Stuttering Book Worms: Top 10 Books We Recommend

People often ask us for the best books we recommend on the topic of stuttering.  So we put together a list of books. 

In these books, you will find candid and wide-ranging perspectives. 

We hand-picked them, and we know and respect several of the the authors.  In fact, several are our colleagues and friends! 

To be honest, this list is LESS about stuttering, and MORE about the experience of living as a person who stutters.  The real struggle and the triumphs of true transcendence.

While we can assure you that not every book is right for you, you will find something that offers insight, support and inspiration. 

If you find something that interests you, go further!

We encourage you to contact the authors, as many of them are reachable via contact information in the book, or online.

And we'd be interested to hear from you as well.  Contact us.

 

Now without further adieu, here is our top 10:
(Titles and authors are clickable links)

 

1) Out With It: How Stuttering Helped Me Find My Voice, by Katherine Preston (2014)

2) The Gift of Stuttering - Confronting Life's Challenges: A Personal Journey by Moe Mernick (2016)

3) Stuttering: Inspiring Stories and Professional Wisdom by Peter Reitzes (2014)

4) Living with Stuttering by Kenneth O. St.Louis

5) Solo Ascent by Matthew LaRue (2014)

6) V-V-Voice: A Stutterer's Odyssey by Scott Damian (2013)

7) Jaguar: One Man's Struggle To Establish The World's First Jaguar Preserve by Alan Rabinowitz (2000)

and #8 and #9 for kids!

8) A Boy and A Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz (2014)

9) Paperboy by Vince Vawter, (2013) and Copyboy by Vince Vawter, (2018)

 

Now, those are the top 9.  As for #10.  #10 is the most impressive book yet!

10) Your story. 
The next chapter of your journey!

 

Stay tuned for collection of Stuttering: Top 10 Films

 

 

We also want to include these free e-books - courtesy of and thanks to Stuttering Foundation of America.

Advice to Those Who Stutter by 28 speech therapists who stutter themselves.

Trouble at Recess by Jamie (8 year old girl who stutters)

Sometimes I Just Stutter by Eelco de Geus (for ages 7-12)

Self-Therapy for the Stutterer by Malcolm Fraser

The Child Who Stutters: To the Pediatrician by Barry Guitar and Edward G. Conture

Stuttering: Straight Talk for Teachers

Stuttering: Its Nature and Management by Courtney Stromsta, Ph.D.

The Girl Who Stutters by Mia J., Rebecca D., and Casey W. (school-age girls who stutter)

Pages 77-81 from Stuttering: Successes and Failures by Joseph Sheehan

The Stuttering Little Ballet Boy by Sohel Bagai

A tribute to Dr. Alan Rabinowitz - The boy and his jaguars

We remember our friend, Alan Rabinowitz (December 31, 1953 – August 5, 2018).

This page provides a window into the different facets of his life, and collects some of the opportunities we shared with Alan, and more. 

We will miss Alan.  And the world will miss Alan.

Through these images, podcasts and films, his legacy will live on.


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You can do two things without stuttering. One of them is sing. The other is to talk to animals.
— Alan Rabinowitz

Alan was our dear friend. 

He was a gentle giant, a strong man who preferred giving than taking, and preferred advocating for others rather than advancing his own self-interests. 

In adulthood, Alan became a strong voice.  He was a pioneering advocate for worldwide conservation of big cats (founder and president of Panthera); an ambassador for people who stutter (spokesman for Stuttering Foundation of America); and a role model for many kids, young adults who stutter.  He was a dear friend, and an intensely private and generous soul.

But his early childhood looked quite different than the strong shouldered spokesman and fearless advocate.  As a shy kid from the Rockaways, his stutter led him to hide in shame. It also led him to make a promise to the big cats at the Bronx Zoo. That promise changed his life - and the lives of big cats around the world as well as thousands of young people who stutter, inspired by Alan. 


 

Alan was featured in our film, Transcending Stuttering.
His messages resonate through the film, and especially at:
18:39 Hitting Rock Bottom
21:04 Hope & Wisdom
25:24 Perspective: Then & Now

 

WATCH: Exclusive extra-footage of Alan's story

From our documentary film, Transcending Stuttering: The Inside Story.


Stuttering is a gift.
The gift of living with integrity, with strength and with courage, no matter what the world throws at you.
— Alan Rabinowitz

WATCH: Some of Alan's best films, TV and stories

WATCH: This gripping award-winning Canon short-film 'Man and Beast' depicts Alan's journey.

"60 Minutes" with Bob Simon, searches Brazilian jungle for the most elusive of all of nature's big cats, the jaguar. With Alan Rabinowitz.

Dr. Alan Rabinowitz and the scientists @Panthera embark on a race against time #JourneyoftheJaguar

Zoologist Alan Rabinowitz almost makes Stephen Colbert cry with the story of how he was inspired to save big cats (Comedy Central).


LISTEN to Alan the storyteller

WATCH: Alan tell this very personal story from the canyons of the Himalayas.
Touches on various topics including stuttering, marriage, fatherhood and life.


READ Alan the author.

Sparking Conversation through Literacy

Shared reading time is a great opportunity to sit-down with your child to have some good quality time. Of course, every time you read with your child you are working on strengthening their reading skills but it also provides an opportunity to discuss the story and create text-to-life connections.

Talking about stuttering with your child can feel overwhelming. As a caregiver, you may have a lot of your own questions and emotions about stuttering and/or having a conversation about stuttering.  You are not alone.  Using a book to facilitate the conversation may give you more clarity - making the experience easier for the both of you and (bonus!) you may even have some fun along the way. 

Here is a list of books that may help start the conversation:

“Steggie’s Stutter” by: Jack Hughes

 “Stuttering Stan Takes a Stand” by: Artie Knapp or  access this story for free on Youtube

“Sophie’s Stutter” by: Ingrid Bruske

“Gabriela (American Girl)” by: Teresa E. Harris

 
 

Happy Reading!

Tiffany Marino, associate speech-language pathologist, Schneider Speech

A Stuttering Transformation - Teen Tells Her Own Story

My old self:

I am a very quiet girl.  Usually I prefer to sit on the side and not draw too much attention.  Speaking is my fear.  I will do anything to avoid it; whether it's running out of the room or just acting as if I don't know the answer to the question.  Most of my friends know me as the girl who doesn't speak in class.  Only my close friends have really heard me talk. 

I don't like that people see me this way, but I guess it's better than the alternative - stuttering

Ever since I began to speak I've had a stutter. My earliest memory of stuttering is in the 3rd grade, that's when I asked my parents to go to a speech therapist for the first time. I always thought of my stutter as something to be embarrassed of, to be ashamed of.  I thought of it as a disability.  Instead of facing my stutter and making the best of it, I tried to hide it and run away from it.

 
 

 

My new self:

I may not be the loudest or most talkative girl in the world, but I'm no longer afraid to speak.

It's not that the stutter disappeared, I just think of it in a completely different way.  I learned to see my stutter as a part of me, and to embrace it.  God only challenges us with challenges we are able to face, and if God gave me a stutter then I must be able to face it.

I realized that my stutter makes me unique, it makes me a more patient person and it teaches me the value of words. Over the past few years I've gone through major changes in my life and now I'm happy to say that: I have spoken in front of my class; I took an oral exam and scored very well on it; I make phone calls whenever I want to; and I even got a job which requires speaking to customers and co-workers all the time.

 

My journey to my new self:

As I mentioned, over the past few years I've gone through big changes that completely turned my life around in such a positive way.  This process started when I first met Uri from Schneider Speech in 9th grade.  I came to Uri as my old self and left just I started to reach my new self.

On my way towards my new self, I endured several setbacks alongside many victories.
I needed to be patient with myself;
and I also needed my speech therapist to be patient with me as well. 
— Devora

Pushing me too far, too soon, was a terrible mistake. 
Whether it was my speech therapist, my friends, my family or my teachers. Over the years I've had teachers who tried to force me to speak in class and on the other hand teachers who respected my request not to be called on.  I definitely had a much better relationship with the teachers who respected my silence than with the teachers who did not.  The teachers who gave me my space were in fact the ones who ended up hearing me speak more in class voluntarily.

Surprisingly, the teachers who gave me my space, were the ones who ended up hearing me speak more in class.

Another thing that was not helpful during those years was my own constant desire to cure my stutter.  Because I was so focused on getting rid of the stutter, I didn't give myself the opportunity to learn to accept it and live happily with it.  In the back of my mind I knew that I was probably going to have a stutter for the rest of my life but I wasn't willing to give up. The more I tried to get rid of the stutter the more upsetting it was every time I wasn't able to speak fluently.  

I felt like a failure. But once I accepted myself with the stutter and decided I won't let it get in my way, the stutter actually got significantly better and bothered me a lot less.

As a teenager going to speech therapy, patience was the key to my transformation. I needed to be patient with myself, and I needed my speech therapist to be patient with me as well.  Every big change I went through was made up of a lot of small changes that could not all happen at once.

When I first met Uri I remember telling him "I will never call to order pizza" and "I will never speak in front of my class."  Uri assured me, over and over again, that one day, I could do all those things.  Even though I didn't believe him, something inside me wanted to prove him right and prove me wrong.

My therapist's belief in me was more than I had in myself.  I think that belief was a big part of my change.

My last meeting with Uri was at the end of 10th grade. I didn't think it would be my last meeting, I was sure I would be back again when things got hard. But once I stopped going to speech therapy I started to really think about everything that happened during our meetings.

The more time passed the more I saw myself change. I became less afraid of stuttering and slowly started to do the things I told Uri I would never do. The more time passed the more I saw myself change. I became less afraid of stuttering and slowly started to do the things I told Uri I would never do.

I was a much stronger person and when things got a little hard I didn't even feel the need to go back to speech therapy, because I was able to handle it myself.

It turns out I proved myself wrong.  He was right.  I could and would do so many of the things I said "I never could..."  And I'm so happy I did.

 

Devora Levi is 18 years old.  She lives in Israel and will be starting her national service this coming year.

 

NEW: Group therapy - just for teens who stutter 😉

monthly group THERAPY for teens who stutter.

Schneider Speech locations: Queens, Roslyn, Cedarhurst, Brooklyn, Manhattan

Led by a professional stuttering specialist.
Supported by other teens who stutter.

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How can group therapy help your teeN?

We help teens address the physical, cognitive and emotional components of stuttering.  

  • Understand your speech and your stuttering

  • Learn "traditional" speech therapy techniques and discover what works best for you

  • Face your fears and expand your "comfort-zone"

  • Share your thoughts and practice communication skills in a safe space

 


Groups forming now for Fall 2018, with a reduced introductory rate.


Contact us.  
We’ll set-up a time to talk.


We look forward to hearing from you,
Uri and Joy

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Bullying: Zero-Tolerance

 
 

Nothing gets me more upset, than when I hear kids are being bullied.

When it comes to bullying I think there are three important questions:

  1. What is bullying and what is just "kids being kids"?
  2. Where and when does it happen? 
  3. What can we do about it? 

 

1. What is bullying and what is just "kids being kids"?

First of all bullying is different than teasing and it's different than abuse. The definitions are shifting with time, but what is definite about bullying is that it's the repetitive targeting of an individual or individuals with some behavior that makes them feel uncomfortable.

It could be something as "innocent" as walking past a student in the aisle, and giving them a little elbow.... over and over and over.  That's bullying.  It could be something as egregious as inappropriate touching, name-calling and/or teasing in a way that relentlessly and repetitively focuses on the same target over time.  That's also bullying. 

 
 

2. Where and when does bullying happen

Most often, the bully knows how to slip-in, most often targeting kids in the in-between moments; transitions between classes, recess, lunchtime, dismissal,  the bathroom, on the bus, during unsupervised times, and unfortunately, bullies don't keep it reserved for school.  Bullying occurs in our communities, in the park, in synagogues, churches, and mosques.  And of course, it can occur online in the shadows of social media.

 

3. What to do about bullying?

It's tricky. 

OPTION A: Empower the bullied
Too often we turn to the targeted kids - the ones being "bullied" - and we put the onus of responsibility on them.  We tell our kids to fight back, speak-up for themselves, ignore... But, often the bullied kids (especially the ones with communication challenges) can't do it.  If they could speak-up for themselves, they would.  Sometimes, facing a bully can be legitimately challenging, scary and ineffective.  And sometimes, it can be more trouble than it''s worth!

OPTION B: Confront the bully
Often the bully is unresponsive to other adults intervention, and too often, even speaking to the parents of the bully is less-than we wish it would be.

OPTION C: Activating the community - adults and young people together

ZERO TOLERANCE FOR BULLYING MEANS: We all share a common interest to ensure that all children are safe to grow to learn and to flourish.


What is proven to be effective is engaging the responsible adults in that space; whether it's teachers at school or people in your community.  The shared interest is to ensure that all children are in a safe environment, where all children are safe to grow to learn and to flourish.

There is also another overlooked resource against bullying.  That is all the "other kids."  Not the ones who are bullying and not the ones being bullied, but all those kids who are watching it happen day-in and day-out.  By observing this behavior and standing-by passively, these "other kids" are giving permission and even approval to the bully's behavior!

So, if we engage all the students in class, and the young people in our communities to be "good samaritans" then they play an active part in creating a bully-free environment.

All of us are stronger than any one of us.
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3 Practical Tips Better Than Telling Kids to "Slow Down"

 
 

"Don't tell me to slow down."  This was the clever slogan chosen by the National Stuttering Association for a series of 5k races, raising funds for the organization.  fundraising events - 5k races. 

I think when we're talking to people who stutter, especially our own children, we feel uneasy and think we should say something. We pull-out whatever we think would be helpful to them. One of the common ones that's gotten into our minds is "if they would just slow down", "if they would just think about what they have to say and prepare it", "if they would just take a deep breath, and just relax." But if we would think about this advice try practicing it ourselves, we would realize how tedious and effortful it is; because it's hard to communicate freely and communicate effectively while simultaneously do all those things.

The first thing we should do is say less and listen more.

If we want to help people who stutter especially our kids, then the first thing we should do is say less and listen more - turning-up our active listening.  Active listening is all about being present and really listening to what they have to say more than how they say it

 
 

If we want to help them with mechanics, we should say less and do more.  Instead of telling them to do something, we can show them and model it ourselves in our speech communication.  There's something called mirror neurons, and whatever we do is mirrored by the other person in the conversation.  So, if we speak quickly we influence their rate of speech.  If we're anxious we're going to raise their anxiety.   On the other hand, if we consider the impact of this rule of nature, we can use it to our advantage, for the good!

 

TIP #1:  ONLY say things, you would WANT TO hear.

TIP #2:  ONLY suggest doing things you WOULD do yourself.

TIP #3:  model the behavior you wish to see from others

 

Give these tips a try.

They'll probably be more helpful than telling your kids to slow down.

 

How to help young people who stutter for big speeches: Push them or let them pass?

 
 

As adults, public speaking is the #1 fear, worldwide! 
So, how about our young people!?

Rites of passage can create a lot of pressure for kids - and a lot of uncertainty for parents. Sweet-16’s, bar-mitzvahs and bat-mitzvahs, and graduation speeches are all instances in which a child may be expected to speak in front of a crowd.  So the question is: If my child stutters or has a communication problem should I make them give the speech, or should I give them a pass not to give the speech?

This is a really big dilemma and there's no right answer. There's no perfect way, there's no way to be a perfect parent, but there are hundreds of ways to be a good one.

I think the #1 rule of thumb is engaging your child, especially the adolescent and the teen and giving them a voice, giving them some self-determination to choose what they would like to do and deal with what their concerns are.  Too often, as adults, therapists and parents we think we know what young people feel and we forget to just ask them!

Too often, we think we know what young people feel. We forget to just ask them.

When we ask our kids what's on their mind and ask them what would help them - like: would they prefer it this way or that way - we can be so much more relaxed and so much more confident because the decisions we make are informed by what they're really feeling.

In some cases, the best thing we could do is give them the opportunity to choose to pass.  And in another scenario, the best thing we can do is give them the encouragement that they really want, so that they can succeed and shine and communicate effectively.  Perhaps there may even be a third way.

I'm thinking of one pre- bar-mitzvah boy in particular - he was a great kid with a strong stutter.  His parents asked me what they should do. Now, this boy was a talented videographer and instead of giving his speech live and instead of giving a speech at all, he opted to create a montage that included a pre-recorded speech with animation and videos sliding in and out with a musical soundtrack.

And you know what?  No one noticed, remembered or commented about the fact that he stuttered!

The feedback from guests was better than his parents or I could have hoped for!  We we blown away.

"That was by far the most unique, engaging, and creative bar-mitzvah speech I have ever heard." 
 
 

He communicated and presented well enough - and by most measures, even better than average!

 

When we confront the question of whether to push, whether to give a pass, or to find a third option (I am reminded by the lesson taught to me by my young bar-mitzvah friend) remember to engage our young people.

 

TIP #1 Ask them what they feel

TIP #2 Ask them what they're scared of

TIP #3 Ask them what they want to do about it

 

If we do, they'll help us make the best decisions we can!

Uri Schneider, Co-Director Schneider Speech

Nurture kids' self-esteem, and you'll never need to "build their self-esteem"

 
 

Parents often ask what they can do to help build their kids self-esteem.

Self-esteem on the one hand is such an important topic, and on the other hand it's really unclear what it is.  What is "self-esteem"?  As compared to- what is confidence?  What is self-image?  Are they the same, different...

 
 

I'd like to suggest a paradigm shift.  Let's re-think "self-esteem." Instead of being something we build into the child, let's recognize it as an innate gift, included within every newborn child.  Consider this: no baby looks in the mirror and thinks negatively of themselves!  In reality, every baby is born "in-love with themselves" wholly as they are.  At some point later on, experiences and feedback from their environment that can send them messages, and over time those negative/doubtful/critical messages chip-away at what was whole.

Let’s re-think “self-esteem.”
Instead of being something we build into the child, 
let’s recognize it as an innate gift, included within every newborn child.   
 
 

So when we think about self-esteem let's think about what our kids are born with, and how they see themselves. 

If they have differences (a stutter, speech- language-challenges, learning disability, communication challenge, physical anomalies) then the question we ask ourselves should be early and often, as they develop into childhood and adolescence:

TIP#1  HOW can WE amplify the ways they identify themselves with thier unique strengths, talents and characteristics

TIP #2 How can we influence the self-reflection they see when they look in the mirror of life; so their points of difference are not the defining or dominant characteristics

 

Certainly their unique completion of being make them no less and no more than anyone else.

If we can help young people grow-up with a sense of who they are, and what makes them unique - then we can raise them with a nuanced sense of self-esteem.  This sort of self-esteem will lead to confidence and positive self-image through school years, teenage years, young adulthood and beyond - and most valuable of all, will lead them to grow-up as responsible citizens of the world with compassionate and understanding for themselves, and others.