Many children who stutter have never met anyone else who does! But in this new DVD from the nonprofit Stuttering Foundation, they meet other kids who stutter. They recount how to handle challenges like bullying, teasing, and speaking out in class; they even teach others kids and teachers about stuttering.
Swish, a lively and engaging animated basketball character designed by students at Purdue University, narrates the 12-minute show.
The children, who range in age from first-graders to teens, offer frank and sometimes differing views of stuttering.
Matthew, age 10, says about his speech difficulties, "It’s no big deal;" but 9-year old Kate worries about talking, what is going to happen next and whether or not she’ll stutter.
Arianne, age 14, says, "The hardest part about stuttering is to get through it and to stay in there when you’re stuck."
Umang, age 12, agrees, "Sometimes it gets kind of annoying when you want to say something and you can’t. I also worry about what other people might think if I do stutter and wonder if I’ll be able to get out of my blocks and things."
"Everyone interested in helping kids learn more about stuttering will want to see this tape," said speech-language pathologist Joe Donaher, Ph.D., of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. "The children featured are a perfect example of how to openly and honestly handle stuttering. This important tool should be in the hands of everyone who lives and works with kids who stutter."
Professionals who contributed to this production include Joe Donaher, Ph.D., Kristin Chmela, M.A., of Northwestern University, Lisa Scott, Ph.D., of The Florida State University, and Lee Caggiano, M.A., of the support group for children, Friends.