Help for children who stutter available at library

Published 11:13 am Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Children who stutter have a lot to say, and friends can show them how in “Stuttering: For Kids By Kids,” a DVD starring children who stutter, available at the Briggs Lawrence County Public Library.

Many children who stutter have never met anyone else who struggles with the same disability. But in this DVD from the Stuttering Foundation, they meet other children 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.

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For example, Matthew, age 10, said 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, said, “The hardest part about stuttering is to get through it and to stay in there when you’re stuck.”

Umang, age 12, agreed, “Sometimes it gets kind of annoying when you want to say something and you can’t. I also get worried 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 Bill Murphy, speech-language pathologist 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,” said Jane Fraser, president of the nonprofit Stuttering Foundation.

Other professionals and specialists in stuttering taking part in this production include Kristin A. Chmela, Northwestern University, Joe Donaher, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Lisa Scott of Florida State University and Lee Caggiano of the support group for children, Friends.

Several books and DVDs produced by the 67-year-old nonprofit Stuttering Foundation are available free to any public library.