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 usually be like, “Me?” to confirm my fear. In my head I’ll say something like, “Yup. It’s you, unfortunately. Okay…deep breath…” I begin to shake, “and don’t stutter”. That, of course, makes me stutter more. So I start, and of course, I stutter on every word. Seconds feel like minutes as I try my hardest to just get that word out and not get stuck on the next one. That doesn’t work. Finally, my teacher interrupts me and calls on another lucky soul to finish. That’s why I am asking you this – PLEASE don’t call on me to read. Also, and I know this sounds like a lot, when I speak I may take a while. Some people want to “help” by guessing the word I’m gonna say. That, though, makes me feel rushed. I just need people to wait.
And about presentations, double the horror of reading out loud. I’d prefer to do them one-on-one with you at extra help. You know, if that’s okay.
I know this is a lot to take in and do, but it’s really important to me that all my teachers read this. Please email me at —or call my mom at —— to let me know that you read this and understand this. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me through email or during the school year by pulling me aside in class. Also, please leave a note for substitutes whenever you may be out. And lastly, thanks so much.