Questions for PWS

Hello, my name is Kendall Steer! I am a SLP undergraduate student in Ohio. I have several questions for you all. 

What was the moment that you realized that you were more than your stutter? 

Do you believe that speech therapy had a positive affect? 

What advice do you have for parents of a child that stutters? 

Thank you very much! 

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Questions for PWS — 2 Comments

  1. For parents : Focus you effort on the acceptation of stuttering + happiness, not on fluency. My parents dedicated their life so that I could feel better, but for 15 years, we focused on fluency. Now they help me on my well-being

    More than my stutter : When in my first year of college, I managed to be first of my class whereas 1/3 of my exam were speaking exam. Now, It allows me to go from challenge to challenge (speaking infront of 400 people, running a marathon haha)

    Speech therapy : Yes, my last two SLPs focused on my acceptation of stuttering. I was somebody ashamed of my stutter, every block made me want to stutter less. But, it is ok to stutter. They also taught me some techniques (fluency and relaxation) so that I can better understand my stutter and alleviate the pressure when needed

  2. Such great questions, Kendall!

    The answer to your first and your second question is in my paper in this year’s ISAD conference.
    https://isad.isastutter.org/isad-2020/papers-presented-by/stories-and-experiences-with-stuttering-by-pws/there-are-no-failures-just-life-lessons-anita-blom/

    As stuttering was taboo in my family, they didn’t take me to an SLP until in my late teens, and I was unlucky to get an SLP who didn’t understand stuttering and blamed me for my stutter. But I met the most amazing therapists later in life, therapists I would go to in an instant if I needed one today. But I managed to be happy where I am, so am not looking for help. 🙂

    My advice to parents is to make your child talk your first priority. I know your child’s pain and struggles are your pain and struggles, but to focus on fluency might not be the key to a happy life. Also fluent people have their insecurities and struggles. If a child is struggling, find a therapist who sees the child and has focus on keeping the child talking. For some it’s some exercises, for others it’s to make the child feel ok about himself. To see his skills, to know he’s just as worthy as anyone else, and to find hobbies that helps him to make friends. Also to give him the tools to stand up for himself, simple answers in case people ask questions, and even answers when kids (and others) are imitating or bully “You can imitate, but you’ll never be as good as me”. The bookles “I just stutter” is one of my favorites to help the child to find the words.

    Also to help the child to find moments where he has all the attention, especially when there are siblings. Take your child to children camps. There the child can meet others and feel included, and the parents can meet other parents, adults who stutter and SLPs, and realize they share the same questions, fears and victories.

    Also help parents to learn about their children’s rights, teach them as much as your can about stuttering, so that they can be their child’s advocate. Don’t accept teachers who tell you stuttering is not a problem. It’s your child who decides if there’s a problem or not.

    And last but not least. I once met a parents at a children camp. She cried. I asked her why and she told me she expected to get a cure for her child, but meeting me, an adult who stutters, took her hopes away. I asked her if she thought I was miserable. 😉 We talked about what life as a PWS can look like, with hurdles and victories, just like any person, just with different hurdles. So to make sure the child is happy, confident and talking your ears off, no matter how. 🙂

    Stay safe and keep them talking

    Anita

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