About the Author:
My name is Kathryn Bond and I am a Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist in Bradford District Care Foundation Trust. I work with people of all ages who stammer and/or clutter, their parents, teachers and other allies. I used to teach English and Drama, and I am also trained and have experience in many forms of psychological therapy.
I am inspired by the social model and neurodiversity and am passionate about educating society and re-constructing stammering with an aim of reducing stigma and increasing acceptance of stammering as a variation in speaking.
I am particularly interested in developing the way we work with younger people who stammer, especially in light of those children who will continue to stammer, so they feel at ease living with a stammer and that they are empowered to advocate for themselves in a society that doesn’t always understand or particularly support difference.
I’d like to share a poster advertising a FREE eLearning education tool called ‘About Stammering’ with the link on it made in my role as speech and language therapist in Bradford District Care Foundation Trust. There is no cost to people at all and any one can use it just by registering with an email. Here is a bit more about it.
In March 2019 I completed a collaborative project to raise awareness of and to reduce stigma about, stammering. I worked with students from the University of Bradford’s graphics department and young people on my caseload to create a visually, interactive, engaging 40-minute eLearning module, called About Stammering. You can do it in your own time as it saves as it goes along and it can be used in its parts for education and therapy sessions.
The course consists of two parts:
Part one explores what stammering is (and isn’t) and provides evidence-based facts about stammering through quizzes, voice-overs by people who stammer and experiential exercises. It challenges stereotypes and myths about stammering through interactive exercises.
Part two explores responses and feelings about stammering: an adult speaks candidly about how he was bullied at school; language used about stammering is scrutinised, and scenarios are presented in which helpful and unhelpful responses to people who stammer are compared and commented upon.
Finally, positive role models are provided through a film clip by a teacher who stammers and the voices of some of the children on my caseload.
It was launched in March 2019 just as Covid-19 hit the UK and the country went into lockdown. The eLearning become a valuable therapy and teaching tool to share with education staff,and speech and language therapists, in Bradford and nationally and hopefully beyond.
Initial feedback has been positive and plentiful. Colleagues have commented on engaging graphics and personal narratives, clear and accessible content and the non stigmatised and non medicalised language used throughout. A doctor who stammers described it as, “a unique and valuable resource. I can’t think of anything else like it online.
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