I have stuttered all my life. In many ways it has influenced and even determined the course of my life. My parents told me that I didn’t talk until I was almost four years old and then I had to be taught how to talk. I have no recollection of this. Looking back I realize my parents acted as though I didn’t have a problem with my speech and it was something that was seldom, if ever, talked about. They never discussed my stuttering with me except when there was an incident which caused a problem.
When I was seven or eight years old my parents sent me to a place in Washington DC, where we lived at the time, which helped people with a speech problem. I remembered it as a horrid experience. The other clients were adults with which I took “exercise” lessons. A number had some kind of physical deformity and they looked to me like alien freaks and they scared me. I have since learned that some people regard all of us who stutter as freaks. I only attended several of these “classes” and my parents never made any further serious efforts to help me with my problem. Speech pathology and therapy have vastly improved since then and there are very good resources to help those who stutter and their families.
There are two basic questions which people who stutter have:
Why do I stutter?
For those without a serious physical problem the widely accepted answer is breathing. Consider this – I have never heard of a person who stutters when they sing. You can’t sing if you don’t properly control your breathing.
Is there a way to cure stuttering?
The answer is there are organizations which have been effective in curing the stuttering problem in a great majority of clients. Is there a guaranteed treatment to cure stuttering? No.
There are several resources which can be of great help to those who stutter or have children who stutter.
The Stuttering Foundation of America
The Stuttering Foundation has resources to help parents who have children of all ages who stutter, adults who stutter, teachers, speech pathologist, physicians and employers.
1805 Moriah Woods Blvd., Suite 3
P.O. Box 11749
Memphis, TN 38111-0749
Phone: (800) 992-9392 or (901) 761-0343
Fax: (901) 761-0484
Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI)
Hollins is world renown for its twelve day therapy session which has a long record of success in helping stutters. Please visit their website to see what they have accomplished and for material on HCRI and its program and graduates.
7851 Enon Drive
Roanoke, VA 24019