Sunday, May 08, 2011

National Stuttering Awareness Week -- May 9 - 14, 2011

This week begins National Stuttering Awareness Week.  If you've read my blog, you know that my son, Nate, stutters.  It does not define him, but it is obviously a part of him.  It's a characteristic that he cannot hide, unless he chooses not to speak -- and he has never chosen not to speak!

Around 1% of the population stutters, which is about three million people in the US.  That seems like a big number, until you realize that there are over 300 million people in the US.

Nate and our family are becoming advocates for the stuttering population.  The videos I've made and posted of Nate speaking have become learning tools for people all over the country.  I have received emails from professors, speech & language students, parents of stutterers and those who stutter sharing their stories and thanking Nate for sharing the information.  His presentation video about stuttering has been shared with countless students who stutter, as well as being used in presentations made by professors and SLP's.

I have been extremely fortunate as a blogger to work with a number of companies that have allowed us to review new products. All of my children enjoy making video reviews, and Nate is no exception.  He has never shied away from the chance to talk on camera, even though he stutters.  He has had the opportunity to connect with many others through these videos and I am very proud of him.

We have never treated his stutter like something bad -- it has always just been a part of him.  We have encouraged him to use the tools he learns to help control his stutter, but we know that he will probably always stutter.  That is just fine!

If you know someone who stutters, the best advice I can offer is to be patient and let them finish their sentences.  It's not that they can't remember the words they want to use, it's that the words they want to use are stuck and have a hard time being articulated. 

I'll be sharing more this week about stuttering and Nate, so stop back by!

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