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Help for children who stutter is as close as your local library
NewsBeat

Help for children who stutter is as close as your local library 

National Stuttering Awareness week is the second week of May. Kids who stutter have a lot to say, and friends can show them how in Stuttering: For Kids By Kids, a DVD in English and Spanish starring kids who stutter, available at most public libraries or through interlibrary loan.

Many children who stutter have never met others who struggle with the same disability. In this DVD from the Stuttering Foundation, they meet kids who recount how they handle challenges such as teasing, speaking out in class, and teaching others about stuttering.

Swish, a lively and engaging animated basketball character designed by students at Purdue University, narrates the DVD. The children, who range in age from first-graders to high school students, offer frank and sometimes differing views of stuttering.

For example, Matthew, age 10, says about his speech difficulties, “It’s no big deal;” but Kate, age 9, 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 get worried [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.”

“All those interested in helping kids learn more about stuttering will want to see this tape,” said speech-language pathologist Bill Murphy of Purdue University. “The children featured are a perfect example of how to openly and honestly handle stuttering.” 

“This is an important tool for families and teachers of kids who stutter,” added Jane Fraser, president of the nonprofit Stuttering Foundation.

Other professionals and specialists in stuttering in this production include Kristin Chmela of Northwestern University, Joe Donaher of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Lisa Scott of Florida State University, and Lee Caggiano of Friends.

Since 1947, the nonprofit Foundation has provided free materials to public libraries nationwide. A library that will shelve them can download a request form at https://stutteringhelp.org/ or email info@stutteringhelp.org.

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