey and I am 8 years old. I started stuttering when I was 3 years old. My brother and my Dad both stutter too. My brother and I go to speech. I have learned to slow down and speak using smooth speech. Never give up on yourself! Everybody stutters a little bit.
Jamey, 8, Anchorage, AK
Hi! My name is Malik and I am 10 years old. My mom noticed I started stuttering when I was 4. When I was little I was always nervous when I talked to people that I never met or if they were serious. I started taking speech therapy in second grade. The strategies I know are to ease into it and to start over again and to stutter on purpose. Stuttering doesn’t bother me but some people make fun of me.
Malik, 10, Richardson, TX
My name is Laci and I am 7 years old. I am in 2nd grade. I like to read. I started to stutter in kindergarten. I was mad and frustrated because when I tried to talk to friends I went "hhhhhi." In speech therapy I learned to pause when I got stuck on a word. I also use easy beginnings to start my words smoothly. I don't like it when people and kids talk over me and say the same thing I say. In 1st grade, I taught kids by giving a presentation about speech and stuttering. Now they don’t pretend to stutter after I really stutter. I am doing really good with speech now. I think you should do a presentation to help people learn about speech and not get made fun of!
Laci, 2nd grade, Casper, Wyoming
We are Ahryant, Calvin, and Bryant. We are in the fourth grade at Newnan Crossing Elementary School, the best school in the entire universe. We stutter and we go to speech therapy together. The strategies we have learned are the “h” sound, slow speech, and stretchy speech. These help words come out smoothly.
Hello, I’m Bryant. I like to read out loud in the classroom because I can take my time and talk smoothly. I play football and basketball.
Hi, I’m Calvin. I am an A-Honor Roll student and I enjoy football. Stuttering never stops me from achieving my goal.
Hi, I’m Ahryant. I play football and I can run very fast. I practice my speech strategies at home so I can talk better everywhere. Thank you for reading our letter.
Calvin, 9, Ahryant, 10, Bryant, 10, Newnan, Georgia
Hi! My name is Erin and I am in 4th grade. I like to read, write, and hang with my little brother. I am also a person who stutters. I have stuttered since kindergarten, but didn’t start going to speech until 3rd grade. Going to speech helps because I get to learn about my stutter. In summer, my stuttering gets worse. Sometimes I talk super-fast so I don’t stutter, but that doesn’t help. When I’m talking to my mom, she tells me to slow down and repeat it so she can understand it more and that helps me. Stuttering makes me feel angry sometimes because I can’t say what I want to without having people correct me. It makes me happy when I don’t stutter, especially like when I do lines in a play. I get mad if I stutter and have to re-read something because it puts more pressure on me. What I would like to tell other people who stutter is you live with your stutter every day; tell yourself it is okay to stutter. Everyone stutters once in a while, but some people stutter more than others.
Erin, 4th grade, Minneapolis, MN
Hi my Name is Addyson. I am in the 4th grade and I stutter. My parents found out in second grade I think. I go to therapy with a friend. She stutters, too. I hope to fix it. Sometimes I think it is cool to stutter. The tools are to help me. My favorite tools are sliding, forward flow, and pseudo stuttering. I use light contact and easy onset, too.
Addyson, 4th grade, Lafayette, IN
My name is Carlton G. and I’m in 5th grade. I stutter and when I do my words get stuck. I have learned the “stretch it out” strategy, which means you can say any type of sound for a period of seconds. I started stuttering when I was in the 3rd grade. I go to Calhoun County Elementary School. Thanks for reading my story!
Carlton G., 10, Arlington, GA
My name is Alex. I am 11 years old. I am one of the only people in my family who stutters. My grandma is one of the only people in my family that I know who stutters. My family noticed that I started stuttering at the age of three. I’ve been stuttering for eight years and you shouldn’t be ashamed of stuttering!
Alex, 11, Cypress, TX
My name is Clint. I am 7 years old. On December 9, 2013 I started speech at home. And, the real date I started stuttering was November 18, 2013. The stuttering got so bad that I had to spell the words. Each time I spelled a word I got MAD! Now I am doing very good! Now I will tell you what helps me. The tools are: 1. Slow, 2. Breathe in, talk out. If bullies bully, you just put up your finger and keep stuttering.
Clint, 7, Atlanta, GA
Hi! My name is Maxwell. I am 10 years old and I stutter a ton. I don’t like it when people make fun of me. I may stutter, but I am a strong, kind, and intelligent boy. I’ve been going to Jefferson Elementary for four months and I like it when people don’t interrupt me and wait patiently. Stuttering makes me feel embarrassed and angry because it sounds different and nobody knows how it feels. Now I go to speech therapy and I think it is very helpful because you get to sit with your Speech Therapy Teacher and talk about how it feels and how to improve your speaking. I have learned the “stretch it out” strategy, which means you can say any type of sound for a period of seconds. I also learned the “air bag” strategy, which means you can take a breath and let the air out before speaking. These do help me a LOT. Thank you for reading my story.
Maxwell, 10, Wauwatosa, WI
My name is Dalton and I bounce. I don’t know when I started bouncing, but now I have a good speech therapist at school and at the university clinic. I am in 3rd grade right now. I like to play soccer, football, and basketball. I like to read and do math. I use a technique called sliding out or cancellations.
Dalton, 8, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
My name is Alize. I am 11 years old and I have some stuttering problems. My parents first noticed that I started stuttering when I was in the first grade. I have had stuttering problems for five years now. My stuttering went away for like a month or two, but then it started coming back. I stutter when I am nervous or get excited. I have been going to speech therapy. When I get nervous I start talking fast, and whenever I get excited, that’s when I start stuttering. Sometimes when I stutter I tell myself, breathe and talk slow. To other kids that stutter, they feel embarrassed that they stutter and other kids make fun of them. So if they start stuttering they should start over what they are going to say, they should breathe in and out, and talk slow and calmly.
Alize, 11, Los Angeles, CA
My name is Kenny and I am from Campbell, California. I am eight and a half years old and in the 2nd grade. I love to play soccer, baseball and basketball. I also love to swim. Sometimes I try to talk to people, but I get stuck on my words and keep on repeating them, and sometimes people tease me about it. It makes me feel sad and frustrated. My stutter stops me from talking. I won't always speak up because I am afraid I'll get teased. I am trying to learn how to stop my stutter by having Speech Therapy with my Speech Teacher, Hannah T. I love going to Speech because it helps me with stuttering. Before going to speech it was really hard for me to talk and I barely spoke. I am trying to get my stutter to go away or at least under control. I really like reading the letters from the other kids because it lets me know that I am not the only kid who stutters in the world.
Kenny, 81⁄2, Campbell, CA
Editor’s Note: The book, Sometimes I Just Stutter talks about what it takes to stutter, feeling sad and frustrated, and what to do when others tease you. Also, Kenny, please see what Reign from Spokane, WA, has to say about not “getting rid” of stuttering. You are not alone!
My name is Aiden. I’m 9 years old and in the 4th grade. I like to play baseball. Stuttering has affected me because it is hard for me to speak when I am nervous. I’ve been going to speech therapy for 2 months. Some things that have been helpful to me are pausing and easy beginnings. I think it’s important to remember to use pausing and speak at a slower rate.
Aiden, 9, Mechanicsville, VA
My name is Jordan. I am 10 years old. I am in the 4th grade and live in Spokane, Washington. I love to play on my X Box 360. I am very experienced in Call of Duty games, Lego games and more. I also like Super Heroes and riding my bike. Do you stutter? Are you in speech therapy? How long have you stuttered? I have a brother who is 18 years old. Stuttering is not a bad thing.
Jordan, 10, Spokane, WA
Advice for teens who stutter:
• Don’t quit trying to use strategies.
• Teach other people about stuttering.
• Don’t be scared to talk to someone about stuttering.
• Don’t think about stuttering that much – it will get easier if you practice.
What I have learned from stuttering:
• That people are different and it is fine to be different.
Duron, 14, Worcester, MA
My name is Megan. I am 10 years old. I go to Meadow Ridge Elementary in Mead, Washington. I first noticed that I stuttered when I was in 1st grade. I then started going to speech therapy. When I was in 3rd or 4th grade we had an assembly and at the end a kid asked me, “How come every time you talk you always have the hiccups?” The next day I had speech so I told my group and my speech teacher and they just laughed!! Do you have any pets? Do you know anybody who stutters? Just know that you are not alone. If you fight with your stuttering it will just get worse. In my many years of stuttering I have learned that you should become friends with your stuttering. If somebody teases you about your stuttering just don’t let it bother you and give a little smile and they will stop and think it doesn’t bother you.
Megan, 10, Spokane, WA
I am 9 years old. My name is Jocelyn. I go to Meadow Ridge Elementary. Do you like stuttering? Are you a boy or a girl? How many people are in your family? You are not alone. Don’t start over when you get stuck. Do try, try again. I like pink. There are many people in my family who stutter. Thank you for reading my letter.
Jocelyn, 9, Spokane, WA
My name is Thomas. I’m 11 years old. I live in Spokane, Washington. I go to Jaguar Elementary School. I stutter. The most important thing I learned about stuttering is you don’t have to love it; you just need to know that stuttering can be fun. My speech teacher is Ms. K. She taught me a lot of stuff about stuttering and to control my stuttering. I like to play video games, ride my bike and write. I am a Webelo Scout.
Thomas, 11, Spokane, WA
My name is Reign and I am 10 years old. I have been stuttering since I was 3. I really don’t care about my stuttering. It’s just annoying. I don’t want it gone though. I want to keep it, and wear it down. Do you, The Reader, stutter? Are you a speech therapist? Don’t try and get rid of it because you can’t. Whenever I stutter I always use “pull-outs.” I like to read, draw, and play video games.
Reign, 10, Spokane, WA
Hi. My name is Drew. I am in the 7th grade. I have been stuttering since I was three years old. I have learned a lot of stuff about stuttering. I learned to calm down by breathing and taking a different breath. I had two speech therapists. They told me to take a deep breath, make your shoulders relax and pretend like you are riding a wave in the ocean. I like surfing so that was easy for me to do. I got the hang of it. One day my mom said, “Go in your room and talk to yourself in the mirror.” That has helped me a lot. I am going to a special summer camp for stutterers in South Carolina for two weeks. I am excited to go there and I know I will learn a lot and have fun!!!
Drew, 7th grade, Brigantine, NJ
Hi my name is Toteona. I’m 9 years old. I live in Illinois. I like to play basketball and kickball, but I mostly like to play basketball. When I was in third grade, my teacher made us talk in front of the class, and I was really scared. So when I went up there, I went next to my teacher while the rest of the students were on the carpet. When I was talking, I was stuttering, so they laughed and I started to cry. So my teacher, Mrs. Moore, said to go to the bathroom and get some tissue. I did and when I came back, she was telling them don’t make fun because she can’t help that she stutters. Then she told me that I can have lunch with her, and this made my day. I stutter on whole word reps, syllable reps, prolongations, blocks, and phrase reps but I mostly have whole reps, blocks, and phrase reps.
Toteona, 9, Springfield, IL
My name is Unique and I need help with my stuttering, and I need you to help me get rid of my stuttering because people keep telling me to calm down, and I get upset. So I need you to help me get rid of it, so please write me back. Please because I need your help. Also, I am in 5th grade and I go to speech therapy at school and somewhere else. Thank you.
Unique, 11, South Carolina
Editor: We sent Unique his own copy of Sometimes I Just Stutter so he can share information, including the chapter “Some People Don’t Understand.” It isn’t helpful when others tell you to “slow down” or “calm down” and sometimes it makes it harder.
Hi, my name is Yehuda, and I stutter a lot. I would like to tell us a story. I was about 6 years old when I started to stutter. How did I start stuttering? I’m not sure. I started going to therapy when I was in 2nd grade and I was 8 years old, so that means I have been going to speech for almost 4 years. WOW! That’s a lot!! Now I am 10 years old turning 11. How many more years will I be going to speech? I’m not sure, but I hope not a lot more. Here are some questions: What should I do for my stuttering? I go to speech. People always say stop and then say the word you want to say. What should I do? Sometimes I do the things my therapist does, like easy onsets, and think about the word I want to say and then I say the word. Thank you so much for everything!
Yehuda, 10, Brooklyn, NY
I’m 7 years old, and I don’t like to stutter. But I love to talk, and to me it feels weird to stutter. I go to speech therapy. I have learned a lot at that place, and I am glad that I go to speech therapy. I have learned that when I stutter I can talk slower. I am glad that she teaches me. Her name is Miss Melody, and she is a great teacher. I love her so, so, so much. She is awesome. I play a lot of games. The games are very fun. We play “Guess Who” and other fun games like that. I am getting better, but it is still bad. I still stutter a lot.
Alexis, 7, Park City, UT
I have been stuttering ever since I was in the second grade. I have learned lots of ways to help with my speech such as pull-out and easy onset. I really think that pull-out is better to use. It is definitely okay to stutter. I’ve talked to my speech teacher about my stuttering, and I believe that I will stutter for awhile but not my whole life. Sometimes kids get teased but you should just ignore it.
Jacob, 10, New Market, MD
I feel sad. I feel sad because I stutter a lot and everyone knows. I don’t want to stutter. There was a time when I was teased, like last year. I was teased a lot. They would say, “Ha Ha Keionna stutters!” I still feel sad about it now, how my stuttering is getting worse every day! Maybe I need some techniques to help me not to stutter. My speech teacher says to talk slower so I have time to get my words out. She will help me learn some ways to improve. I live with my aunt, and she understands about my stuttering. I have been reading the book in speech therapy about Sometimes I Just Stutter and saw where I could write to you. Is there anything you can tell me about how I can improve my talking?
Keionna, 4th grade, Compton, CA
Editor: Keionna, in the book you are reading, Sometimes I Just Stutter, some advice includes that it is OK to feel bad about stuttering and most people do feel mad or sad sometimes. And, “Don’t be ashamed. Whatever happens, do NOT start blaming yourself. Because it is not your fault that you stutter.” The book also says that if you can, it helps to share those feelings.
My name is Michael and I stutter, but that never stopped me. So...kids may have bullied me. I don’t care. (Don’t let them bum you out.) Last year, I won a trophy for winning a drawing contest. I drew a fire prevention scene and went to City Hall to receive a trophy. The bullies did not stop me. I also got to see the Miami Dolphins. I was proud that my essay was picked. They chose me and 24 other kids out of 500 kids in my school. They took me to dinner and gave me one hundred dollars. It was an honor. That makes me special. I feel better now. See, no one ever stopped me. One time last year I got a scholarship to participate in a genetic computer and intelligence program. If my letter gets published, I hope to help and encourage other kids who stutter. Always be yourself. Stay like you are. I am me. I am just good old me and I stutter.
Michael, 10, Plantation, FL
Hi, my name is Scarlet. I am 9 years old and in 4th grade. I stutter. I don’t think it makes me weird or crazy. I think it makes me cool and unique. I have been going to speech therapy since I was in first grade. Speech therapy is helping me a lot! My friends don’t really mind that I stutter. They are loyal to me, and they let me have my time when I speak. Some of my friends also stutter, so I am not the only one! Thanks for reading.
Scarlet, 9, Park City, UT
Here Are Some Tips About Stuttering:
1. Don’t think about it.
2. Stay calm.
3. It’s alright to stutter.
4. Do not let it get to you.
5. Don’t get mad.
Austin, 5th grade, Martinsville, IN
Hi, my name is Angela. I’m 12 years old and I go to Middle School. When I stutter I feel clogged up, like the words are stuck in my throat. When I try to talk to my friend I always stutter. I try so hard not to stutter every single day, and I feel like it has taken over my life. I’m the only kid at school who stutters. I feel so alone. But when I sing I feel like my stuttering is gone and I feel free. I’m reading your book Sometimes I Just Stutter. I think it can help kids around the world who stutter like I do. I hope you can write a letter back to me.
Angela, 12, Randolph, MA
Editor: Angela, as you know, it only feels like you are alone. But you are not! Over 70 million people worldwide stutter and many are kids like you. We hope Sometime I Just Stutter is helpful to everyone. As you read in the first chapter “…Sometimes it feels like your throat is locked, and you can’t get on with what you wanted to say…” but, “…when you try really hard to go on talking…often trying hard just makes things worse…” So remember, it is what you have to say that is the most important, not how you say it!
My name is Gilberto and I am 9 years old. I live in Oxnard, California. I am in fourth grade. Stuttering is a hard thing to do. In speech class we learned about the speech machine. Some people are hard to talk to, but even when I stutter, other people still listen to me. Sometimes I do things so I won’t have trouble talking. I change my words or thoughts or sometimes I just don’t talk. I wish I could talk like the other kids. My stuttering makes me feel different and stressed. I am going to keep going to speech so I can learn more ways to make talking easier for me.
Gilberto, 9, Oxnard, CA
I am Daniel, and I am 11 years old. I have been stuttering since I was 4 or 3. I started going to speech therapy when I was 7 but there it didn’t go very well, so when I was 9 we changed to another place and in that place my stuttering got better but not so much. Now I hardly ever stutter, but sometimes I stutter a lot. My parents try to help when I stutter but my dad always looks a bit nervous when I get stuck and makes me nervous too and my stuttering gets worse. That’s all - I hope it’s enough.
Daniel, 11, Madrid, Spain
Editors Note: In our book Sometimes I Just Stutter, parents are told, “...remember you are not the cause of your child’s stuttering, but you are the nearest and best supporters on his road to talking more easily.” While your parental concerns for your child are real, it is important for you as well as for your child not to go on worrying. As Daniel tells us, “nervousness” is a bit “contagious.”
My name is Jesus. I am 8 years old. I live in Oxnard, California. I’m the best video game player in the world! I am a good soccer player. I also like math. It is my favorite thing to do. I like my printing. Something I don’t like about myself is stuttering too much. I really get annoyed with my stuttering. Sometimes when I read in front of the class people don’t listen. When I talk I sometimes feel worried that I’m never going to stop stuttering. Something I like about school is that I have learned about the speech machine and the recipe for successful speech. I’m really disappointed in my stuttering. I sometimes get stuck on words and sounds. I want to keep going to speech and keep getting better at talking.
Jesus, 8, Oxnard, CA
My name is Riley-Anne. I am nine years old. I started going to speech when I was 5 or 6 years old. I work on my Rs, easy beginnings and stuttering. I really think I grew to like speech. It makes me feel unique. Sometimes kids tease me about it. I really do NOT care. Sometimes I get nervous. My speech teacher has done so much for me. My mom is really helpful too. I love going away from class to work on speaking. My entire life I have been dreaming of being a published author. I love speaking too! The work with Mrs. H really gives me confidence.
Riley-Anne, 9, Illinois
I have something that I would like to say to you. I would like to say that when people tease you, you could say, “Come back when you can stutter better than me.” I’ll bet they’ll stop teasing you right away.
Mateo, 10, Lockeford, CA
Speech therapy changed my life forever! Imagine that you did a project that you worked so hard on for days. It was perfect, and you practiced and practiced your presentation for a long time. Then, when you presented it to the class, you stuttered on almost every word you tried to speak. This is what happened to me. Speech therapy is life changing to me because I speak more fluently, I have tools to help me overcome stuttering, and I have more confidence. Before speech therapy, I often struggled to speak. In fourth grade, I did a paper called “Christmas Around the World” and gave a speech in front of the class. During the speech, I kept stuttering and got mad at myself. I felt flustered, stressed, and nervous. Stuttering made me feel lonely and different from everyone else. While in the 5th grade, I took two speech therapy classes a week for the entire school year. I purposely changed schools in 5th grade just to have speech therapy. My speech therapist at Pinellas Preparatory Academy helped me to better articulate my words and to speak more fluently. My teacher, Mrs. C, used the tools my therapist taught me during regular class time with everyone. My parents also helped me with the worksheets that my therapist gave me. Reading aloud was also helpful. With the help of many people in my life, I was able to improve the fluency in my speech. I now have tools to help me overcome my stuttering. My speech therapist gave me tools and exercises to do in my free time. The tools were called easy onset and decreased rate of speech. She gave me worksheets with words that started with R’s, other consonant blends, and tongue twisters. She also gave me vocal exercises that were to say words that started with certain consonants and tongue twisters. Different teachers have given class assignments that require writing an essay or story and then reading it in front of the class. I can do this now and not worry as much because I know I can succeed if I use the tools learned. Now that I don’t stutter as much, I tried out for a part in last year’s school drama production and got a part that had lines. I didn’t stutter and really enjoyed the experience. Because of that great experience, I have decided to try out again this year. Speech therapy changed my life because I speak more fluently, I have tools to help overcome stuttering, and I have more confidence to speak in front of an audience or anyone else for that matter. I feel fortunate to not always stutter. Now, I don’t feel different from everyone else. I’m ecstatic that I don’t have to repeat everything twice or even more times anymore. The tools that I have learned from speech therapy make me feel like I can accomplish anything.
Ben, 12, Palm Harbor, FL
Editor’s Note: At press time, we heard this update from Ben’s mom – “I thought I would share some exciting news about Ben that we just received. His school is doing Beauty and the Beast this year and Ben tried out for Le Fou, Gaston's little sidekick. Ben got the part! He is super excited and will have more speaking lines than last year and he will be singing. The drama instructor said he ‘rocked his audition.’ This is huge for Ben and hopefully encouraging for others!!”
My name is Cooper, and I am 9 years old. I started stuttering before preschool. The first time I went to therapy I was very nervous of what it would be like. People have teased me off and on. I just say, “I bet you have something wrong with you too” and they just walk away. I discovered that all therapy was, was somebody who really wanted to help you. Then I started going to therapy at school. It turned out being really helpful. A few people in my school stutter. We have a strategy that helps me very well – it is sliding. Sliding is when you loosen up your jaw and slick through the word you are stuck on. The other kids in my school have the same strategy but different ways of using it. My teacher has a signal for me to slide when I am stuck. Sometimes in something like sports you would have to talk, or you might have to talk in front of a bunch of people. Don’t be scared; just use whatever strategy you are best at. You will probably have trouble with it, but it’s okay. When you are having trouble with your strategy, you can always use some other one that you get help from.
Cooper, 9, Allenstown, NH
Hi, my name is Amir. I’m 8 years old. I’ve been going to Centennial Elementary School. I’m from Tucson, Arizona. I started speech therapy in the Fall of 2012. I think stuttering is OK for me. If someone is making fun of me, I ignore them. If there’s a kid being bullied, walk away and tell an adult. When I stutter most of all is in my classroom because I feel anxious a lot.
Thank you for reading my story.
Amir, 8, Tucson, AZ
Hi, I’m Bianey Alejandra. I’m 11 years old and in 5th grade. I stutter most of the time when I speak, or when I get nervous. Sometimes kids look at me like an outcast when I try to tell them something. I don’t mind because I know that I’m smart in my own ways. I hate my stuttering but I’ve learned to accept it as part of who I am. I wrote this poem after I felt embarrassed about reading aloud in class. I love writing because I can let out my feelings and feel cleaned up with a problem. I hope you may be able to help others struggling with stuttering, too.
I can’t finish the word,
My lips tremble,
I try to close my eyes,
Try to avoid seeing their faces,
Silent tears start coming.
I want to speak
I want to read fast like others
I feel weak
I WILL be strong,
Blink my tears away,
Start to read,
Not caring if they heard.
So, criticize me when you are perfect
Bianey Alejandra, 11, Walnut Creek, CA
Hi, my name is Andrea. I turned 12 last summer. I’m from Tucson and I go to Centennial Elementary School. I started speech therapy in January 2013. I like to sing, dance, play basketball, do art, and spend time with family. I think I’ve been stuttering since 4th grade. I feel when I stutter people just don’t want to talk to or be around me. Also that people think they know what I’m going to say, but sometimes they don’t. Finally, stuttering for me is like walking for the first time. When you walk for the first time, you get up and you fall. Then you fall again, but when you finally get the hang of it, you feel amazing. But that doesn’t really happen for me. Hopefully in the future that amazing feeling happens to me a lot.
Thank you for reading my story.
Andrea, 12, Tucson, AZ
1. When people repeat sounds or get stuck on words it is called:
2. When you hear people stutter you should:
A. Wait patiently until they finish speaking
B. Interrupt them
C. Say words for them
D. None of the above
3. How can a person stutter:
A. Repeat sounds or words
B. Get stuck on a sound or word
C. Push out sounds or words
D. All of the above
4. People who stutter are:
A. Not smart
B. Like everyone else, except they stutter sometimes
C. Not nice
D. Like to play sports
5. Is it OK to stutter:
D. I don’t know
Answers: 1. C, 2. A, 3. D, 4. B, 5. A.
Corion, 9, Kankakee, IL
Editor’s Note: See Corion’s PowerPoint presentation below.
I was 3 years old when I started stuttering. It made me feel bad and sad. Coming to speech therapy has helped me feel a lot better about my stuttering. I am now 9 years old and feel good about my stuttering. Some Talking Tools that help me talk more smoothly are “go slow’ and “keep moving.” If someone is stuttering, other people should not finish their words. When I grow up, I can have any job I want, even if I stutter. I want to be a landscaper. Be nice to people who stutter.
Dalton, 9, Holton, IN
Laughter fills the room as I let the words I so want to say out. Why should I be judged on something I can’t control? As much as you hear it, you believe it and later become afraid of your own voice. But there is someone who can save you, someone who doesn’t improve your confidence. You shouldn’t have to be embarrassed because of the way your words flow from your mouth when you have a beautiful reason behind it.
Stand as tall as you can and say “I AM HUMAN BEING.” No matter how many times you have to stop, take a breath, and say it again.
Desiree-Renee, 13, Fort Smith, AR
Hi, my name is Gabe, and I’ve been stuttering since I started to talk. I’ve been in Speech Therapy since I was four. I’m from Tucson, Arizona and I go to Centennial Elementary. Stuttering has affected my life, it makes me nervous to talk, I don’t participate as much, and it made me drop out of the District Spelling Bee. I don’t like to stutter, I get made fun of and my class occasionally laughs at me when I stutter, and it makes me not want to come to school. Also, it affects stuff I like to do like sports, being with my friends and family, making people laugh, and most of all, school work. Someday I hope that I don’t stutter like I do right now, because it feels like my stuttering is getting worse by the day.
Gabe, 12, Tucson, AZ
My name is Jeremy and I am eleven years old. I come from a family of stutterers, and I’m proud of it. I used to get teased a lot in the earlier grades. Now my stutter is virtually unnoticeable because I use a wide array of speech tools, such as Cancellations (you finish the bumpy word, take a breath, then say it again.), Easy Beginnings (you take a breath and talk calmly, without tension), and Smoothies (when you get stuck on a word, stop, find the tension areas, and calm your voice box.) After that, your speech will sound smooth as a…..SMOOTHIE! I also tune out the people who are too thoughtless to walk a hypothetical mile in my shoes. If this didn’t help, you can always ask your parents to enroll in Speech Therapy. My Speech Therapist is really nice. I hope you outsmart those bullies!
Jeremy, 11, Plantation, FL
Hi, my name is Jimmy. I am 9 years old and I am in the 4th grade. Stuttering can be hard. I sometimes change the vowel sound a little bit. It helps when I slow my rate down when I talk.
My favorite sport is baseball. It’s really hard to talk during a game. I need to talk out to my team mates. This is hard because I usually stutter when I do it.
Once I got stuck on the word “get” when talking to a good friend. It took a long time to say the word. Afterwards we both laughed for a long time. I felt so much better, we both laughed about it.
Jimmy, 9, Buffalo, NY
I am nine years old. I started going to speech therapy in the 2nd grade. My stuttering used to make me feel sad but now my speech makes me feel awesome. Some Talking Tools that help me are Think, Go Slow, and Relax. I taught other kids about stuttering by having a class presentation and answering questions. If someone is stuttering, other people should help them and tell them it’s OK.
I want to be a policeman when I grow up and stuttering will not stop me from doing it. You don’t have to be afraid of stuttering. Even if something is hard for you, you can still get a good job.
Joey, 9, Versailles, IN
I’m a Stutterer
I’m not slow
I’m not stupid
I’m not a fool
Just because I’m
I don’t like to
speak to others
I’m not oblivious
And I don’t let it
over power me
Just because I’m
It doesn’t mean
I can’t be heard
Or even be a leader
I’m a stutterer
Why do people laugh at me?
What makes it ok to judge?
Why do people assume
I’m dumb and can’t read?
Just because I’m a stutterer
Josh, 15, Vancouver, WA
My name is Josiah. I am eight years old. I use my speech tools everyday. I am here to help kids to stop stuttering. I learned Easy Beginnings and you should use it too. If someone laughs at me about my stuttering, I say, “Hey, that’s not funny”. I love you, SFA, for helping kids.
Josiah, 8, Plantation, FL
I need help with my stuttering. I see a speech therapist, she is helping me a lot. I was wondering how long it will take before I stop stuttering. I hate my stuttering because when I read it is hard and sometimes people make fun of me. I look forward to hearing from you.
Kaw, 12, Wilmington, NC
Editor’s Note: Kaw, the most important thing is that you continue talking because what matters is what you have to say, not how you say it! Some people work on their speech for many years, but remember, what you have to say is important! In our book Sometimes I Just Stutter which you can read on our website, www.StutteringHelp.org, there are lots of suggestions for dealing with kids who make fun of your speech. Sometimes it is best to ignore them, and sometimes you might need to simply tell them to stop because it is not nice.
My name is Levi and I am 9 years old. I started stuttering when I was two years old. My stuttering happens when I get stuck on the S and TH sounds. When I first started stuttering, I use to feel sad about it and now I feel great about my speech. I think going to speech therapy has helped me get better with speaking. Talking Tools that help me speak better are “think it first, go slow, keep moving.” My stuttering gets worse when I get nervous. It is OK to talk about stuttering with kids and adults. Me and my friends go into 3rd grade classes and tell them about stuttering. When I grow up I want to be in the U.S. Navy Seals or Marine Corps.
Levi, 9, Versailles, IN
Hi, I am Shamsa from United Arab Emirates. I am 16 years old. I know I am older than most to send you my story because the book Sometimes I Just Stutter was only for children, but I read the book because I am not very good at English, and I thought it would have easier vocabulary. About me and stuttering: I don’t know when it started. My cousins and friends are always laughing at me and teasing me. No one told me ever you are perfect girl and we like you as you are. Maybe they didn’t know about stuttering or they think it’s a little problem and it will disappear when I grow up. But I am grown up and still stuttering. The only thing that changed is that I have trust in myself and believe that everyone has their own problems. Some people can’t walk, but I can. Some people can’t see anything. They can’t see the flowers or the cute babies, but I can. I am so good at drawing and everybody likes what I draw! I can write also - nice poems and articles.
I want thank you for your website and the books that help people.
Shamsa, 16, UAE
My name is Sophia Rose. I’m 10 years old and I am in 4th grade. Sometimes I stutter a lot. When I talk to somebody they can’t hear me. When I get stuck on a word it is like a bump. I start all over again and again. I go to speech and it helps me. I hope it helps you too.
Sophia, 10, Flowery Branch, GA
Hello, my name is Abby and I am eight and a quarter years old. I want to be a vet when I grow up. I like Teddy Grams with chocolate chips in them. I go to elementary school in Wisconsin. I like the color black. My favorite food is pizza. My favorite breed of dog is the German Sheperd. I stutter. Stuttering is when you sometimes get stuck on a word and you get nervous and it’s really nerve-wracking. Stuttering is not the same for everybody. I first started stuttering on the first day of preschool. Stuttering bugs me. It bugs me the most when I read. Talking is easy when I am giving a presentation. Talking is also easy when I talk to my family’s Elf on the Shelf, Buddy. I love Christmas because it is Jesus’ birthday. I love fruit snacks. I like African Grey parrots. Stuttering is a big deal to me. I have been teased once by my friend Brody because I stuttered in front of the class. He laughed at me. He said sorry later, after he got in trouble. He is nicer now. Kids who get teased should stand up for themselves or tell the teacher or tell the principal. It helps you when you have friends to help you through the hard times of stuttering. Don’t be afraid!
Abby, 8 1/4, River Falls, WI
I want to teach people to use targets when they stutter. Targets are bounce, slide, blocks, pullouts, and easy onsets. Stuttering is not a funny thing. When you stutter you can stop or slow down or start over.
Cameron, 10, Stockton, CA
Editor’s Note: Stuttering is a complex communication disorder in which the flow of speech is broken by repetitions, prolongations, or stoppages of sounds and syllables.
My name is Chloe. I’m in sixth grade, and I stutter. I’ve been stuttering for a long time. I’ve been stuttering since I was 5 years old. My dad died when I was eight. He helped me on my stuttering. I’m not really sure how. It got worse after my dad died. My stuttering came back when I was sad the day he died. I repeat words over and over. I feel the stuttering come out and I’m afraid to say words. I repeat the word a thousand times and I don’t like it. Sometimes I feel like I’m stuck on a word and it won’t come out. People make fun of me about my stuttering. They say, “Ha-ha Chloe stutters.” It’s rude to call people names about that. I hate my stuttering. Sometimes I feel sad about my stuttering and sometimes I get mad about my stuttering. Sometimes I laugh about my stuttering and sometimes I cry. Sometimes I shut my door and say, “I wish my stuttering would go away forever.”
Chloe, 6th grade, Homer, NY
I want to publish my stuttering story in a magazine. I am hoping that I get my stuttering on a magazine and write poems. Stuttering is kind of hard. Stuttering is good because you don’t have to repeat it. But it is hard because if you get stuck you have to speak another word.
Brandon, 9, Stockton, CA
Hi. I am David and I’m in 4th grade and 9 years old. One day my dad noticed I stuttered a little here and there sometimes. He said “I think you need to go to speech therapy” (My dad said he had speech problems too when he was my age and also went to speech therapy.) I said, “Okay, I don't really care.” Once I went to speech therapy, they taught me all these tricks like cancellations, pausing and finishing my sentences. I still stutter once in a while and I am still taking speech therapy. I think it’s impossible for me to never stutter, but I can control most of it. I have never been teased about stuttering because I don't stutter a lot and I have really good friends.
David, 9, Bethesda, MD
My name is Dylan and I am 11. I have stuttered ever since the first grade and back. I have been with the same speech teacher for six years. I have gotten better at talking without stuttering because I can say my name now and I used to rely on people to say it for me. I hope to get even better at talking by the end of 6th grade so I can get out of speech. Also, I want to help younger kids who stutter!
Dylan, 11, Versailles, IN
My name is Emily. I am 8 years old. I am in second grade. I live in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. When I feel frustrated with my speech it helps to think happy thoughts. Pausing helps make speech smoother. I like spending time with my two dogs, Ace and Max. If you are teased, ignore them, if you can’t stick up for what you believe in.
Emily, 8, Fond du Lac, WI
My name is Jack and I am in 5th grade. I have been working on my stuttering for about two years. I have really improved. I have learned from my speech therapist to use my easy speech, think about what I want to say, and to glide my words together. She also tells me when I struggle sometimes that no one has perfect speech. I don’t like when my dad interrupts me during my sentences. Other than that, I am really okay with my speech.
Jack, 11, Pleasanton, CA
Hi, my name is Katherine and I am 8 years old. I want to tell you the story about in 2nd grade when I had a big project to do. The first time I did it, I got stuck a lot so I tried to stretch it out but I couldn’t. I didn’t get a good grade on my presentation. The next presentation I had to do, I did a better job. I stretched out my words and used my strategies. I felt a little bit nervous but my mom was really proud of me for getting a better grade this time!
Katherine, 8, Silver Spring, MD
I take my time when I talk. And if I do not, I will get mad but that won’t stop me at all. At least I try. Here’s the fun part – I can practice and practice all day long.
Keioni, 11, Stockton, CA
My name is Nathan and I’m 11 and in the 5th grade and I stutter. I’m proud that I stutter. People used to make fun of me, but when I went to speech class I found out that it’s okay if I stutter. Now in the 5th grade I don’t get made fun of anymore. 1% of people stutter and I’m proud to be in that 1%.
Nathan, 11, Silver Grove, KY
Hi, my name is Nick and I'm in 5th grade and 10 years old. I used to stutter a lot. I started to stutter ever since I could talk which was 2 years old. I still stutter now but not as much as I used to. The way I stopped stuttering a lot is by doing easy approach, fix-ups and thinking of what I want to say before I say it. This stuff can't just come to you in a day, you have to practice not just once you have to practice a lot of times.
Nick, 10, Carmel, NY
Two years ago I was wondering why I stuttered. My parents took me to a therapy and we didn’t like it. Then we went to another and we loved it. Since then I learned lots of stuff like how stuttering happens. Also, I have started raising my hand and reading aloud in class a lot more and the teachers think I’m really smart. At camp I met lots of other kids who stutter and they stuttered differently and lots of them became my friends. I liked my teacher at camp and the fun activities we did. I learned how to talk more smoothly and I learned how to use some strategies. My favorite thing about therapy is practicing easy starts and keeping my voice on so it becomes easier to talk with my friends and other people.
Noah, 11, Solon, IA
Hi my name is Simon I am in 5th grade and I am 10 years old. I like to hang out with friends and family, and I like to play video games. I used to not care about stuttering, but now I hate it! Even thinking about it makes me mad, like really angry. I know this is crazy, but I hope there is a cure or something because now stuttering annoys me! Speech therapy helps me because I have learned the strategies easy onset, full breath, light contact, and continuous phonation.
Simon, 10, Willard, MO
The first time I realized I stuttered was when I was six years old. Ever since I have been seeing a speech therapist to help my stuttering. We have been using our techniques (like) full breath, easy onset, phrasing, and our speech helpers (the) tongue, ridge, teeth, larynx, and our mouth. And, ever since, it has been helping me out more often. I only take speech once a week and I practice every day to help my speech. My family has been helping me out every day. Blocks are when you can’t get anywhere (all stacked up, no way out).
Bryshon, 10, Tuscaloosa, AL
My name is Spencer. I am 8 years old. I started stuttering right when I entered preschool. When I stutter in front of someone, I feel embarrassed. When I stutter sometimes people make fun of me but I don't care. I don't really say anything, I just ignore it. My stutter sounds like a beeping noise, every 10 seconds. It feels like the words get stuck in my throat. I try to remember to stretch out my words. To the younger kids that stutter, I would say when you get older, it probably will get better!
Spencer, 8, Potomac, MD
When I first came to school I had started to stutter so I went to speech class so my teacher can help me stop stuttering. We started to do some things to help make the stuttering go away. We talk about it and we tried something that will help us if we start to stutter. We can use some words we learned and then I thought stuttering will be okay. I can just say stuttering is not a big thing, so I am okay with it. Stuttering does not make me mad or sad or happy – it just makes me feel okay so I can just be calm and go with it and keep learning and keep practicing. I am okay telling people that I am in stuttering class and that I stutter a lot because it does not hurt my feelings just because people talk about me.
Alisha, 9, Tuscaloosa, AL
My name is Vanessa, and I’m 12 years old. I stutter. It is difficult for my friends and family to sometimes understand me. I repeat words a lot when I talk to my friends and family, but they help me by stopping me and making me say it over. I gotta say, it does sometimes get me mad, but all they want to do is help. In my school, people understand and don't tease or bully people who stutter. They all like to help. I don't really stutter as bad when I have to read out loud or sing.
Forward flowing speech helps me; I bet it can help you too. If you speak slowly, you can recover from stuttering. Someday even stop!
Vanessa, 12, Dudley, MA
Editor’s Note: It is not helpful to the person who stutters to have her sentences finished for her, nor is it helpful to tell her to “slow down,” “take a deep breath,” or “relax.” Such simplistic advice can even be felt to be demeaning.
When I stutter I get sad and feel like not talking to anybody. So I just shut up and be quiet and don’t talk anymore. When I stutter on the bus or when I sing rap songs, I take a deep breath, stutter, and start all over. I use speech techniques. “Blocking” is when your throat is stuck with a whole lot of words.
Brennan, 10, Tuscaloosa, AL
My name is Jonah and I am 9 years old. I have been through many camps where the kids tease me about stuttering but when I told them to shape up they stopped. One kid at my sleep-away camp was really mean about it, and I kept telling him to stop but he wouldn’t so I just got over it. I have done a lot of cancellations during my practice and I have improved.
Jonah, 9 1/2, Bethesda, MD
My name is David and I think you should not give up. When I was in Kindergarten I would sit in the corner. Then I tried a speech room and now I’m better with my speech. I gave up but they taught me not to. I am David and I am in fifth grade and even though it is hard, don’t give up on your stuttering.
David S., 10, Stockton, CA
Here's a video of a PowerPoint presentation by 9-year-old Corion. He was also featured in his local newspaper.
My name is Connor and I’m 9 years old. I started stuttering when I was 2-1/2 years old. The techniques I use are easy-pause-easy, bouncing, stretching, and pullouts. When I stutter I just forget about it and keep on going. Also, speech is hard work and I try to practice as much as I can. Also, my favorite sport is hockey. My advice is when you stutter, you look the person in the eye and keep on going.
Connor, 9, Arlington Heights, IL
Hi, my name is Daisaun. I’m in 6th grade. I’ve been stuttering since I was in 3rd grade. I love to play football and basketball. Also, I play for a team called Jimmy Lee. When I stutter it embarrasses me, and I mostly stutter when I’m excited or when I’m giving a speech. When I stutter around friends it’s embarrassing and awkward. When I started stuttering my mom said to me, “Are you having a hard time talking?” My answer was, “N-no, I’m f-fine.” Two years later my mom said, “You should
join speech class.” My advice to you is that you shouldn’t try to keep it in when you stutter, you SHOULD try to let it out.”
Daisaun, 6th grade, St. Paul, MN
It is alright to stutter. Most people do. I don’t mind stuttering most of the time. When people laugh at me, then I do mind stuttering. Sometimes when people help you it gets worse and worse. When I get mad at my stutter I tell an adult and they help me. When I stutter the most is when I am in class. If I am asked a question I stutter a lot. When I started to go to speech it helped me a lot. Going to speech therapy helps me with my stuttering. You can write a letter, too, and mail it to: Stuttering Foundation, P.O. Box 11749, Memphis, TN 38111. Think of things you can write about, like your favorite game. When people call me names I tell the teacher. I hope this helps you.
JaQuan, 8, Toledo, OH
I stutter. I mostly stutter like every other day. Sometimes I get stuck on a word, and sometimes I block on a word. And sometimes I take my time to talk and my stuttering decreases. If I stutter fast, my stuttering will increase. If you get stuck on a word, try to remove it or do a soft sound or start over. My name is Joseph and I am 12 years old and I stutter.
Joseph, 12, Ft. Worth, TX
My name is Aarmonie and I’m in 7th grade. Here is my story. People treat us like we are weirdos, like we are not humans. Humans have problems too, but that was before and this now. I feel happy that when people talk about me now, it doesn’t bother me. Everybody should get treated the same way. Treat people how you want to be treated. I want to tell people to be happy. Because I stutter, that doesn’t mean I can’t do anything I hope for.
It’s cool to stutter – don’t be mad at yourself.
Aarmonie, 7th grade, Mesquite, TX
I’m an 8th grader and age 13 and here is my autobiography.
Before: I felt bad and sad when I was in the 5th and 6th grades because kids made fun of me because I stuttered with no control.
After: Later, a lot changed because I did not stutter that much anymore.
Now: I wish people would treat stutterers with respect and the same way as people who don’t stutter.
Bonus: Speech teaches you how to appreciate your stuttering.
Treat people with RESPECT.
Adrian, 13, Mesquite, TX
Hi, my name is Camryn. I am 12 years old. The way I stutter is by repeating a word several times. On bad days I stutter everywhere. In the past, kids have bullied me about my stuttering. I very much dislike stuttering because of the bullying. When I was in 5th grade a boy asked why I stutter. When I revealed the answer he gave me a dirty look. This really hurt my feelings because it made me feel weird. I’m working on my speech right now, and I think my stuttering has decreased from 5th grade to now.
Camryn, 12, Fort Johnson, NY
P.S. I have included a list of positive thoughts about stuttering:
• A lot of people don’t understand stuttering and don’t get it
• It’s easy to see why people don’t understand it because everybody stutters differently
• If you’re calm and relaxed, you won’t stutter
• Find something to do and you will be calm and relaxed with your stuttering
• There is lots you can do and say (“mark”) when you are being teased about stuttering
• We have to teach parents the right way to communicate with us about stuttering
• It is OK to stutter – there is no law against it
• Everyone is important, even though you get the idea that you do everything wrong
My name is Mikey, not Mickey, Mikey. I’m 9 years old. I play Mount Pleasant football. My speech gets stuck a lot but that’s OK because it’s not my fault; it’s my speech machine’s fault. If you have any questions about stuttering, do these things:
1. Keep talking
2. Ask your friends to remind you about easy talking
3. Do easy talking
Try these things. It might help you!
Mikey, 9, Arlington Heights, IL
Hi, my name is Arron. I am 13 years old and in the 7th grade. I have been stuttering since I was five years old and was in preschool. I feel that I do not stutter very much and am still improving. I don’t like it when other kids at my school make fun of me or mock me when I stutter. I usually just walk away from the situation and sometimes other students stick up for me. I stutter mostly when I have to speak in front of a group. I also don’t like it when people finish my words/sentences when I begin to stutter. I have been taught techniques in speech therapy to help me. I take deep breaths, talk slowly, and think positive thoughts to help me not stutter. My favorite football team is the Cincinnati Bengals. I like to play on the computer and play football at recess. I hope to play basketball and football for the school this year!
Arron, 13, DeGraff, OH
My name is Amir and I am nine years old. When I was six I began to stutter. People just don’t pay attention when I talk. Sometimes they might walk away. I stutter because I am nervous. I think I need to slow down on my speech to a level 2. My speech therapist gave me a rating scale and 5 is too fast and 1 is too slow. A 2 or 3 level is just right! I wish people would just pay attention to me. I am bringing awareness of stuttering to other classes in my school by doing a presentation workshop with my therapist, Mrs. R. I hope that people will learn to be more sensitive and help instead of making a hard situation worse.
Amir, 9, Garnerville, NY
Editor’s note: It is so important to face our fears even when we are nervous. Keep talking! We are proud of you!
Hello, my name is Kiernan and I am in fourth grade. I am 10 years old. Even though I stutter, I still think that Student Council is fun. Stuttering did not keep me from achieving my goal of being on Student Council, even though I did stutter a little bit when I was giving my speech to run for Student Council. I have stuttered ever since I can remember. When I was in preschool, kids would tease me because I stuttered. But even though they teased me, I said, “You are just jealous because I am so good at it.” Even though some kids may tease me, I don’t really care because we are all different from each other, so I am special just the way I am. Things I do to control my stuttering when I want to are chewing gum, taking a deep breath and talking while I breathe out, and tapping my fingers in my pocket so it is not noticeable. When kids tease you, just remember that we are all special in different ways.
Kiernan, 10, Kenai, AK
My name is Maria and I have stuttered since 1st grade. I just wanted to write to you to tell you how much I appreciate your book Sometimes I Just Stutter. I have owned the book since I was 7 and I still read it sometimes. I also just wanted to tell you a bit about my stuttering and my story with it.
So I started stuttering when I was 6 years old and in 1st grade. I am in 10th grade now and will be 15 in August. My stutter has always been inquisitive to people, it seems as though they have never heard someone stutter before. Except to my friends of course, they always seem to not mind it very much.
But my stutter has never been the same. It sometimes will almost completely stop for a year or two and then come back with a vengeance. That is what has happened recently. In my freshman year of high school my stutter was almost non-existent except for the last two months. It has now been super noticeable and people have noticed it.
When I was little I used to block on complete words, prolog the sssss’s, and repeat words every now and then. But now I repeat a sound, block on words, shut my eyes, prolong my mmmmm’s, block on t’s, move my head around, and try to find other words. It is really frustrating, especially since my last day of school was yesterday.
I feel like I have a unique stutter though. I do speech team. I barely ever stutter when I’m in my “presenting” zone. I also love to sing, and I’m in the school’s choir. I never stutter when I sing.
So that is basically my whole story. There is one more thing that I forgot to mention, I never took speech therapy. My mom mentioned me to my school’s speech therapist in 2nd grade, and she said that I would grow out of it…obviously that didn’t happen. So, thank you for reading this – I hope maybe my story could help other kids deal with their stutter. Thank you.
Maria, 15, Fairfax, MN
Editor’s Note: We are glad Sometimes I Just Stutter has been helpful for Maria. You can find it at StutteringHelp.org under “resources” or on our online store.
Hello! I am Michael. I’m 10 years old. I’m working on speech and I’ve improved a lot. I started going to speech when I was five years old. When I’m stuck, I take a deep breath and start over. I’ve been taught to use easy onsets, which is slow starts. I had trouble moving my body, but now I have a quiet body. When I am stuck I feel kind of left out, but I know I can beat stuttering.
Michael, 10, Shoreham, NY
My name is Sarah and I am 13 years old and will be in 8th grade in the Fall. When I was younger I would talk fast so I would get done with what I was talking about so they wouldn’t hear me stutter. I thought I was weird and different. I started going to speech when I was in fifth grade. When I was in sixth grade my brother teased me about stuttering. He would pretend to stutter to make fun of me. I handled it by telling my speech teacher about it, and she told my mom, who talked with my brother. He still teased me for a while but then he stopped. My younger sister Emily is stuttering and my younger cousin Rachel is too. I am helping them by teaching them what strategies I learn in speech class. In the future I will keep working on my strategies and helping my sister and my cousin.
Sarah, 13, Hyrum, UT
There was once a 16 year old girl named Kate, who stuttered a lot. She was always teased by other kids at school and her 12- year-old brother, Matt, made fun of her, too. She grew up being called names that were nothing compared to what she went through during college. Kate was called names like Ms. Stutter Lady, Dumbo Kate, and retarded. She was often asked to demonstrate her stuttering, too, and when she said “no”, they did it for her. Matt even started a club called Stutter Girl.
Kate only had one friend who wasn’t embarrassed to be around her. His name was Tom. Kate’s parents often talked about her stuttering behind her back. Kate’s parents did all they could for her to stop stuttering, but it was no use, nothing worked.
When Kate was about 26 years old, she married Tom, and wrote children’s books, while Tom served in the army. When Kate was 35, she gave birth to a little boy. They named him Paul.
Although she stuttered the rest of her life, she was happy with how God had made her.
* I wrote this one day when I was hurt, because kids were making fun of me at school.
Sarah, 11, Kennesaw, GA
I’m Sarah, I’m 13 years old and live in Kansas. I am a person who stutters but that doesn’t stop me from talking.
When I am required to read or talk out loud in class I get very nervous. I’m afraid it will be very tough and I will get stuck and embarrassed. I’m glad I have learned techniques to use so it’s not as tough.
When I stutter I feel all kinds of tension throughout myself. I get extremely embarrassed and scared.
I always keep in mind that I’m on a good path ahead. I know in the future I won’t be so nervous to speak in class. I’ve had help and I’m getting better during moments of stuttering.
Sarah, 13, Wichita, KS
We are kids who attended the Fourth Annual University of Minnesota Kids Who Stutter (UMKWS) Day Camp in Minneapolis last June 11 to 15, 2012. Here is what we learned about stuttering and being a good communicator:
• It’s okay to stutter
• You don’t need to rush
• Don’t hide your stuttering
• Use easy onsets
• Use eye contact
• Sometimes you can use humor to deal with bullying
• Stutter on purpose
• Pay attention to the other person and be a good listener
• Use slow speech
• Make sure you are breathing
• Don’t stop talking
• Repeat the word you stuttered on
Keith, R.J., Elliott, Fabian, and Matthew, Minneapolis, MN
Editor’s Note: Please e-mail email@example.com for information on the 2013 UMKWS camp.
I am quite a bit older than most of your letter writers – I’m fifty – but I wanted to share my story.
My speech therapy happened in the late 1960s, when I was in elementary school. My stammer (as it was called then) was quite severe, and the therapy was successful. In fact, I became recognized during high school and college for having a clear, precise speaking style.
Now I am a Mason, and have been invited to give the speech at our upcoming annual banquet. It seems strange to me how my stutter led to my enjoying public speaking – but it did, and I do.
Robert Walker-Smith, 50, Oakland, CA
Editor’s Note: Mr. Walker-Smith’s letter is an inspiration to kids of all ages!
Download The Tale of Mrs. Spoon by Priscilla
I stutter every time I talk,
It feels like people think
I have problems.
I have a lot to think about.
Do I lie? Do I not talk?
I really don’t know.
When I stutter it’s like
A big storm in my mouth.
I stutter even at home
Everywhere I stutter.
When my teacher gives me a book to read
I just freeze.
I-I-I…there it goes again
Man I wish it could go away
But it can’t.
It’s my life when I speak
Allyson, 10, Spring, TX
Hello! My name is Devin and I am a stutterer. I have been stuttering since I was 4 years old. Stuttering has made my life difficult when I talk. When I want to say something to people I stutter and I feel sad and embarrassed. My stuttering occurs when I talk to adults, but when I talk to my friends I don’t stutter a lot. I wish that I could talk clearly without mistakes.
Even though I stutter I don’t let it get control of me. I raise my hand in class because I have a good answer so I’m not gonna let stuttering get control of me. Remember that you are not alone.
Devin, 5th grade, Cordova, TN
I stutter and actually it’s not a big part of me. I go to therapy and have been since I was in first grade. The way I stutter has changed over time just because of going to therapy. Sometimes people ask why I talk like that or finish my sentences for me. If I say “that wasn’t what I was going to say” they keep on guessing and that really bothers me. One day someone mimicked my stutter and I didn’t like it at all. Stuttering doesn’t drive me crazy up to the point where I hate it, but I don’t love it. Let’s just say stuttering and I have gotten to know each other over the years.
Ella, 10, Georgia, VT
I have read about your request to have students who stutter write you a letter. Hi, my name is Hassaan. I have a stuttering problem but it is fine with me. I am still trying to fix it but I do not think it is going to be fixed any time soon. When I stutter saying a sentence I just start over so I can fix it. This is what I wanted to tell you about my stuttering.
Hassaan, 11, Hillsboro, OR
My name is Jacob. I will be 9 in two months. I am good at basketball. I am also good at art. I use crayons for art. I copy drawings off the computer and they’re pretty good. I started stuttering in first grade when we had to put on a play. I was nervous because there were so many parents there. I stutter more when I get nervous. My favorite tip about stuttering is saying to a stutter bully, “Come back when you can stutter better than I do.” Reading aloud makes me stutter. I can get stuck on words. What helps me when I’m reading is going to speech. I learn lots of different stuff in speech. When I am in speech I pause and that helps me read. All the kids should not worry about stuttering because lots of other kids stutter so you shouldn’t feel bad and even if you stutter and get made fun of, tell a teacher or an adult or your speech teacher. My speech teacher helps me with that. That’s good.
Jacob, 8 years and 10 months, Wallingford, CT
My name is Joey. I am 8. I will be 9 in three months. I am good at Karate. I have red/black belt and I am starting boot camp. I am also good at dodge ball because I’m fast and I can dodge well. I go to speech. I learn all the strategies. Some are slow rate, easy onset, and pausing. My favorite is slow rate because it’s easy and it helps me a lot. I usually block when I stutter. Slow rate helped me when I had to read to the class about my Holiday tradition and my Christmas day. You might want to try slow rate too as your first strategy and if you don’t like it you can try easy onset or pausing.
Joey, 8 and 3/4, Wallingford, CT
Dear Eddie (from the book Sometimes I Just Stutter),
My stuttering is getting better. Is yours, Eddie? If it is, write to me.
Joshua, 10, North Charleston, SC
Editor’s note: We told Joshua that “Eddie is grown up now and he tells us he has his stuttering under control, but that he still has to work at it. Eddie says that like most people he has days where he does really great and other days where it is a little more challenging. But he doesn’t feel ashamed of stuttering anymore. Eddie says for you to keep up the good work – we are all proud of you!”
Hi, I’m Payton and I am eight years old. I have been stuttering since I was five years old. I have a great speech therapist teacher and her name is Mrs. M. She helps me go through practicing my sounds and breathing. And, she tells me it is alright to stutter, but deep inside I feel differently. I feel dreadfully ashamed when I stutter. I get really confused and I start to cry sometimes, but other times I get the hang of it. My teacher, mom, dad, sister, and friends Hanna and Nicole all love me just the way I am.
Payton, 8, California
I started stuttering when I was in 3rd grade. I used to be ashamed for my stuttering but I have overcome my unique characteristic. Trust me, it gets better! I am now 11 years old and not afraid to talk anymore! I have learned new techniques such as easy starts and slow speaking. Getting help with my speech has not only helped my speech, it also helped me build more confidence in my stuttering.
Santiara, 11, San Antonio, TX
I am Seth and I am seven years old. How do I stop stuttering? Every time I talk I stutter, and the more I stutter, the more I talk fast, and the more I talk fast, the more I stutter! I have been stuttering for five years, I think.
Seth, 7, Jeffersonville, IN
Editor’s Note: The book, Sometimes I Just Stutter, is a great resource for help. On page 9 it says, “It may be difficult at times for your lips and tongue and throat and breathing to work together quickly and smoothly. When you speak slowly or feel at ease,… you may talk just fine….when you are in a hurry and want to say something quickly, or when you feel nervous, talking may get harder, and you may start to stutter. And if you are afraid stuttering is wrong and you try hard NOT to stutter, talking will become even more difficult… So it’s much better to just let the stuttering happen and not try to stop it or hide it. You will feel less nervous, and the calmer you are, the easier the talking will be.” Read more of Sometimes I Just Stutter on our Web site http://www.stutteringhelp.org/Default.aspx?tabid=209
Hello! I am Sunchit. I am 12 years old. I also stutter. I started stuttering at the age of 2. But now I have gotten control over it. I want to wish all the other children who stutter the best of luck. Don’t hide behind your problem but face it bravely.
Sunchit, 12, Haryana, India
Here’s how I feel about stuttering. I don’t feel very bad about stuttering. Only a few children I know have this problem. I’ve been going to my speech therapist since second grade. There are many ways to help with stuttering. I use my strategies to stop stuttering.
Fatima, 8 , Coppell, TX
Editor’s Note: Hear what other kids have to say about stuttering by viewing the video, For Kids, By Kids. It’s free online at www.youtube.com/stutteringfdn.
My name is Ny’Asia. People tease me and they make fun of my stuttering. Some people tease me like, “hey, hey, hey.” Then they laugh at me. I want them to stop making fun of me, but they say more mean things about my stuttering. So I stand up for myself and they stop talking about my stuttering!
Ny’Asia, 10, Normal, IL
Hi, my name is Mary. I am 14 and I live in New York. I stutter. When I was younger my stutter was very severe but speech therapy helped it. Up until very recently no one has picked on me for my stutter. I am a triplet and my brothers are very protective about it. Sometimes I get flustered when a little kid asks me why I talk funny but I explain to them what a stutter is and how I can't help it. I was out with my church youth group and some boy was making fun of me. My friends and my brothers stood up for me and demanded that he apologize. He did and he never bothered me again. My friends don't notice it anymore and accept me for it. It's not always easy to speak in public, but with the support of my friends and my tools I am able to participate in many activities that involve speaking, and I plan on joining a speech and debate team next year. My advice to anyone who stutters is that what you have to say is important and don’t let anything stop you from talking.
Mary, 14, New York
Have you ever met anybody with a communication disorder? If not, I know for a fact you have. The person you met with a communication disorder is me, Eva.
My communication disorder is stuttering. Stuttering is when a person’s brain and mouth doesn’t work together in which they repeat a sound. If you notice in class when I stop in the middle of a sentence and repeat the entire sentence that means I either stuttered or I was going to stutter. At times when I raise my hand then put it down quickly that’s just because I know that I’ll stutter. When this happens I feel as if I’m different from all the other students and that sometimes stops me from participating in your class.
Please don’t judge me when this happens. It happens because of a variety of reasons. When I stutter there are a variety of things you could do to make me more comfortable when speaking in your class. But these are the main things that will most definitely help me:
1. Please don’t interrupt me when I’m speaking. Let me finish what I was trying to say because it helps me get better in that situation.
2. Don’t try to finish the sentence for me. That only makes me stutter even more then what I started with.
3. When I do talk too fast just raise your hand to inform me that I’m talking too fast.
Doing all of these things will help me prevent and help me control my stuttering. Thank you for taking your time to read this. Now you know a little more about me and my communication disorder.
Eva, 8th grade, Clearwater, FL
We recited Lydia’s poem from your book Sometimes I Just Stutter and we got inspired to write our own poems! We hope you enjoy them!
Be calm, smile
You’re like everyone else
Don’t be shy, don’t be scared
Stuttering is understood!
Camryn (student), Middle School, New York
Sometimes we all
for one way or another.
So be calm, be focused,
and be yourself.
Let easy speech go through,
your greatest wealth!
Mrs. M (SLP), Middle School, New York
Hi, my name is Ryan. I’m 11 and in 5th grade. I live in New Hampshire. This is my poem:
I’m on a diet
Organic foods help my speech
I lose control of
My stuttering when I eat
I’m the only kid
In school that stutters a lot
Makes me feel strange
Ryan, 11, Bradford, NH
Editor’s Note: We hope you’ll meet other kids on our DVD, Stuttering:?For Kids, By Kids on YouTube.
Thank you so much for publishing my book, Trouble at Recess, 4 years ago. Now, I’m in 6th grade. I’m still stuttering and still in therapy. I’m a good student, on the swim team, did mock trial, and gave a speech for Invent Iowa. I also have a lot of friends and love to answer questions in class. I recently gave a report in class and did great on that!
This PowerPoint I’m giving you I’ve worked very hard on and I hope you like it. I’ve presented it to one person, but I’m yet to present it to many more! Lastly, thank you for everything you do for all people who stutter.
Jamie, 6th grade, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Sometimes I stutter
People may look at me strange
But do they know me?
They hear my stutter
But I am much more than that.
Please listen to me!
Please don’t look away
Because of my stuttering
Don’t judge me by that….”
Braxton, 10, North Little Rock, AR
Hello, I am Brian and I am 10 years old. I don’t like stuttering because I can’t have a conversation. I have been going to my speech teacher and doing better in talking. People always make fun of me and start talking like me. I just ignore them or say “you can’t stutter better than me” or “you try to stutter just like me!” Sometimes I cry a little when they ask “why do you do that?” because I think they are making fun of me. I just don’t like it, I JUST DON’T LIKE IT! I just felt kind of bad because I stutter, but now it is kind of okay.Brian, 10, Atlanta, GA
Hi, my name is Ethan and I am 9 years old. I live in Wellington, Florida. I work on my speech tools with my speech therapist to help control my stuttering. We work on breathing, stretching, and having a quiet body. One day, someone teased me and I just ignored him. It worked! That was so cool! I don’t let things like that bother me because I know I am a unique kid :)!
Ethan, 9, Wellington, FL
Hi, my name is Kylee and I am 12 years old. I have stuttered ever since I can remember. All throughout elementary I took speech therapy, but it wasn’t helping so I gave up. Sometimes it’s worse than others. I used to not stutter when I read aloud, but now I do. I hate it when the teachers call on me to answer a question or read. It’s so embarrassing. I know it sounds silly, but little kids make fun of me! Some older ones do too. When I am talking to my friends, I think of this really funny thing to say and finally get it out when it has nothing to do with what we are talking about by then.
I’m smart and make A’s and B’s and want to go far in life. I want to be a racehorse veterinarian and hope I won’t be discriminated against when I get out in the real world and go to college and get a job. Most of the time I stutter on vowel sounds, but sometimes I stutter on consonants.
My dad says he stuttered when he was little but outgrew it before he was my age. I have a 18 year old cousin who stutters every now and then. Dad also says I didn’t stutter at all until my mom had a wreck when I was little, and now my stuttering is worse around bad times (though my mom is fine now).
When we had a tornado a couple of months ago, I was so scared I had bad dreams and I stuttered a lot more after that. But the weirdest thing is, I don’t stutter when I sing. Would you please mail me back with what information you know? Thank you so much.
Kylee, 12, Advance, MO
Editor’s Note: Kylee was sent information about her concerns.
My name is Trevan and I am 9 years old and in 3rd grade. I have been stuttering for a long time. I just don’t like having a speech problem. I don’t like stuttering because it makes me seem different and weird. I just feel like I’m looking for a needle in a hay stack. There is only one needle I have to find but I can’t find it or stop it. The needle is for good speech.
Sometimes I am able to find the needle by sticking to my goals. I have help and support from my speech teacher, friends, and family. My speech teacher and family help me with strategies that I have learned.Trevon, 9, Holyoke, MA
Hi, my name is Waylon and I am 10. I stutter, but it does not bother me. When I am teased I just ignore them. I am going into the 5th grade. I have been going to Bowling Green State University for speech. Now I am better at talking.
Waylon, 10, Ottawa, Ohio
My name is Sophia, and I stutter. When I was little, my stuttering was ongoing-ish. I stomped, clapped, and did almost everything I could just to talk to my mom. When I was maybe 4 years old, my mom found a speech therapist named Marcy (her real name is Marsha; I found THAT out years later!). She helped me with my speech a lot. (She still does!) Now, we are great friends! I think that stuttering is just what makes me special.
Sophia, 9, Cedar Rapids, IA
A Letter from France
Bonjour, je m’appelle Jacques at j’ai 9 ans.
Je voudrais vous parler de ce livre qui parle du bégaiement : « Des fois je bégaie ». (Sometimes I Just Stutter)
Alors, moi je bégaie tous les jours et j’ arrive pas à comprendre pourquoi. Je vous envoie cette lettre pour savoir si vous, vous comprenez pourquoi je bégaie.
Je Bloque et ma gorge elle est tordue. Je ne sais pas pourquoi je parle vite des fois. Je parle vite quand je suis en colère, quand je suis pressé de dire un mot vite fait pour m’en débarrasser pour ne pas bégayer.
En fait, ce sont mes copains qui m’ont dit, pour m’aider, de parler vite et que ça irait mieux. J’ai essayé cette idée mais elle n’a pas marché et maintenant, parfois, j’arrive plus à parler lentement.
Je bégaie souvent quand je suis nerveux, un petit peu. Quand quelqu’un ne comprend pas ce que je lui dis parce que je parle vite, je ralentis pour qu’il comprenne et s’il ne comprend pas je lui dis : « si je bug tant pis » je continue à dire lentement et si je « bug » encore, je lui dis : « laisse tomber » et s’il ne veut pas laisser tomber, je lui dis : « j’ai oublié ma phrase ».
Voilà ce qui me gène le plus dans mon bégaiement.
My name is Trevon and I am 9 years old and in 3rd grade. I have been stuttering for a long time. I just don’t like having a speech problem. I don’t like stuttering because it makes me seem different and weird. I just feel like I’m looking for a needle in a hay stack. There is only one needle I have to find but I can’t find it or stop it. The needle is for good speech. Sometimes I am able to find the needle by sticking to my goals. I have help and support from my speech teacher, friends, and family. My speech teacher and family help me with strategies that I have learned.
Trevon, 9, Holyoke, MA
My name is Graham and I stutter. I try to use my tongue to get my speech out. Many times my words get stuck in my mouth. I also repeat the first syllable over and over again.
I have stuttered for a long time. From what I remember my stuttering started when I was 5, so 4 years out of my 9 years of life. Sometimes I am a little embarrassed to meet other people, even though I want to make new friends. When I get invited to a friend’s birthday party, I go but I don’t talk that much because of my stuttering.
I know I will stutter because I have thoughts in my head telling me I might. I try to ignore these thoughts and I am brave, but some days I don’t raise my hand in class. I just know right before I talk that it will happen because it feels like something gets lodged in my throat. Sometimes I avoid saying some words but other times when I know I’m going to stutter I say my words really fast to get finished. It feels like I am embarrassed when it happens. I get nervous and I talk too fast because I want to get the words out.
I’m going to practice my strategies for stuttering during school with my speech teacher, and I will practice over the summer in Milwaukee. I also practice in the classroom. I think therapy is helping by giving me strategies to use when I have to stutter.
Graham, 10, Kenosha, WI
My name is Tyler. I am 10 years old and I am in the 5th grade. I stutter and I get blocked and cannot say anything but I am working on it. I take a big deep breath then I slow down my rate. My dad stuttered too when he was young. When I stutter, I feel unnormal. I have been stuttering since I was two years old. I have been in speech therapy for a long time. I get mad when I stutter and I don’t like it. When I get mad I punch my pillow and feel a lot better. When I watch other people stutter, I feel more normal and when I stutter I just remember that other famous people and regular people do it so I don’t feel mad anymore. Your website helps me feel better about stuttering.
Tyler, 10, Saint Francisville, LA
My name is Reonna and I am 8 years old and I am in the 2nd grade. I am writing this letter because I read some of the other letters and I realized I am not alone. I used to stutter a lot and it made me stop speaking at school. I don’t stutter anymore because I learned some easy ways to speak in therapy. Now I feel better that I don’t stutter. Thank you for posting other kids letters because it made me feel better about my speech.
Reonna, 8, Houma, LA
Sometimes I think I should have never stuttered in my whole life. When I am alone, I do not stutter but when I am around people, I do stutter a lot. But it is not a habit. When I stutter, I know that I am not alone. There are a lot of things good about me and it is not all about stuttering.
Melanie, 8, Stoney Creek, Ontario
Hello, I’m Nick and I am 11 years old and I will be 12 in August. I live in Texas and I made a poem I would like to share with other kids that stutter.
Sometimes when I stutter people make fun of me,
I tell them I’ll be who I want to be.
When I stutter I get mad,
Because when I get made fun of I get sad.
But soon I would learn tools to use,
Just like I learned to tie my shoes.
When I learn tools they stick to me,
And then I’ll always have a secret key.
Easy starts is a kind of tool,
Actually its pretty cool.
Sometimes I look back to when I was sad,
But forget that because now I am glad.
Nick, 12, Keller, TX
I hate stuttering. A lot of time people tell me to “slow down” and “take a deep breath.” It makes it hard for me to speak and stutter even more. I am attending the speech program at school. I haven’t improved much yet, but I am still determined. If I speak in front of my class, I struggle to even start a sentence without stuttering.
Luke, 10, Nottingham, PA
Sometimes I stutter when I talk. It usually bothers me when I am talking to kids and they interrupt me. But it doesn’t really bother me when someone tries to help me. I go to speech therapy and I am learning how to use my speech tools.
Logan, 7, Collegeville, PA
I want to ask how do you feel when you stutter, because when I stutter sometimes kids laugh at me. I just ignore them.
Jaden, Baton Rouge, LA Editor: We sent tips about bullying and our Trouble at Recess book.
My name is Henri and I stutter. Sometimes people make fun of me at school and laugh at me. This makes me feel sad. When this happens I take a deep breath and calm down. I like to use my speech tools when I’m reading. This helps my words come our smoothly.
Henri, 3rd grade, St. Paul, MN Henri drew the picture at the right --->
Drawing by Mykhal
Glen Allen, Va
I am Austin. I stutter and I go to speech therapy. I tap in my head or on my lap so I talk smoother. If people make fun of you, you should say “thank you.” If people ask why you stutter, just say, “My brain talks faster than my mouth can go.” It is OK to stutter. If I stutter, people in my family will say, “Please use your tapping.” My picture is when the car starts it goes “s, s, stuttering.”
Lake Geneva, Wis.
My name is Josiah and I am 11 years old. I love to play football with my friends. I stutter. When I stutter, I can’t get my words out. Stuttering bothers me. I sometimes feel ashamed because my words get blocked. The good news is that my speech is better. Speech therapy has helped me to talk better and learn new things.
StutteringHelp.org changed my life! It gave me a list of things that would help people who are talking to someone who stutters, which my mom really needed. It also gave me a video of how much I’m not alone, and best of all, it actually gave me a feeling where I don’t care if I stutter anymore. This was my real, meaningful Christmas present and ya’ll helped me through my worst terrible things ever. I like me for who I am and that’s all that really matters. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I want you to know this really helped me more than you can ever think possible.
. — Once upon a time there was a boy named Josh. Josh stuttered. At recess, everyone teased Josh. Josh felt bad about himself. He thought it was his fault. But it was nobody’s fault. So that Sunday, Josh and his family went to church. Josh listened to the preacher closely. He heard the preacher say loudly in his deep voice, “God made everyone special in their own way.” So that got Josh thinking, “Is that why I?stutter?” he asked his mother. His mother replied in a caring voice, as most mothers do, and said, “Maybe. Remember what the preacher said? Everybody is special in their own way.” So that week at school when it came time for recess, everybody ran quickly over to Josh ready to tease him and they did. But Josh said loudly, “God made us all special and different in our own way. Everybody should be treated equally no matter if they stutter or limp.” Then everyone stopped talking and one boy yelled as loud as he possibly could, “Let’s play kickball and call Josh.” So now you know no matter if you stutter, you will always be special in someone’s heart. The End.
Written and illustrated by Gabe, Okla
I don’t mind that I stutter. It doesn’t really bother me. But sometimes it just gets annoying. I try to stop stuttering, but I can’t.
I am 11 years old. I have been in speech for a long time. I work on speech sounds but started stuttering about a year ago. I feel a little bit sad because I stutter. The words don’t come out when I want them to. My speech teacher is helping me talk better. Maybe some day I won’t stutter.
Sometimes I cry when I stutter.
I stuttered a lot when I was younger but then when I met my speech therapist, she helped me be bigger than my stutter. She helped me use talking tools. That’s how I am now... bigger than my stutter.
My name is Brennen. I am 10 years old and in fourth grade. I go to speech because I stutter. My favorite strategies right now are stretching and pausing. Mrs. Lisa, my speech teacher, says I am an expert because I have taught her a lot about stuttering. We just did a presentation to my class on stuttering. We told my classmates lots of important things. We even got them to practice some repetitions. We told them about some famous people who stutter. We also told them about things they can do to help and that it is okay to stutter. We described how our speech helpers work together and did a poster on facts and myths about stuttering. I really enjoyed making our posters. My principal and my mom came to our presentation too. My classmates asked lots of good questions. I was excited to pass out snacks at the end.
My name is Varney. I am in 4th grade. Kids laugh at me because I stutter. My mom and my uncles used to stutter. Kids say, “ha, ha you can not talk,” to make me feel bad. Other kids’ moms used to stutter too. I don’t tell on people when they make me feel bad because they will say that I’m a snicher.
My name is Carter. I was 5 when I started stuttering. But as I get older, I kept getting better and better. Now I’m in 4th grade. I feel like I don’t even stutter at all. Now I’m 9, so I can understand more and more about stuttering. Even about how bad it can be. In 2nd grade, I didn’t know what to do because I thought my friends would laugh if I used my techniques. Now I’m not scared to use my techniques.
I started stuttering when I was little, but I only can remember stuttering from grade 3. Right now I go to my therapist every two weeks. Some useful strategies are pausing, starting in a easy relaxed way, and talking slow. My parents, friends, and other people have helped me by paying attention and not asking me way too many questions about why I stutter. I have a little brother who is 5 and he’s the biggest negative impact on my stuttering because he interrupts a lot and talks fast. When he interrupts me, I get very frustrated. One more important thing that has helped me is better self-esteem which I got from a conference where I met a lot of people who stutter more than me. Practicing and activities with speech have also helped. I used to get teased but not because of my stuttering. The real reason I got teased is because I am missing a finger. I don’t get teased anymore because I don’t care about having a missing finger. I feel like I’m a great kid and my stuttering also doesn’t bother me because I have great self-esteem now, and I also use my strategies.
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Hi. My name is Peter. I’m 10 years old and I am in 5th grade. I have been stuttering for as long as I can remember. I have a fear of talking or when I have to read something to the class because sometimes I stutter a lot when I am reading. It makes me feel like I slow down the whole class. No one makes fun of me for that but when I do get bullied I can’t get my words out fast enough to defend myself. It’s really frustrating. None of my speech teachers has helped me at school so I am going to another speech teacher outside of school. I think it is going to help me a lot. When I grow up I’m going to be the lead singer in a rock band. I think I’m going to be a really great one!
Homer Glen, Ill.
I don’t like to stutter. Sometimes it makes me and other people really confused. It also makes people tease me because it sounds really funny. Sometimes when I talk, it feels like everyone wants me to stop stuttering so they can guess what I am trying to say. When I try not to stutter and get the words straight out, it gets worse and then I repeat the words several times. But when I am calm and talk slowly, it helps me and it makes talking a lot easier then it used to be.
My name is Avery. I am 4 years old. I learned “turtle speech” - that means talking slowly. Miss Linda and I pretended we were at the doctor’s office. Some doctors talked slowly and some talked fast. Dr. Turtle and Dr. Snail speak slowly and Dr. Kangaroo and Dr. Rabbit speak fast. I know how to talk both ways, but talking slow is good.
My name is Benson. I am in the eighth grade and I am 13 years old. My favorite school subject is science. When I grow up I would like to become a doctor. Some fun stuff I like to do is make origami figures. Origami is the art of folding paper into things or figures. Sometimes origami is hard and sometimes it is easy. Origami is relaxing most of the time. About my stuttering... sometimes I get stuck when I’m talking and I can’t say what I want to say. Also, it would help me if people would not cut me off when I’m talking. I don’t like it when people start talking about what they want to talk about when I haven’t finished and am stuttering a little bit. Thanks for listening!
My name is Allen. I’m in 6th grade in Torrance, California. On Fridays, I go to speech at my school with some other guys. My speech teacher is Mrs. D. The guys and I have a lot of fun in speech. One warm day we had a wonderful field trip to the Redondo Beach pier. When we were there, we ate at the most wonderful pizza place called Zeppy’s. There are three boys in my speech group. On the field trip, we gave pamphlets about stuttering to people in the community. I started stuttering at age 3. When I stutter, I feel like there is a big ball of air in my throat. Sometimes when I talk to my friends and I stutter, my friends interrupt me. It doesn’t make me feel good when people interrupt me. Some of my friends don’t care if I stutter, which makes me feel good. Thanks for reading my letter!
My name is Roderick and I am 13 years old. I’m in seventh grade in Torrance. My favorite subject is math. I’m good at it. Not only am I a good dancer, but I’m also good at sports. My favorite sports are football and basketball. My favorite team is the Lakers. Sometimes when I talk, I have trouble and I stutter. It’s embarrassing when other people are looking at you when you’re stuttering. When I stutter, I say it more slowly so I can say it better. My speech group at school has gone on field trips. We gave information about stuttering to people in the community. It is good to be a speech expert in your city. I?tell people that it helps me if other people let me say the words I want to say. Interrupting is not good. Stuttering is just part of me. Thanks for listening Stutter Buddies!
A letter from France...
Je m'appelle Iman. J'ai 7 ans. Je suis en CE1.
Dans ma vie, le bégaiement est énervant. Parce que il m'empêche de parler.
Dans ma maison, le bégaiement vient parfois. Ca me dérange.
l'école le bégaiement vient parfois. Je parle souvent à la maîtresse en bégayant.
Je ne suis pas contente du tout. Les mots sont bloqués dans ma gorge. Je voudrais chasser le bégaiement de ma gorge. Parce qu'il m'énerve.
My name is Dakota and I am 11 years old and in fifth grade. I stutter a lot. My speech therapy teacher helps me learn ways to speak nicely. My dad and my little brother stutter sometimes too. Sometimes my sister teases me about my stuttering. I go in my bedroom and read my Bible to calm myself down. I’ve been stuttering since I was 2 years old. I don’t stutter as much when I am calmed down. My speech teacher teaches me how to calm down and talk slowly.
My name is Adriana. I am 11 years old and I stutter. I don’t know how to stop it and my parents tell me “don’t talk like that.” But it doesn’t help because I don’t know how to stop this and some kids make fun of me. I need help to stop this.
Editor’s Note: The Stuttering Foundation mailed Adriana resources to help with her stuttering and how to deal with teasing.
Hi. My name is Waylon. I’m 10 years old and I stutter. When I stutter, I do repetitions. I feel good and bad about my stuttering. It is not fun to stutter at all.
My name is Julia, and I am 8 years old. I stutter when I talk or read. I feel frustrated when I stutter. I also feel nervous when I am doing presentations. When I read about the other kids that stutter, it made me feel better knowing that other kids stutter like me. Thank you so so so so so much for your Web site.
My name is Gunnar and I’m 9 years old and in the third grade. I have been stuttering since I was 6, and have been going to speech therapy for three years. I have learned a lot of different strategies that I can use to perfect my speech. My favorite strategy that I use is to pray. You can pray anytime and anyplace. I would like to tell everyone that it is all right to stutter. All people have something that they are good at, and something that they are not good at. This is what makes us all different and special. For example, I am excellent at throwing a football, but my friend is not as accurate as me. But my friend is an incredible receiver. I want to say thank you to the Stuttering Foundation!
Hi. My name is Jonathan. I am 9 years old and live in New Haven, CT. Today I met someone who stutters. It felt very good. It made me also realize that I am not alone. Sometimes I don’t care that I stutter. It felt very good not to care about stuttering. If you don’t care about it, then it feels like you don’t stutter.
New Haven, CT
I started stuttering in third grade. People don’t really tease me about the stuttering, but they ask, “Why are you repeating words?” It all started one day and I don’t really know why. After school that day I went to my mom and asked, “What is this called?” And I repeated some vowels. And my mom said, “That’s stuttering.” I thought I could shake it off, but it couldn’t. The next day I went to school a little more nervous because people would ask me questions about my stuttering. In fourth grade I got used to it. In fifth grade I don’t really worry about it much and I found new ways to help it. I got a speech therapist. The first thing I learned is to talk slowly. This is called Turtle Speech and it’s the most effective way to control my stuttering. Secondly, I found a thing called Soft Contacts, where you put body parts that help you speak together softly. Then I learned something called Easy Onset. It’s when you’re stuck on a word or letter you just slide it. I’d tell other kids who stutter what I know about stuttering and what causes it. Then try something I do, like Turtle Speech.
My name is Matthew. I started stuttering when I was 4. Then I met the nicest person I know, “Miss Susie” (Cochrane). I do not know what I would have done had I not met her. Every weekend we go up to her house and she teaches me strategies to help me not to stutter. I always look forward to going to see her and playing games. She has helped me be so smooth when I talk by teaching me to use tools when I speak. We always have the best time! There is one thing Susie has taught me that I will never forget and that is it is okay to stutter. If it wasn’t for her I probably would have just stopped talking. Susie has helped me so much I wanted to help her help other children that stutter. So I decided to have a penny carnival. We had lots of games. All of my friends came and brought their pennies. I was even the ringmaster! It was such a great time to get everyone together and then surprise Freedom to Speak with the money that was raised. Susie is the best person I have ever met. I just wanted to thank her for helping me!
Thank you for publishing our letters in the Fall 2010 newsletter. We are the first published authors at our school. Our wonderful librarian Ms. Bitel has offered to put our picture up with a copy of the newsletter in the library. Ms. Bitel is going to tell all of the kids in her lessons there are two published authors. That’s us! Thank you.
Nathan and Jake
Many famous people I could describe are people who had speech problems like me. However even though they have had speech problems, they still are very successful. They are a good example for me and other kids who have speech problems or just for anybody. One of them, Darren Sproles, gives me the biggest encouragement because he’s an NFL player, and that’s what I want to be when I grow up. Now let me tell you some of the facts I know about this electrifying San Diego Charger running back. He’s only five foot five inches. Well if you ask anybody who watches football, they know this monster kick and punt returner. You would think he should be a pro bowler. He will probably be the starting running back next season.
David, 7th grade
I would like to tell you about my speech. I lose my voice a lot of times because when you have to talk a lot sometimes people don’t understand you. You feel sad because sometimes people tease you about your speech or if you talk different like if you don’t speak English. If someone is teasing you, just ignore them or just tell them to stop or you could tell your mom and dad or just walk away from them. It’s not bad to have a problem.
San Jose, CA
I don’t like my stuttering, but I don’t hate it because it’s a part of me. When I stutter around people, I get nervous and start to stutter more and more. It gets annoying when I’m trying to say something important to someone or I’m trying to make a point. When it happens it feels like everyone is watching – everyone in the world! I try not to but the more I try not to, the more I do it. I’ve also noticed if I talk to people I don’t know, I stutter a lot more.
Takoma Park, MD
Is your stuttering still bad? Do you still use your doll or do you have another doll to keep you company? If you’re still stuttering, does the doll still help? Maybe I should try it. I’m eight years old. When I was little, I started stuttering. Now I’m getting better at it. Are you getting better at it, too, just like me? I know how you feel, Jenny. When I was little I used to hate stuttering. Do you, too?
Sometimes I stutter. I stretch the word at the beginning and that seems to help a lot. It doesn’t bother me when I stutter.
I’ve been in speech for 5 years. I love sports. I’m good for my age at basketball. I use good speech strategies. The one I really use is turtle speech. I always have been good at drawing robots. I used to get very mad because bullies used to make fun of me, but I tell them NO when they make fun of me. After that I used to get madder, so I just got in a fight. But don’t let them get what they want – they want a fight or an argument.
I am in the 5th grade. I have been in speech for 5 years or more. Since I was in the 1st grade, I have been made fun of. Here are some of my feelings about stuttering. I feel like a witch in all black clothes. Here are some tips: 1) Don’t get into fights. 2) Don’t listen. 3) All of us are special and smart.
I have been in speech for 3 years. When I stutter, I feel like I want to hit someone. But all I do is breathe in and try again. I have a twin brother and every time he interferes I feel like the only way to talk over him is to talk fast. My favorite hobby is basketball. I have one sister, too. I use strategies to help my stuttering. A few of my strategies are easy onset, chunking, and lily pad pausing. When I hear someone tease me about my stuttering, I just walk away. I will always try to improve my stuttering.
I stutter sometimes and I have problems saying my Rs but it doesn’t bother me much. I go to speech therapy once a week on Wednesday afternoons. Even though I stutter I’m a normal kid. Everyone that stutters is normal and if you have a friend that stutters, help him/her out by being a good friend. Some speech teachers are nice just like mine is and your speech teacher can be as nice as mine if you go to speech. So never think that you’re not normal if you stutter. Everyone is normal.
I’ve been stuttering since I was six. I’m going to speech therapy twice a week. I hate reading out loud because that makes me nervous and I stutter more. But since I do stutter, I don’t really care because there is nothing wrong with stuttering and that’s who I am.
Hi! When I stutter, my throat will not let me say what I want to say. Sometimes I repeat the word a lot of times. Luckily, it doesn’t bother me that much at all. When my friends ask me why I repeat the word, I say because I have a stuttering problem.
My speech got better when I started going to speech at school. I have learned how to say proper S sounds, and that speech is very important for you. I have learned to think before I start a sentence. I have learned how to say easy instead of bumpy speech. Kids don’t tease me but they wonder why I stutter. I tell them I am working on that in speech. Now when I talk to my friends they wonder why I don’t stutter anymore.
Hi, my name is Will and I stutter. Even though my parents said that I started stuttering when I was 3, I didn’t realize it until I was in second grade. I felt sad that my friends could speak better than I did. At the same time I became aware that when I said the Pledge of Allegiance with my classmates, recited a poem with a friend or sang songs with my sisters, my words came out more fluently. Our class was preparing for a play. I was really nervous, thinking I would stutter, so I asked my teacher if I could say my lines with a friend. She said I could! It was a relief!! The play was great! It was after that when I realized that I couldn’t always rely on someone to talk for, or with me. That’s when Ms. Susan stepped into my life. She’s been my speech therapist ever since that week in the Spring of 2006!!! I’m telling you this because now I’m ready to manage my own stuttering. Not only am I ready to do this on my own, I am geared up to help others who struggle with their speaking. Since second grade, I’ve come a long way. Over time, I have learned to overcome fears about speaking. Once I learned to accept my stuttering I was able to learn about belly breathing, phonating, and learning about what I call “social chords” (vocal folds); not to mention articulating! I also learned about all of the parts of my body that you’ve probably never heard of before, like the palate. Ask someone what it is!! I have really benefited from Ms. Susie. This all seems tiring to learn, but not with an awesome speech therapist.
Will, 5th grade
I feel bad when I stutter. I can’t express what I want to say. When I repeat a word I get frustrated. When this happens, I stop and think about what I’m going to say. Sometimes this helps me and sometimes it doesn’t. If I’m stuttering a lot, my friends give me signs to do smooth speech. This helps me control my stuttering. Sometimes I tell myself to do smooth speech.
I don’t like it when people ask me, “Do you stutter?” If they ask me, I say, “Yes, I do,” and keep on going. I get embarrassed when I stutter, but I always try to keep going. I think stuttering is like dancing. If you practice dancing you will become better, just like if you practice the tricks you learn to not stutter, you get better at not stuttering. It is all right to stutter. So many people do it, even celebrities do. If someone makes fun of you or doesn’t talk to you because you stutter, that is their loss. Keep your hopes up and keep on practicing. DON’T FEEL ALONE!
Do you stutter? I know I do. If you do, do your friends tease you about it? If you do stutter, don’t worry, it’s all normal. Even some grown people do it. Everyone stutters sometime in their life. If you have a friend who stutters, don’t tease them about it. There are some strategies people use to help themselves. Like me, I worked on using a rubber band and stretching out the first word so I don’t stutter in the middle of the sentence. There’s also using slow, easy speech to help the muscles in your mouth not get all tight and clenched. All of these strategies can help you to stop stuttering if you just take your time and slow down. Plenty of people stutter. Although some have different reactions when they do it. Some just continue on and don’t pay attention. Others feel that they’re going to get nervous and start to get worried, and that just makes it worse. To stop you need to be calm and don’t even think about it. If people bully you or tease you because you stutter, just walk away and don’t do anything to them because sometimes the people who bully and tease are usually the people who do stuff like that. They do it to let out their anger on other people instead of trying to calm down. If you just don’t worry about stuttering, you will have a good time and not even know you do it. So, if you stutter, don’t even worry about it and you will be a happy person.
Hi, my name is Kyle and I am 8 years old. I’ve been stuttering for as long as I can remember. I didn’t feel confident, but then started speech class, and learned bouncy talk. Now, I feel more confident and raise my hand in class, and talk to people more. Because when I didn’t have speech class, I didn't want to talk.
My name is Luke and I am in 4th grade. When I realized I sounded different I was five. It sounded like I ran out of air, and it gets quieter, quieter, and quieter. I felt like I hated it. It is easier when I am reading and not talking. I am calm when I am writing. I am less calm in math class when the teacher calls on me. I stutter more when she calls on me. If we are in a crowd I stutter more because I am around more people. This is my story.
My name is Nathan. I am 9 years old and I am in third grade. I like to play video games and I like to play baseball. I also like to ride my bike and I can ramp really high. I have one brother and one sister. My brother is 10 and my sister is 8. My friends make fun of my voice because I stutter. They just copy my voice. I have been stuttering for about three years. I mostly stutter at home. Sometimes people tell me to “spit it out.” That does not help me say what I want to say. I usually say “never mind” and I walk away. My brother also stutters. My sister doesn’t stutter. I have learned some strategies to not stutter. One strategy is called “bouncing.” Bouncing means that I might repeat a sound or word, but I do it in an easy way. My speech teacher lets me play games about talking. I try to ignore people who copy my stuttering. I am a great kid and I really don’t care about my stuttering. I try to not worry about the people who make fun of me.
My name is Willie. I like to play video games. I have been stuttering since I was 3. I go to speech class. I think it is fun. We have worked on keeping eye contact. Eye contact is important because it helps others know when you are finished talking. I also learned about the speech machine. I don’t like stuttering. I stutter more when I am in my classroom or talking to adults. It makes me feel better to know that other kids stutter too.
I hope kids around the world will read this. I am 10 years old. I love to play sports. I play baseball, soccer, football, and basketball. I started stuttering when I was 5. I know what it feels like to be picked on by other kids. It made me mad.I go to speech class. I have learned that it is not my fault or my parents’ fault that I stutter. There are other kids in the world like me. It’s not their fault either. There are even famous people who stutter. I have found that singing helps me talk better. Try it! It might work for you.
Rae’ Quan, 10
I’ve been a stutterer for as long as I can remember. It has always weighed down my shoulders like I’m wearing a backpack full of rocks. It has stopped me from trying out in plays, doing extra-credit oral reports, running for 7th grade officer, and, in general, speaking aloud to any kind of audience. When I came to the Center, I was able to learn some new techniques to control my stuttering, ones that actually worked. Sadly, although “prolongation”, “pull outs”, and “easy bumps” had helped my stuttering, they didn’t really help my confidence. I could use the tools and speak okay, but it didn’t mean I wanted to talk to an audience. So Maria gave me a challenge to volunteer to read at school, offer to pray at church, and raise my hand if I knew the answer to a teacher’s question. This challenge terrified me, and at first it was like torture. Gradually, I realized that each time I did it, it became easier and easier. Soon it was no big deal when I spoke or read in class, and now I even find it fun. Stuttering is what makes me an individual, and I’m not ashamed that I’m a little different from everyone else. We should keep practicing our techniques to stay fluent, but most of the stuttering is in your heart. When you release the embarrassment, the sadness, and the stress of stuttering out of you, it will become little more than the nose on your face, the shape of your eyes, the color of your hair. Yes, I stutter, but I don’t care. It’s what makes me, me.
I think it’s good for everyone to have a good sense of humor. I like Jeff Dunham and Dane Cook. I like to quote some of their lines to my friends and family. It’s easy for me to talk to people without bumping when I quote others, and it makes me happy when I tell stories to people that make them laugh. It’s also good to have a sense of humor when other kids say things that hurt your feelings. You just have to remember that they don’t understand and haven’t learned how to treat anyone with respect. Remember, bullies have more personal issues than other kids. Ignore them and remember always how great you are.
One percent of the world’s population stutters as adults and 1 in every 20 children have a stuttering problem. We need time to get out what to say, and if you insult one of us, are you going to insult all 6.7 million of us? We need time to get our words out, and if you ignore us, can you be certain you didn’t miss something important? Do not make assumptions about people who stutter, you might be quite a bit wrong. I am saying this because I do not want people to assume I have a mental issue, or that I forgot my name, just because I got stuck on the first C. Give us time, let us speak!
I’m in a maze, trying to find my way out. It seems like, there’s no way out of this never-ending maze. Every stutter, block, and struggle makes me more confused. The only way out is to use my techniques, prolongation, pull-outs, easy/fake stuttering, and responding to my moments of stuttering. Finally, I’ve found my way out of the maze.
My name is Paul. I go to speech therapy because I have trouble with my language skills and I stutter. My friend, who also stutters, my speech teacher and I did a presentation in front of my class about stuttering. We talked about how Vice President Joe Biden used to stutter. And, I also wrote an article in the school newspaper about it. Everyone at school liked it and I hope you do too:
“Did you know that in the vice president’s young life he had some trouble in school? He took speech therapy because he had a little bit of trouble speaking… (and also to)…make his stuttering better.
“How come the vice president had trouble in his young life and now he is the vice president? Because he never let it bother him … That means that if you have any problems in school or out of school, don’t let it get to you. Don’t let people make you feel like a bad person. …pick friends that will guide you and help you…and…keep on trying and you will be successful...”
Editor’s Note: Paul was thrilled to receive a personal letter of thanks and encouragement from the vice president, who thanked Paul for writing to him and for sharing his personal experiences with stuttering, saying, “…I personally understand the terrible fear and frustration of a stutterer.”
“If I could share one piece of advice it would be this: when you commit yourself to a goal and when you persevere in the face of a struggle, you will discover new strengths and skills to help you overcome not only this challenge, but also future life challenges as well.”
Excellent advice for everyone, from Paul and the VP!
My name is Ghiovaney and I’m 10 years old and in the fifth grade. I’ve been going to speech for two years. I like to play soccer, football, and basketball. I also like to play video games after I finish my homework. I have two brothers, one younger and one older than me.
When I stutter, I feel OK with it. To me, it’s not a big deal. I’m positive about it and don’t let people get to me. Sometimes I stutter when I talk to my classmates, but I just keep on going. The strategies that my speech teacher taught me that work are “easy onset” and “phrasing.” Making good eye contact also helps me while speaking. These strategies all help me speak better.
I hope that all kids who stutter use their strategies. Also, if any classmates tease them, they should just ignore them and keep moving forward.
My name is Jean. I’m 10 years old and in 5th grade. I like to play soccer, video games, basketball, football, and I like watching TV.
When I stutter, I get furious because I can’t get my words out correctly. I feel shy when I’m talking to someone. Then, in the middle of a word, I stutter. I get nervous when I have to speak to a group of people. Sometimes, I get frustrated because people laugh at me. I just try to ignore them and keep talking.
The strategies I learned with my speech teacher are slow, easy speech, pausing, and phrasing. Slow, easy speech helps me not talk so fast. Pausing and phrasing help me break up the sentence and take pauses so I can slow down.
The only thing I can say to people who stutter is to never give up and keep your speech moving forward. Ignore the people who bother you. Don’t get mad about your stuttering. Almost everyone in the world stutters sometimes, even Darren Sproles! If you don’t know who he is, he is a famous football player. Don’t be shy when talking to other girls and boys. Don’t let stuttering control your life.
I am 8 years old. I am OK with stuttering but not perfect. Sometimes I stutter with a friend or my mom and dad. I go to therapy so I can have help.
My name is Chynna and I’m 8 years old. A lot of people in my class tease me about stuttering. When I talk, I stutter. People finish my sentences. I tell them to stop but they don’t. I feel embarrassed.
Editor’s Note: Sometimes it helps to talk to your classmates about stuttering and how it hurts to be teased. Your speech teacher can help you make a presentation to your class. Read Jean’s letter on page 10 for tips.
I am T.J. and I am almost 9 1/2 years old. I don’t like it when people make fun of my stutter. It hurts my feelings. I try not to do it. I try to use “slow, smooth, speech,” and it helps a tad bit. I try breathing in and breathing out and then talking. That helps too. Sometimes, I don’t want to talk in class. My classmates say, “Why don’t you talk a lot?” I tell them why and when I tell them why, they start laughing at me.
In class, we talked about everyone having something that is hard for them. That helped. Now, the kids in my class understand why I stutter. I stutter at home too — a lot. I am learning new strategies to help with my stuttering. It doesn’t really matter if I stutter because I am a super cool kid.
My name is Dylan. I am 8 years old. I stutter when I talk fast. My speech teacher helps me not to stutter with pull-outs. This helps me relax. This helps me get out the stutter.
My name is Cohen and I stutter. When I turned 8 in second grade I was teased and I did not like it at all.
Even though I was teased about my stuttering I still made friends. I got better with my stuttering because I go to speech.
I went to a stuttering conference in Phoneix. It was so fun because we make a lot of things. We made our own T-shirts. The hotel had a pool shaped as a U. It had a raft and slide.
There are a lot of people who stutter besides me. There’s Johnny Damon for example. People need to stop teasing other people about their stuttering.
I have friends who will stick by my side and don’t care if I stutter. They don’t call me names.
Don’t let other people get to you about your stuttering.
Hi I’m Tyrell. This is my story.
I have been stuttering for as long as I can remember and it really is a big thing with me. Well, when I was little that is. I always had a hard time controlling my stuttering. I would talk really fast and then get caught up on a word. I would try to talk fast because I won’t stutter. The time I usually did was when I talked slow.
I don’t get mad over it anymore because I’m older now, and I won’t let people get to me when they talk about me and my stuttering. I just brush it off and keep going. I really can’t say I was born stuttering because maybe I was and maybe I wasn’t. To tell you the truth stuttering is the main reason I never talk out loud during class. It’s also the reason why I don’t go on stage in front of anybody or even read out loud. It’s just something I have never been able to do. So for every one who stutters, don’t let what others say about it get you down. Stay strong and be yourself. If they can’t accept you for who you are, then that’s their loss. To every one like me: smile and be happy. Never let anyone hold you back.
Good-bye and good luck!
I am a 10-year-old boy named Mustafah. I do not like when people make fun of me when I stutter. I do not like when I stutter, but it doesn’t really matter to me. It only gets on my nerves when other people say, “Why do you go ahah ahah ah?” Then I get mad. I try to stop but sometimes it is hard. I only stutter when I am trying to get myself out of trouble or tell on somebody when they have done something bad. How do you make people stop stuttering if they have a really, really hard time stopping?
At school, I have a Speech Therapist that is really nice and I love her because she really helps me with my stuttering. Since I have been going to speech I have been getting a lot better at talking and not so much stuttering. At speech, I am reading this book called Sometimes I Just Stutter. It talks about how other people stutter and how they feel. Like, people have different emotions and do different things to stop stuttering. Some of the people in this book, do not have any friends because they stutter and make fun of them. I try to stop stuttering by talking fast and slow at the same time. This book helps me go with the flow and just let it out sometimes.
Thank you and goodbye from,
>My name is Aaron and I am in 5th grade
I do not really mind stuttering but it really annoys me when people ask about it. Because it annoys me, I don’t answer. They keep asking and trying to get it out of me. After about the millionth time, I answer that some other people do it and no one is quite sure why. This answer does not always satisfy them. Because it doesn’t satisfy them, they don’t bother with me. That makes me feel unhappy.
In my speech class, we are going to be putting on a video with a power point presentation to educate the school about stuttering.
Thank you for your time,
I started to realize I stuttered when I was in first grade, and I was 6 years old. Then, a couple months later, I started going to speech. This year is my third year because I’m in third grade now, and 8 years old. I’ve been using something called Frog Eyes and Load the Raft. Now, I am less bumpy and smoother.
My name is William. I am 8 years old. I live in Miami, Fla. I like to play basketball. I just might be a basketball player. I started stuttering at age 6. I like my speech class. It helps me not to stutter. My friends do not tease me. I think that speech is like a train because when you do not stutter, you are at the end of the train. I feel O.K. about my stuttering. I stutter a lot.
Thank you for putting letters from kids that stutter in your magazine. It shows that you care about stuttering kids. Because in the letters we can read them out loud and that will help us not to stutter. If someone says that you stutter, you say, “I do stutter. And I’m working on it.” I feel pretty good about myself right now because my speech teacher is helping me get better with my speech.
Hi, my name is Will and I stutter. Even though my parents said that I started stuttering when I was 3, I didn’t realize it until I was in second grade. I felt sad that my friends could speak better than I did. At the same time I became aware that when I said the Pledge of Allegiance with my classmates, recited a poem with a friend or sang songs with my sisters, my words came out more fluently. Our class was preparing for a play. I was really nervous, thinking I would stutter, so I asked my teacher if I could say my lines with a friend. She said I could! It was a relief!! The play was great! It was after that when I realized that I couldn’t always rely on someone to talk for, or with me. That’s when Susan Cochrane stepped into my life. She’s been my speech therapist ever since that week in the Spring of 2006!!!
I’m telling you this because now I’m ready to manage my own stuttering. Not only am I ready to do this on my own, I am geared up to help others who struggle with their speaking. Since second grade, I’ve come a long way. Over time, I have learned to overcome fears about speaking. Once I learned to accept my stuttering I was able to learn about belly breathing, phonating, and learning about what I call “social chords” (vocal folds); not to mention articulating! I also learned about all of the parts of my body that you’ve probably never heard of before, like the palate. Ask someone what it is!! I have really benefited from Ms. Susie. This all seems tiring to learn, but not with an awesome speech therapist like Mrs. Cochrane.
Will, 5th grade
When I stutter it’s because I’m excited. I talk really fast when I’m excited. So, it doesn’t give my speech machine enough time to concentrate. A way I help it is to talk loudly and slowly. I practice it mostly in speech therapy. From practicing so much now, even if I?don’t think about it, I talk loudly but not so slowly. I’m lucky because kids don’t tease me about stuttering, but my brother did. It made me really sad when he did, but he doesn’t any more. If kids do tease you, ignore them and tell an adult or talk to them about stuttering and tell them what it is. You could tell kids “that’s called stuttering. Stuttering is when my speech machine jams up and I make my words come out like that. So sometimes I can’t help it and it is really frustrating.”
Hi. My name is Moshe. I’m 6 years old. I’m in first grade. I stutter in school and at home. When I stutter, it bothers me and I feel sad. My mom takes me to a therapist to help me. I feel good about myself.
My name is Andre. I am 11 years old and in fifth grade. I am the only person in my family who stutters. When I was asked about my stuttering, I felt ashamed.
But when I soon learned that many people who were kings, queens, etc., stuttered, I was astonished!
King John IV stuttered (in the U.K. he was called a stammerer) and Petolemy, ruler of Egypt, stuttered too.
My name is Edwin. I am 10 years old, and I live in Miami, Fla. My favorite hobby is basketball because I want to be a basketball player. I started to stutter at the age of 9. My speech teacher helps me most of the time with my stuttering.
My name is D’Angelo. I am 12 years old and live in Miami, Fla. I like to play football. I like my speech class because my teacher helps me with speech and now I take my time talking. That helps me from stuttering.
I read your story in the book Sometimes I Just Stutter. I had a comment about what you said about your stuttering problems. I think you shouldn’t pressure yourself about your stuttering. I do it too. I think your therapist is right about stuttering.
Click here to download
a PDF of these pictures.
My name is Britney, and I’m 8 years old. I have been stuttering since I was 5 years old. When I start to stutter my mom tells me to think about what I’m going to say before I talk. Every time I stutter it feels like a roller coaster because when I stutter the roller coaster goes bump, bump, bump. That is why stuttering feels like a roller coaster to me. I get frustrated a lot because when my cousins tease me I start to stutter a lot. But sometimes I try not to think about the teasing and I try to calm down. I tell them to stop teasing me because that will make me stutter even more. And now I’m starting to get better. One of the things I learned in speech is about eye contact. I am glad I am in this speech class because I am starting to get better at not stuttering.
Click here to download a PDF of these drawings.
My name is Lizette. I would love to tell you about my stuttering. Sometimes I get really frustrated and other times I’m calm. You see I hate it when people try and help me and say “slow down” or “what did you say?” It just makes me think more about stuttering and that’s when I get nervous and tend to stutter even more. I love to sing, and my friends will ask me, “Why don’t you stutter when you sing?” That’s where I get stuck. I don’t know what to say. Yes, I do accept who I am and I know that no one is perfect, but sometimes I just want to pull my hair out. My stuttering usually is when I start to get really excited or really nervous.
By Lisa Scott, Ph.D.
> We don’t know for sure why people don’t stutter when they sing, but it’s probably a combination of reasons:1. When you sing, you take breaths in between measures. This means that the number of words you say on one breath is very specific. When you talk, on the other hand, you can take breaths wherever you want in the sentence. Sometimes, people who stutter have a hard time keeping their air going, so it makes talking harder.
2. Different parts of our brains help us think or act in special ways. Most people’s center for music is on the right side of their brains, but the speech center is on the left side of the brain. This means that the “controls” are different for talking versus singing.
3. Another idea that might explain why people don’t stutter when they sing has to do with how much you have to think of words on your own. When you are talking, you have to have an idea, then pick out the words you’re going to use to tell someone else your idea, then get your muscles and air going to be able to say the words. When you sing, someone else has already thought up all the words and it’s not your own idea, another good reason that sining is easier than talking.
We hope this helps answer your question!
My name is Greg. I’m 9 years old and in the third grade. I think stuttering is like a car on a road. If you stutter, you are going too fast. If you don’t stutter, you go where you want to go and you don’t get a ticket.
My name is Damian and I stutter. Sometimes I am mad because when I am reading at school some say “hurry up” and sigh, and I don’t like that. But it is OK to stutter. To me, nothing is wrong with it. And I don’t care what people think about my stuttering.
My name is Jabaree. I’ve been stuttering for 6 years and I’m through with it. My stuttering feels like a basketball. When the ball bounces, I feel like I can’t get my words out. And when I shoot the ball, I drag my words out. Dragging my words and sliding are the best ways I use to not stutter as much. Some kids ask me why I talk like that, and I tell them I stutter. Most of them are my friends, and they don’t tease me. When I get teased, I try to ignore it and I don’t get mad. In all I’m OK and I like my life.
Hi, my name is Derrik. I block sometimes. I feel OK about my speech. I repeat stuff a lot, but sometimes I don’t repeat a lot. I go get help from my speech teacher. I feel blocking is a little OK.
My name is Evan and I am 11 years old. I stutter like all the other kids who write to the Stuttering Foundation. I repeat my words but that’s OK now because I go to speech class and I’ve improved so much. I’ve gotten teased by a lot of kids. When I get teased, it’s like getting punched in the face. The kids who teased me are now my friends because I forgave them. What I ask for from a friend is for them to treat me the way they want to be treated. Through the years, stuttering hasn’t pushed me back from playing sports and doing activities. Its actually pushed me forward and allowed me to tell my friends about my stuttering. Thank you Stuttering Foundation for supporting all the kids in America. And, remember, there is no perfect speech. All the perfect speech you could get is confidence and it is all from the heart.
Stevenson Ranch, Calif.
My name is Naftali. I am 8 years old. I stutter. I think that stuttering is not bad at all. Sometimes people tease me. I ignore it because no one is perfect and no one will ever be perfect.
Far Rockaway, N.Y.
My name is Cherrelle. I attend Fairfield Court Elementary. When I am talking, sometimes I start to stutter a little bit. When I’m with my speech therapist, it’s like I never stutter. I never stutter when I read something. When she closes the book, I start to stutter. When I stutter, first I’ll stop then I’ll start over and make up a little rhythm to the speech. When I’m with my family, I stutter a lot. But now I’m used to stuttering around people. If you stutter, it is OK. Just tap your leg and start on your sentence. It will really help.
My name is Makayla. I am 8 years old. I’m like my daddy because he stutters too. People make fun of me. When people make fun of me I get sad because I feel bad for stuttering. I was wondering what should I do if someone makes fun of me? What did the other kids do?
Editor’s Note: Be sure to read the letters in this newsletter from other children who have ideas about teasing. Remember to not let the teasing get you down and to stay calm. It's okay to let others know teasing hurts and to ask them to stop. Another good resource is Sometimes I Just Stutter. In it, every time 9-year old Mark is teased, he just grins and says, “Come back when you can stutter better than I do!”
To Celebrate Pi Day, 10-year-old twins Joel (left) and Shawn memorized more than 150 digits of Pi between the two of them.
Pi is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi = 3.1415926535... Pi Day is celebrated by math enthusiasts around the world on March 14th taken from the first 3 digits of the equation, which so happens to be Einstein's birthday.
Finding math equations around the house has become common place, equations that are approximately 2 feet in length. You will always find Joel carrying his college level technical math book whether he is going shopping with mom, or to an appointment. He often studies Algebra & Calculus online. Joel was playing Beethoven's 5th Symphony at age 9 after only 6 months of taking lessons (the piano teacher said "I have never seen anything like this in 15 years"), he has memorized 101 digits of Pi.
Shawn, who has been stuttering since a young age, has been doing adult puzzles since the age of 5, and completed level 9 on an IQ test (the instructor said, "I have never witness anyone get to that level before." There were only 9 levels in that portion of the test). He has memorized 51 digits of Pi.
Their 5-year-old brother Max has memorized 15 digits.
Joel and Shawn plan to celebrate Pi Day by eating Pie, and perhaps memorizing a few more digits.
I was 5 when I started noticing that I was stuttering. Then when I got older I kept getting madder and madder at my stuttering. But when I was 5, I didn’t mind it ‘cause I didn’t know how bad it would be. Now I’m in 2nd grade. I’m getting used to my stuttering and I’m getting better. Sometimes I still get mad at my mouth. By 6th grade I hope I stop stuttering. I went to summer speech school and that helped me a lot. We read and recorded stories. It was F-U-N! My school speech teacher teaches me to relax my body. I get pluses for the words I am fluent on. I say words with 2- and 3-syllables, and I did it perfectly.
I am Edgard. I’m 10 years old and in 5th grade. My hobbies are being with my family, playing with my brothers, and playing with my friends. I’ve been in speech class for 2 years. However, that doesn’t bother me anymore. Ever since my speech teacher told me that everyone stutters — even she does now and then — it makes me happy to be who I am.
My teacher teaches me how to use easy speech. Sometimes we have homework for easy speech, and it helps me use my strategies. When I stutter, I stick out my tongue, shake my head and say “ahhh.” When that happens I feel nervous, so I try to forget that it happened and use easy speech to keep talking. Easy speech is a great technique because I talk more fluently and now I’m OK with my stuttering.
Josette, 10, from Brooklyn, N.Y., has been working on a book series titled “Stuttering Sara.” She is writing the series in hopes of helping other children who stutter. In the first book, Sara was chosen for the lead in a school play. But she is scared to perform because she might stutter. At first, Sara doesn’t even show up and the stage remains empty! Sara finally decides she would rather perform than quit the play and she comes up with an idea. She knows that when she speaks in unison chorus with another person, it helps alleviate her stuttering. So she enlists the help of a friend and together they successfully perform in front of the whole school. The play is a big success and Sara is happy to have conquered her stage fright with a great solution. Josette is a student of Peter Reitzes, M.A., CCC-SLP.
My name is Maddy. I'm 10 years old. I enjoy going to speech class because I want to learn and get better at my stuttering. My friends don't tease me because we all know that no one is perfect, but unfortunately there are people in the world who make fun of other people. You have to remember stuttering is okay and over 3 million people in America stutter, so don't be ashamed. Be proud of who you are. Everyone is perfect in their own way. You can do everything that you want to.
St. Charles, MO
I have gone through a lot of things like kids picking on me and calling me names. The way I deal with it is to not pay attention to them and not listen to them. Now I am 10 years old and people don’t pick on me that much because I’ve gotten better at not stuttering.
I am 9 years old. I like to play baseball. I have been going to speech for 6 years. My favorite subjects are science and math. I like school. Stuttering is like somebody hitting you in the face. I sometimes get worried, but I know its okay. I have two brothers and one sister, and she is so cute.
My name is Cricynda (crih-sin-dah ). I am 11 years old and in the 5th grade. I like to do many things, like swimming and drawing. I’ve been in speech class for two years. I feel okay about my stuttering. I’ve been learning about one thing … Easy speech! Easy speech is slowing down when you’re talking. We use this very often. Our goal is to use it outside of class. Thank you for reading my letter. I hope this helps other kids know that other people stutter as well. They are not the only ones.
All eyes were on Paul as he prepared to deliver a presentation to his 2nd grade class about stuttering. In his usual cool, confident manner he assured his speech teacher, Karrie Johnson (a graduate student at the University of South Alabama), that he was ready… And he was. They had spent a few weeks organizing and brainstorming all the information he had learned about his stuttering over the past year. Paul, being the firecracker that he is, loved the idea of presenting to his class from the very beginning. “ All I did was make a list of possible topics and walk him through what he wanted to say about each. He came up with most of the ideas on his own,” said Johnson. The presentation began with a quiz administered to the class that exposed facts and myths about stuttering. Then Paul explained how the speech mechanism works and described different locations and types of stuttering. Next, he passed around a picture he had drawn of a “speech mountain” while he explained the highs and lows of his speech and the tools that help him “climb back up” when he hits a rough spot. The presentation ended with Paul telling the class about things people do that hurt and help him when he gets stuck on a word. As the class erupted with clapping, Paul proudly smiled back and cast a glance at his mother and sister who had come to support him.
Imagine that your speech is a train. The train is going across flat land on a bumpy track with no engine. The workers of the train, who pull it across the land, are your speech muscles. The boss, who is directing the work, is you. You must pull slowly and at a steady rate. All of the works must pull together at the same time with the same amount of force. Dysfluency is when the train is derailed. To keep the train from derailing, the workers must work together at a slow pace. If the workers pull too quickly, the bumpy track will make the weight of the train shift so much that the train falls over.
Hi. My name is Paxton and I’m 8 years old. I’ve been stuttering off and on for several years. When I was in first grade, I was stuttering really badly so I kept on working hard not to stutter. Now I’m in 2nd grade. When we had spring break, I quit stuttering and when I got back in school I still wasn’t stuttering! So I hope it won’t come back! But I’m still working with my speech teacher. She is a really good teacher. When my stuttering was really bad, it made me angry. Now I’m doing better so I don’t mind that much. I hope my stuttering stays away forever.
My name is Frank. I am 9 years old. My stuttering goes in a pattern. The first year I stuttered and the second year I didn’t stutter. When I was around 3 or 4, I realized I stuttered. Then everybody kept making fun of me. They just say that I stutter, and that makes me feel bad about myself. Now I learned to say “It’s OK to stutter” to people who make fun of me. Then I ignore them. Then they get bored and they leave me alone. It makes me feel like the stuttering is gone. No one realizes it.
My name is Tyler and I am 9 years old and I stutter. I live in Lumby, B.C., in Canada. I like soccer and I go to Scouts. I go to speech class to learn how to stop stuttering and to be OK with stuttering. I like to go to my cousin’s place and go to the park. My cousin’s name is Josh. Josh helps me by telling me when I’m talking too fast so that I can slow down my speech. Stuttering is nothing bad, over a million people stutter in the world. I use to stutter lots but now I go to the speech teacher Anita, and she helps me stop stuttering. If you don’t like stuttering and people tease you, ask your mom to get help from a speech teacher. When I go to talk and I can’t get the words out I think that there’s a big bug inside me that chews up all the words I’m trying to say. I slow down and I talk to my friends more slowly and when I talk more slowly the bug comes flying out of my mouth and dies.
Lumby, B.C., Canada
I’m 8 years old. I started stuttering when I was about 5. I stuttered for 3 years. Now I go to a speech therapist. I feel just fine about my stuttering. There’s this kid in my class that imitates me at lunch about my stuttering and that makes me mad. But I just deal with it. I wish he wouldn’t imitate me.
St. Paul, Minn.
Here is my story. I started stuttering when I was 6 now I am 7. Last year I went to a speech therapist. I’ve needed help for a while now with my stuttering. They told me if you slide it, start out like this ... sllllide. I don’t like stuttering though. Near summer time I stutter the most. I don’t know why.
Allen Park, Mich.
Image that your speech is a train. The train is going across flat land on a bumpy track with no engine. The workers of the train, who pull it across the land, are your speech muscles. The boss, who is directing the work, is you. You must pull slowly and at a steady rate. All of the works must pull together at the same time with the same amount of force. Dysfluency is when the train is derailed. To keep the train from derailing, the workers must work together at a slow pace. If the workers pull too quickly, the bumpy track will make the weight of the train shift so much that the train falls over.
Dominic and Rebecca with a “speech tools” birthday cake at the University of South Alabama. The cake says “brain, mouth, vocal folds, lips, voice box.”
My name is Colton, and I am 7 years old. I live in Canada. I like to play hockey, golf, soccer and baseball. I also like school and my family. Getting help from a speech teacher makes a big difference for me. I talked to my class about stuttering and it helped because they got to learn about stuttering, and also I got a chance to tell the other kids important messages like “Don’t tease other people because they have a difference from you.” For me, stuttering is like a hockey puck because it starts going fast then it stops suddenly. It helps me to imagine this because I can think what to do and then get moving with the puck again.
Sometimes I get stuck on words when I meet new teachers and new people, and then I stutter. Now that I go to speech, I have learned how to control and work through my stuttering. They both help me with my speech. They taught me to say all my letters and words without getting stuck. They have taught me how to breathe better and how to stretch out words and work through bumpy words. They both helped me with my speech. I do not mind that I stutter and have learned to love talking in front of others! I love playing drums, and I love to sing.
My name is Katie. I am in 3rd grade. I like to play football, have sleep-overs, cheerlead, color, and sleep. I am good at science, math, taking tests, watching TV, and changing my baby sister’s diapers. I have stuttered since the 2nd grade. My friends think I’m crazy, fun, awesome, love my hair, and my shoes. When I speak, I repeat the sounds and words several times. I prolong sounds. I move body parts (my hands) when I stutter, and I try to find other words when I am talking.
I don’t mind stuttering. It’s not like it’s illegal to stutter. But I don’t like it when I can’t let the words out. Robert, my speech therapist, helps me learn about stuttering. Oh, and by the way, I’m John, and I’m 8 3/4 years old.
Sometimes when I’m stuttering I feel very angry. When I was in second grade, I was stuttering and people started to laugh at me. My teacher talked to me outside, and she talked to people who were laughing. Also, if you stutter, just use your techniques. It will help you. People will get used to me stuttering and no one will laugh at me again. In my new school, my friend Dara stutters too. Dara was crying because boys were making fun of her. I felt sad for Dara. I felt mad at the people who made fun of her.
Editor’s Note: >Trouble at Recess is a great book that deals with bullying.
I don’t mind my stuttering. It’s not that bad. Sometimes stuttering makes me feel sad. Especially when people make fun of me, which occurs not very often. But sometimes people call me names. I go to speech therapy every Tuesday. It really helps me. Mrs. Miller helps me ease out of a stutter. I’m still learning. I’ve only been to the speech room about 12 times. I hope to learn how to tell people about my stuttering.
I feel happy because I learn about stuttering in speech. Stuttering is like Damon Huard throwing the football for the Chiefs and there is a wall that blocks it. I don’t think my friends care that I stutter. I do all the things I like to do like race BMX bikes, play football, and skateboard. My teachers are all good and understand stuttering.
Lee’s Summit, Mo.
I believe that I am a penguin beneath my human skin. Penguins have wings but not the ability to fly. I have a mouth but I do not have the luxury to talk without a care. My wings were shortened throughout my youth. The de-evolution of my confidence forced me to stay grounded and not fly with my brothers, my sisters, my cousins. The tuxedo-wearing birds replace the flying with swimming, as I have replaced my stuttering with a new approach to talking. With this new mode of sustaining, I can now dive into language and speech and survive among the icy waters that I frequently belong to. This can sometimes be a cold place and only if I explore the depths of the ocean that surround it can I find my place in the world, and only when I accept this place can I be admired for my swimming and not my flying. Perhaps those who have the sky and look down can admire me gliding through the waters.
Is stuttering really that bad? My family members help me to slow down.
My name is Drake and I am 7 years old. I go to school in Holland, Mich. I work hard in school because I want to go to college. I want to be a doctor who is called a nephrologist. That means a doctor who takes care of kidneys. I stutter when I talk, but I don’t stutter when I read out loud.
I don’t like my speech because I stop on words and say them two or three times. My speech teacher told me how I could improve on my speech. I sometimes use my slow rate and sometimes I don’t. I forget to use my full breath and slow rate. We use a tape recorder so we can go back over my speech. I know I’ll get better.
My name is Jillian. I stutter. People make fun of me, but I try not to let it bother me. Sometimes it does bother me though, so I try and try to stop stuttering. But I can’t. I don’t think it is right how people make fun of other people who stutter because we all have problems. Some people might not be good at math or reading. Some problems might be personal like family or self problems. Some may just speak a different language. But, some like me and many others, stutter, and I do not care what others think because I like myself how I am. I am who I am. Every one has feelings and some people’s feelings get hurt easily. My feelings get hurt easily. So if people make fun of me, I just try to stay away from them and sometimes I need someone to talk to so I do not just go around being upset. Instead, I have someone to talk to and I am happy about that. And with the Stuttering Foundation, I can see what other people have to say about stuttering so I know that I am not alone.
I don’t like to be “sticky” because I don’t like to say words again. Sticky speech is what I call stuttering. I used to be like this: “d-d-dog.” My speech teacher is helping me learn what to do. Stuttering isn’t so bad.
I don’t actually feel that angry about my stuttering. I don’t know why, but I feel very good about my stuttering. I’ll try to stop stuttering but if I don’t, it’s OK with me.
When I stutter, I feel sad because I want to feel like I don’t want to stutter. Then everyone laughs at me, but when I take my time, I feel a whole lot better.
Tony, of Yakima, Wash., drew this picture and included the following: "Stuttering is not that bad. I don’t really care that I stutter. The stuttering ghost comes and makes me stutter. I go to speech to fight the stuttering ghost. I practice eye contact, smooth talking, and good relaxation."
I do not like stuttering because some people make fun of me sometimes. I do not like stuttering but I am getting much better at it. I do not like stuttering because I get stuck on a word and it takes awhile before I can say the word clearly. I do not like stuttering because it makes me say words over and over again and it makes me mad when that happens.
Some of the things I like to do are video games and watching TV. Sometimes my speech is the best when I’m whispering quietly. My friends do not mind my stuttering a lot. And my speech is not that good when I am shy, nervous, or I am in front of a large amount of people. And on Monday at school Igo to my speech teacher. She is good with her speech. My mom says some day I will be a good talker. My grandmom likes music and she says that a director will want me for movie or singing roles.
Christopher of Marlboro, N.J., drew this picture. It says, “I don’t care what people say or if they laugh when I stutter. I am happy being myself. Stuttering is a good experience for me because life is sometimes hard.”
I don’t mind stuttering very badly. It’s not like it’s illegal to stutter. But I don’t like it when I can’t let the words out. Robert, my speech therapist, helps me learn about stuttering. Oh, and by the way, I am John. And I’m 8 3/4 years old.
East Charleston, VT
I am currently a graduate student at College Misericordia (Dallas, PA), where I am pursuing my master’s degree in speech-language pathology as well as my teacher certification. I recently created an informational video for my graduate level fluency course. I did the voices, danced in the costumes, shot and edited the whole piece. This 5-minute creation is to be shown to younger school-aged children who are having troubles with stuttering. Here is the link:www.vimeo.com/clip:219933
Erik X. Raj
Hi, my name is Brandi. I’m 15 years old and had a stuttering problem all my life. It has gotten a lot better. I’ve learned how to pronounce the letters easy for the word to come out right. These exercises helped me a lot from then to now. I stutter when I get too excited, mad or sad, but sometimes I stutter when I don’t talk a lot that day then when a time comes for me to talk the stuttering tries to come.
When I was younger, my stuttering sounded like this “d,d, do, dog.” But now it’s like bumpy words sometimes. Most of the time I run out of breath which I try to control by taking my time. When I was younger in the fifth, sixth and seventh grade, I would get mad at my teachers when they asked me to read. Sometimes when I felt as if I could read I would volunteer. I read that a lot of celebrities have stuttering problems in their life, but James Earl Jones is my favorite because he plays Mufausa in The Lion King, and The Lion King is my favorite movie. I say to myself I will try to succeed in my stuttering because I really want to be a veterinarian when I get out of high school. Now going to the 10th grade I will try harder to my fullest and try to succeed.
I saw my name in your summer newsletter and wanted to thank you. And my poem won first place at district and an award of excellence in the state level competition. Thank you for everything.
Virginia Beach, Va.
Editor: Congratulations on your awards!
First, I just wanted to say thank you for your excellent Web site. It’s so nice to be able to point parents and professionals toward a Web site with good information. Secondly, I wish you could have seen the reactions when I gave copies of the celebrities who stutter brochure to several grade school kids who stutter. They thought it was so ‘cool’ to see Tiger Woods, Marilyn Monroe and James Earl Jones.
Sometimes my stutter feels like my shoe is stuck in gum. I feel real sad. Sometimes kids tease me a lot. And I really feel bad about it. I was brave enough to give a presentation to my class to tell them about stuttering. I taught them about “bouncy” talking, “sticky” talking, and “long” talking. And I taught them about famous people who stutter, like Bo Jackson and James Earl Jones (the voice of Darth Vader). We talked about if they were teased before and how did they feel when they got teased. I told them ways to help me when I stutter. They can give me a signal to tell me to take a deep breath and let some air out. Now kids don’t tease me that much. If they do, I tell them to come back when they can stutter better than me!
My name is Gage. I live in Ohio. I’m 10-years-old. I’m in the fourth grade. I started stuttering at age 2. I feel my stutter has gotten a little better. It does not make me feel bad. My teacher and my friends help me. It is not a problem for me. I have very loyal friends. I’ve never been teased. It does not stop me from talking in class. It does not keep me from doing things I want to do. I do go to speech. It does help me. When I grow up, I want to be an actor so I can challenge myself. My advice is not to think about stuttering.
Isaiah drew this picture and wrote, “When I stutter, my boat is bouncing on a wave.”
When I was 5, I started to like horses a lot. Then when I turned 9, my mom signed me up for H and H. This is a group that practices horseback riding. We do hurdle jumping and barrel racing. Once when I won a big race, I had to make a speech in front of everyone. I realized that I started to stutter. Then I told my cousin what I wanted to say and she told everyone. I felt embarrassed that I couldn’t speak well and I was thankful for my cousin. My stuttering is better now than it was before. I hope that people who read my story will realize that other people can be very helpful.
Tracey sent us this picture that includes a caption that says, "No one understands what I’m saying."
My name is Chandler and I’m 10 years old. When I’m mad at my
stuttering, I go outside and go to my friend’s house. He makes me feel good. He stutters like me and we are best friends. He keeps saying that I should try to quit and some people say, “Why do you say words over and over?” I say I stutter a lot. I go and sleep to help me stop stuttering. Some people call me “stutter-mouth” or call me “stupid.” I like the way I am! I have a favorite teacher who helps me with my speech. Here is a helpful hint: Try to have a friend just like you!
Letter to James Earl Jones:
I am a big Star Wars fan and I can’t believe that you had stuttering problems. You did an awesome job as the voice of Darth Vader! I have stuttering problems, too. I started when I was 6 or 7. I just want you to know that you aren’t the only one with stuttering problems. I never would have guessed that you had trouble with stuttering if I did not read about it.
Chester Springs, Pa.
This artwork is by Bryce, 8, Amagansett, N.Y., who wrote, “When I talk, a really mean monster sneaks up on me and shoves a rock in my throat. Everything gets tight and I can’t talk. Then more rocks begin coming up. I sometimes get scared and want to run away. My speech teacher has taught me ways to help when this happens. I take a deep breath and stretch out the beginnings of my words and sentences and then I spit up the rocks! Then I feel much better and I can talk again. I also try not to speak too fast when I get mad or excited. If you try really hard, you can get the monster and stuttering to go away too.
Gage, 10, writes, “My stutter is a car driving on a bumpy road.”
David, 10, of Oceanside, CA, says, "I feel that my speech is like a dark cloud looming and following me, and when I use my speech utensils I put on a raincoat and I feel in control!"
Denver Nuggets basketball sensation Kenyon Martin has inspired many children. He is now included on our 16 Famous People Who Stutter poster.
Poem on stuttering
Hi my name is Alicia and I’m 13 years old. I’ve been stuttering
since I was 5 years old. I’m from Virginia Beach, Va. Here is a poem
The Stuttering Ways
Coming home, covered in tears
Life swept away by fear
Can’t even say my name
To worried about playing games
You’re always put on the spot
Pretending to be someone you’re not
Avoiding words that you can’t say
Is getting worse day by day
What is happening to my brain?
It causes so much pain
Trying to give a class presentation
Just ruins your reputation
Trying to do something new
Is hard while kids are teasing you
Always fluent when singing
Never while mingling
Never press hardly
Always try to touch lightly
Speech is like a river flowing
Until a rock falls in and keeps it from going
I’ll never be a lawyer or vet
I’ll deserve more than what I’ll get
Why did this have to happen to me?
Can’t you see that it isn’t easy being like me?
Take a walk in my shoes for a day
Would you want to live my way?
Video gets four stars
Stuttering: For Kids, By Kids is about stuttering. What I liked about the movie was that the children in the video say that they are not shy to talk. Another thing I liked about it was that the children stutter and they just kept on talking. For example, when they spoke they just let their stuttering out and did not care about their stuttering. During speech class, I watched this video with four of my friends. My friend Katie said, “I learned that stuttering is not a big deal because everyone has problems.” Jennifer said, “I learned that some people can help themselves with stuttering.” Martha said, “What I learned was that you should tell your friends if you stutter.” Susan said, “What I learned is that stuttering is not funny.” My speech teacher said, “I am so glad that Melissa shared her stuttering and this video with her friends.”
I do what I want
My name is John. I am 11 years old. I am a 5th grader in Chicago. I like to read and hang out with friends. I have been stuttering since kindergarten. At first when I stuttered I couldn’t get every word that I said out of my mouth. But then when I got older I tend to repeat words two or three times and then I am fluent. My dad also stutters but not that much. My little brother also stutters. I notice that when I am not paying attention to how I talk, I don’t stutter. I never stutter when I sing or when I’m in a play. I don’t let stuttering stop me from doing any thing I want to do. When I am stuttering I don’t like it when people interrupt me. I don’t care that I stutter. Stuttering actually helps me meet new people because either some of my friends introduce me to their friends or they make sure that I am in a group project, and I meet new kids there. My speech therapist told me about your Web site and your newsletter. I am surprised that so many famous people stutter. I like reading the letters.
Larissa is a 6th grade student in Hagerstown, IN, who has been inspired by stories about children who stutter, says her speech therapist, Mary Kozak. Now it’s her turn to inspire others!
I Can Do Anything
This is about my D.A.R.E. speech and how I got through it. D.A.R.E. is a program at my school that teaches kids about drugs. A good idea is to practice with an adult and pretend aliens are in the audience. Aliens don’t make me feel nervous, like people do, during a speech. My stomach does flips when I have to give a speech. I use slide-outs and it is very helpful. A really good tip is to read your speech over and over again to an adult. Talk slowly and pause between your sentences. Dont be afraid to try and give your speech in front of a lot of people. If I can do it, then I know you can too!
Dear Stuttering Foundation
I have been working on my stuttering a lot lately. Our speech therapist told us that on special occasions you can’t stutter, but when that special occasion ends, it don’t care if you stutter or not. I am eleven years old now and I have been stuttering for 6-8 years and I want to stop stuttering. I have been working really hard on it, and now I am doing a lot better on it.
I sure hope you get my letter and write me back, because I really want to stop stuttering.
Joey, North Carolina
Blake’s Story About His Stuttering
I think that kids who stutter should not feel sad about it. I have been going to therapy for 2 years, and she has [taught] me how to overcome stuttering. I am 10 years old and I have been stuttering all my life and I don’t stutter a lot now. Kids shouldn’t be upset about stuttering. I feel special about it, and other kids should too.
Blake, North Carolina
Art by Trevor, 8, of Oceanside, CA, says, "Speech looks like a river flowing, and then someone put a rock in it so it can't flow."
We love to get your letters and artwork to share, but we must have written permission from a parent to use them. Send your letters or pictures with signed permission to SFA, P.O. Box 11749, Memphis, TN 38111-0749 or email firstname.lastname@example.org