What is Stuttering?

STUTTERING IS Hiding Burying myself in books Whispering Using bad habit Trying to be perfect Ignoring People Annoying Words caught in my throat Being stared at Not talking Avoiding Words caught in my mouth Scary Handicap Embarrassing Eating lunch by myself Trying to hide my speech Not chiming in Speeding Up Choppy Keeping to yourself Redirection attention Saying other things Covering Up Doing More Worrying all the time Throat drying up Hesitating Being Paranoid Never Volunteering

How can Friends help

Stories written by Teens for Teens

Stuttering Secrets

Trying new things (stuttering related) is better with others When I don’t get stuck that much it makes me feel glad Never let stuttering hold you back. You can accomplish anything in your life if you put your mind to it When I get stuck, other people think there is something wrong with me Stuttering is a part of me but I can still be successful I sometimes feel embarrassed It’s hard to talk to people Stuttering is odd Stuttering can be frustrating sometimes, but sometimes you can’t let that stop you from talking Stuttering should NEVER EVER bring you down Stuttering could be there forever! Stuttering gets me frustrated a lot Stuttering is not that great L Stuttering is a thing in your life, but you can definitely accomplish anything you put your mind to Stuttering is a part of me! It’s okay to stutter If I did not stutter my life would be better My stuttering was good this week I hate my stuttering Stuttering sort of sucks I love everything but stuttering My stuttering didn’t really get in my way this week Stuttering is annoying Does stuttering ever stop or is it a lifelong process Stuttering is so much fun!  just kidding Stuttering bothers me I feel guilty that my son stutters My stuttering was great this week! Don’t ever be afraid to talk. Say what’s on your mind I stuttered a little more this week Stuttering Secrets were shared by Long Island middle...

I was a little scared…and I did it anyway!

Young people who stutter show us acts of courage on a daily basis. They often make choices that may increase their risk of being uncomfortable, feeling different and possibly ending up at the receiving end of ridicule. Friends would like to honor these acts of courage, and encourage our young clients to continue taking risks and being honest about their stuttering. My name is Michael. I am 9 years old and live on Long Island. I love baseball. My favorite player is I stutter and I ran for student council at my school. I won! My name is Courtney. I am 13 years old and live on Long Island. I love playing soccer. My favorite music is the Jonas Brothers I stutter and volunteered for a part in my class play. My name is Kristen. I am 11 years old and live on Long Island. I have two sisters I love acting. I stutter and wrote a letter to all my teachers telling them about my stuttering. My name is Zachary. I am 7 years old and live on Long Island.  I really love football. My favorite player is I stutter and talked to my class about stuttering so they would know why it takes me a longer time to talk sometimes. My name is Daniel I am 10 years old and live on Long Island. I am in Project challenge. I make paper sculptors. I stutter and presented a 9 paragraph report to my class. My name is Zach I am 10 years old. I love basketball. I love skateboarding. I stutter and talk over the loud speaker...

Wishes for Others – Denver

Dear Ian, I wish you were a millionaire! Plus cool hat! Also I wish you would never be bullied again. From, Evan Dear Wraith (chase), I hope you learn stuttering techniques. Your friend,Ian To: Ian honey badger Hope to be your captain next year and bring your shirt. Ryan Bliss From Liam: I wish Quinn lived next to me Seth lived close to me. Leslie had mansion From Ryan: I just wish I could stop stuttering, but that doesn’t matter. From Riley: I wish Grant would keep having fun. From Ryan: I wish that Friends would never end and I hope I come next year and each year gets better. I’ve seen your grandson with kids all weekend. He continued to grow and realized the gift he has in grandparents in you. From Allen: I wish to see your whole family at next year’s convention. I wish the schools and teachers would understand that Sonny is a very special kind hearted kid I wish you can realize that no matter how much we get on each other’s nerves it means a lot to me that you come to all these with me. I wish to be back next year. Chase- I hope you continue on your path to understanding and you can change the world one client at a time. I hope Jimmy has the chance to become the chef he has always wanted to be Clifford: I wish everybody here can have a great time at Friends. I wish that all the families who have not been fortunate enough to find Friends will do so and come and...

Wishes for Self – Denver

Parents: Meet new people and help others any way I can My  daughter will go to the group she is most comfortable in Young Adult or Teen. Help someone else or another family realize what I have and that stuttering is just another part of him. My best hope for this weekend is to learn to become more supportive of the person I love who stutters. For my family to form even deeper friendships. I hope I learn to be more patient when I am pressed for time and my son is having a “bad hair day.” Share hopes, dreams, and experiences with other parents and watch children grow and feel excited. I hope my son tries something uncomfortable to him (open mic, being on panel). I hope my son welcomes new people into the group. I hope to improve how to listen to a person who stutters. I hope my son leaves with renewed confidence. I hope to learn stronger patience with my son. I hope to learn how to help my son understand that there are also struggles that a parent goes through. To watch other kids grow as our boys did. Learning about different methods of therapy. Coping mechanisms for Sean in order to deal with ridicule from peers. Understanding some of the causes of triggers of stuttering. I hope that by reaching out to others both kids who stutter and, I can reach a deeper comfort with how to support my daughter in the life phase she is in right now. I hope Joe gets more comfortable with his stuttering and doesn’t let it stop...

Inspiration for the Classroom

How to give a classroom presentation on stuttering

Introduction Ask the students What is a Speech-Language Pathologist? What kind of things do SLP’s work on with kids? Have any of you ever worked with a SLP? What is stuttering? Learn more about stuttering by watching a movie we made (For Kids, By Kids So what did you learn? Do any of you know any famous people who stutter? We have a real expert on stuttering in the room Could you help to show these guys what stuttering sounds like?  (types or harder/easier) Let’s see if you were all paying attention.  Pseudo stutter on your names and we will judge each  of you (The CWS rates their stuttering and each get candy) We work really hard in speech therapy Demonstrate therapy techniques with the child as a model Ask for some volunteers to try the techniques There are things that you can do to help too. What do you want a listener to do when you speak?  (create list) What don’t you want a listener to do when you are speaking These are the same things that you should/should not  do with a PWS. Many CWS are teased about their speech How many of you have ever been teased? What were you teased about?  How did it feel? What should you do if you are being teased/bullied? What could you do to help someone else who is being teased/bullied? Awards Classroom award Student...

Teacher Letters

Dear Teacher, My name is Ryan.  I’m just a regular kid and I stutter. Stuttering is when someones speech gets stuck It hurts when people make fun of me please help me try to make the kids stop. Sensearly, Ryan Dear Teacher, I have some things to work on. I studder I have ADHD I am VERY sensitive There is nothing wrong about me. Everyone thinks I’m awesome. Sean Dear Teacher, My name is Nicholas..  When I stutter it isn’t becuas I am thinking I m trying to get out of a bump. Dear Teacher, My name is  James. I stutter and I’m not nervos when I stutter I just can’t get the word out. Some other intesting things about me is that I ride horses. I rode in the Hamtin Classic witch is a really cool horse show. I’m really excited for this school year. Dear Teacher, My name is Liam.. I stutter. Please call on me when I am not rasing my hand. Sincerely, Liam Dear Teacher, I want you to know about my stuttering. Sometimes it’s hard for me to say what I want to say. Please be patient. I know you’re trying to help when you finish my sentences, but it’s annoying.  Thank You, Chrissy Dear Teacher, I just wanted to let you know that I studder. So don’t laugh at me if I ‘m having trouble saying the word I’m trying to say. Also that I don’t want you finishing my sentences.  Signned, Nicholas To my new teacher, My name is Ashlee. And I stutter. Thank you for listening to me! If I need...

Dear Teacher

Dear Teacher, Hey, I’m Grace and I will be in your ________ class.  I’m writing this letter to let you know that, well, I stutter, and I feel like I gotta let you know some stuff about it – how I plan on dealing with it to make myself more comfortable in class.  Talking about it beforehand stops me from being as scared.  So, in case you’re like, “What did I get myself into?”, here it is: First of all, stuttering is neurological and genetic (my younger brother stutters too) and totally out of my control.  And I don’t stutter because I am scared.  I am scared because I stutter. (I actually can’t take credit for that quote, but I agree with it 100%.)  One out of every 100 people stutter making me part of the lucky 1% of the world.  Yay. (Note the sarcasm.) Anyway, here’s what I am currently doing about my stuttering in speech therapy.  Right now I’m working on gaining more control and becoming more comfortable with speaking – not just in school, but with friends, ordering my own food, whatever.  And I’m going to try to participate in class when I feel like I can.  It’s a long term goal of mine, so I may not reach it right away. And finally, here’s where you come in.  I’m extremely worried about getting called on in class (and then being teased as I answer your question which happened to me last year.)  And my biggest fear about being called on is getting called on to read out loud.  When I’m forced to do it, I’ll...

Telling Teachers

by Aileen Hi Ms. XXX, My name is Aileen I and am going to be in your AP Calculus class. I wanted to let you know that I stutter. I have decided that emailing you may help you to understand some things about stuttering that you might not already know. Stuttering is when your vocal cords get stuck and it takes you a little longer to get a word out. It is not caused by being nervous. Part of managing my stuttering is to let people know I stutter, that way they know what is going on. It also makes the listener more comfortable. I am still working on being comfortable participating in class, but do not hesitate or be afraid to call on me. Some days I stutter more than others with different levels of severity, so it may take me a longer time to say what I am trying to say. I do not want to be treated differently or get any special attention and please remember not to finish sentences or words for me. I hope that I can help you learn more about stuttering, which can help me have a good year. If you have any questions feel free to ask. Sincerely, Aileen Hi Aileen, Thanks so much for the note. I look forward to having you in class this year. I would like it if we catch up the first week of school and I know we will have a very successful year! Mrs....

Telling The Class About Stuttering

by Francine J. Bliss Should you tell the class about stuttering? The response from my nine year old son, who stutters is, “YES!” Ryan has done so for three years now. I have never regretted asking him to do it. His first time telling his class was in the middle of March in second grade. He needed to do a biography presentation to all of the parents of students in his class. I asked Ryan to start his presentation by telling everyone he stuttered. His first response was, “NO WAY!” I asked for him to try it once. Well, luck hit!! Ryan said he would try it. That night was so emotional. Parents listening, students presenting and it’s Ryan’s turn. All of a sudden I hear, “Good evening. My name is Ryan Bliss and I am going to take my time because I stutter…” I sat on the edge of my seat listening to every word and just waited. He was one of only three children from his class who memorized their speech. He was calm and successful. It was such a proud moment for the entire family. Third grade was right around the corner. After getting a new teacher in a new school, anxiety was at a high for Ryan. Just before visiting day, Ryan and I wrote his new teacher a letter about his stuttering and what she could do to help him. On that day, Ryan approached his new teacher and told her that he had a letter for her about his stuttering. Mrs. D’Allesandro was compassionate right from the start. She told him that they...

Ryan’s School Letter

Dear _________________________________, Hi!  My name is Ryan Bliss.  I am 9 years old.  I live in Commack.  I wanted to let you know that I stutter.  Stuttering is when your vocal cords get stuck and sometimes you repeat sounds or words. The best way to help me is to wait patiently while I am speaking. I can’t wait to have you as my teacher! From, Ryan...

About Me

(Editors Note: This is a class presentation that Friends member Aileen of New York gave to her tenth grade class.) Hi my name is Aileen. I am the oldest of 3 children and I have a dog named Maggie who is almost 3 years old and gets treated like the fourth child. Sometimes I think she gets more attention then I do. Being the oldest means I am the one who has to do everything first. Sometimes this is a good thing, though sometimes I wish I had someone older than me to go through everything first. As I was writing this I couldn’t think of anything I am extraordinarily good at, but then something hit me. Something that I usually don’t bring up ever to people because I am still embarrassed by it. That thing is stuttering. I know it seems like an odd thing to be good at, but since I’ve been stuttering since I could talk I figured I must have mastered it by now. Stuttering is a big part of me. Did you know that a lot of famous people stutter? Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, and Bruce Willis are just a few to name. I figured that if these people could do the great things they did, the least I could do was step out of my comfort zone and not only make this speech, but mention to you that I stutter. As opposed to pretending it’s not there and panic every time I’m called on because I don’t want people to judge me when they hear me stutter. Some parts of stuttering stinks, but...

A Proud Mom’s Story

(Editors Note: This is a story about a girl who stutters and her mom, who is very proud of her.) Summer vacation was about over and back-to-school time was just around the corner. Before a new school year begins, we make a phone call to our daughter’s new teacher, to tell him or her a little about our daughter, including her strong points and weak points, of which she doesn’t have many at all, of course! We also let the teacher know that our daughter happens to stutter. We give the new teacher some helpful information about stuttering and say thank-you and have a great year. We try to keep the conversation short and sweet, because we know teachers are very busy at this time of year, and we don’t want to annoy her before school even starts. So, our daughter goes off to school. The first week she tells me that her teacher is doing something different this year. Each week, there will be a “Student-Of-The Week”. It will be their special time for the whole week, the class will get to know them and a little bit about their lives. On Friday of that week, they get to bring a VIP (very important person) with them to class. This VIP can be someone in their life who has done or is doing something that is special or makes an impression on them. My daughter tells me, her mother, that she wants me to be her VIP and tell her class about my tennis playing ability. Well, the thought of speaking in front of her class and teacher...

How I Advocated for Myself… Or How to Make Jeopardy Work for You

by Ashlee Walsh My name is Ashlee Walsh and I did a presentation on stuttering my English class. I really thought that it was a good idea because most people have no clue what stuttering really is. I also thought that, eventually, the class would notice something was different by the way I talked, so I thought that it would be more comfortable if I told them myself and educated them a little as well. At first, I felt really confident about the idea, but as time went on I started to doubt myself and think that I was crazy. I started to loose confidence, but I had my friends to encourage me because they knew how much it really meant to me. On the day of the presentation I didn’t feel nervous because I had friends and teachers that are very supportive. My Mom and my younger brother Michael, who also stutters, were my biggest supporters during all my research and the presentation. For my presentation, I did a seven ­slide PowerPoint. The slides were: My Name, Introduction, Myths, Facts, Famous People, Organizations, and a Jeopardy Game Introduction. After the PowerPoint, I made a Jeopardy Game with questions that would make the presentation interactive. The categories were: Myths, Facts, Famous People, Organizations, If You Stuttered, and Miscellaneous. The “If You Stuttered” category was the most important to have in the presentation because it had questions like, “What would you do if you stuttered and someone made fun of you?” “If you stuttered, would you still participate in class?” After my presentation, many of my classmates came up to...

Teasing Inventory for School – Age Kids Who Stutter

by Constance Dugan, CCC/ SLP (Editors Note: The article is taken from the International Stuttering Awareness Day On-line Conference. ) We can help kids who are being teased IF we know it is happening. But children often keep this information to themselves unless we open up the topic and keep it open. I take a teasing inventory with school age kids at every session. Routine makes for safety and allows kids to prepare. When the form is introduced it takes only a few minutes to explain. (I read the questions to younger children.) At subsequent sessions it takes only seconds unless there is a problem with teasing. Often the child will have marked the form before even sitting down. Often, after weeks of no teasing, I have been surprised – but not caught off guard ­when there is something to report. Yes / no questions are generally unproductive, so I use a scale that asks “How much?” rather than “If.” When there is no teasing, I comment favorably on the health of the child’s community. This encourages thinking of bad behavior rather than bad people and takes any blame off the victim if teasing should occur. “Who” is straightforward. Description of the teasing lets me find out whether the problem is name calling, mocking, pushing or something else. Knowing the details helps in planning an appropriate response. The feelings question can be a tough one for kids to answer. Many have few skills for talking about this topic. If this is the case, we work on developing a feelings vocabulary, which can be represented with pictures for younger children...