Kimberly Garvin is a 5th grade English teacher, manager of her son’s non-profit Lllet Me Finish, and a published author of both adult fiction and children’s literature. Kimberly is a mother of two, Sydni who lives in Atlanta, and Saadiq who lives with her (and Charlie Brown, their dog) in New Jersey.
When Kimberly isn’t busy with teaching or writing, she likes getting creative and DIY-ing. She also loves her kids, assisting them in building their respectful empires, and just simply living!
Do you remember when you first began to stutter?
No, I don’t. I remember being pulled out of my general education class and taken to speech therapy. And, I for certain remember kneeling at the foot of my grandmother’s bed reading each night in an effort to “correct” my speech.
Does it run in your family? Who else stutters?
It does run in our family; on my father’s side. His brother, my Uncle Johnny, stuttered.
Did you seek treatment? Did it help?
…Not as much as treatment sought me in the way of my grandmother. *reference to the kneeling and reading comment above
Tell us about your experience with stuttering as a child.
I didn’t have many experiences. I was pretty quiet. You know not wanting to draw too much attention. And, oddly enough I believe my grandmother’s therapy seemed to have “worked.” I also speak rather slowly which I’m sure was something I could have picked up while growing up to over compensate for a potential block, repetition or prolongation.
How is your stuttering today? What do you do to control or manage it, if anything?
It’s rare that I stutter today. For the most part I have pockets of disfluency. I have noticed that the more I surround myself with the stuttering community (like when we’re at NSA or a SAY event) my speech sometimes takes on a life of its own. And, I get it. It’s probably more comfortable.
What are the biggest challenges stuttering has presented to you?
One of the biggest challenges stuttering presented to me was patience with and for other people. I remember a time when Saadiq was young and I would stay on ready if anyone mocked his speech or didn’t give him an opportunity to finish his sentences or even looked at him funny. I realized early on that not everyone is educated around both the affect and effects of stuttering.
Based upon your experiences, what would you like to tell children who stutter?
I would tell children who stutter that their voice matters. In fact, that’s a hashtag that we use #yourvoicematters. It’s so easy to think that what you have to say doesn’t because if it did why would it take so much to get out…but I would share the reverse in that because it takes so long to get out…because it’s such a challenge…it has to be worth it and someone may need to hear it.
Posted Feb. 24, 2019