Teens

VIDEO: Parker Mantell’s viral commencement speech inspires millions

Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”
— Parker Mantell

College grad Parker Mantell delivered wisdom beyond his years and went viral as an eloquent and inspiring Indiana University commencement speaker (who stutters). Parker is a friend and an outstanding citizen - and he continues to pursue his path in the world of politics. I met Parker at the National Stuttering Association conference and the impact of perseverance and insight he left me with then, still remain today.

His spoken words ring true today, as they did in 2014 by his commencement! Watch the video below for the full clip:

“As a person who stutters, I can be no more certain that, in this room and in this hall, are thousands of people who far more talented at public speaking than I am.
At the same time, I can be no more certain that the message I have to share is one that must be heard.”
— Parker Mantell
 
 

PODCAST with Parker

Listen to Stuttertalk podcast with Parker Mantell.
For StutterTalk page click here.


TED TALK

“Boldly breaking through barriers not only opens doors for you, but it opens doors for others. Parker Mantell talks through how people in history, working through their challenges, empowered him to work through his stutter. He challenges the audience to do the same for the next generation.” (TedTalk, description)

 
Uri Schneider and Parker Mantell  National Stuttering Association Conference

Uri Schneider and Parker Mantell
National Stuttering Association Conference

 

VIDEO: Communication Courage and Artistic Expression (Rebecca Klein)

Although my words still get stuck, my heart no longer burns with the pain of feeling different. I am free.
— Rebecca Klein (spoken words)

She stutters when she speaks, but not when she sings. What is going on in that beautiful mind?Watch and see - and LISTEN - to Rebecca.

Rebecca is an incredibly dignified, courageous and articulate woman. We are sure you will agree after you hear what she has to say (and sing.) She uses her voice to express vivid images and powerful emotions - struggle and pain as well as friendship and acceptance. Likely, you will find yourself full of emotion as you watch and listen to Rebecca. We encourage you to focus on the message of her words as she demonstrates poise and poetry to express herself.
Then, wait for (or skip to 8:14) the moment Rebecca transitions from delivering spoken words as she stands behind a lectern, and switches to sit on a stool in center stage with a guitar and singing sweet song (written, composed and performed by the one and only, Rebecca Klein.)

I now realize I have choices when I open my mouth.
I can stutter freely.
I can use speech tools.
And I can choose not to talk.
I am no longer confined to the jail cell of an unspoken life.
— Rebecca Klein (spoken words)
 
 

Gala Performance at SAY: The Stuttering Association For The Young, April 16th, 2012. SAY (previously known as Our Time) is an artistic home for young people who stutter. For more information go to http://www.say.org/ (See lyrics below.)

 
My words were fisherman lost at sea. Navigating the vast ocean of my mind. Desperate to find a home.
— Rebecca Klein (spoken words)
 
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“Ticking Clock”

Step right up to the center of the stage

Tell me what’s your name

It looks like you’ve been battered, you’ve been bruised

By the way you talk

But don’t mind the ticking clock

Just one more abusive thought

To keep me up at night

FocusING on the details of your life

Tell me what’s it like

To be alone where no one knows the ache

Of a thousand locks

‘Cause sometimes this ticking clock

Like a time bomb, it just goes off

And I know you’ve got so much to say

So let them rain

‘Cause you fill me up with your voice

They’re all the same

But us, we’ve got a choice

To step right up to the center of a stage

And say our names

I know we’re all battered, we’re all bruised

By the way we talk

But don’t mind the ticking clock

Hung there, on the wall

‘Cause I know it can’t be stopped

But our words are much more than thoughts
— Rebecca Klein (Lyrics)

The Gift of Listening

Kids talk more when we listen to them.
— Dr. Phil Schneider
 
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All of us want to raise confident kids.

The kids who will grow-up to be secure adults, with healthy relationships and meaningful lives.

It starts EARLY and it's FREE.

We can teach our kids how much they matter, when we listen to what they say. We don't have to agree, and we don't have to meet their demands - but when we turn to kids to listen to their words, we send them a powerful message. We show them how much they matter, and how much we value their communication with us. If we do this, we can "keep kids talking" and we can plant values of self-esteem and self-expression.


These values, planted early and often, can spring into big kids, and young adults with self-worth. So they know that stutter or no stutter, they are intrinsically worthwhile. The world will listen to what they have to say and value it. We do that by showing them that WE listen and WE care and value what they say. This will build their self-esteem and their courage.

Two principles:

1- Good listening is good loving. We hear them and acknowledge that we WANT to hear what they have to say.

2- We need to work on honoring the essence of the message our children are putting out to us. Stuttering is the surface. Beneath that, they want to connect to us and share their experiences with us. We need to honor that so they always feel comfortable speaking with us.


Click below to listen to the podcast - with Peter Reitzes of Stuttertalk.com

 

Check out our Instagram @schneiderspeech for more!

 
 

3 Tips for Active Listening

3 Tips for Active Listening (between adults and kids)

1. Get down to the child's level, shoulder-to-shoulder. Sit down and meet them at eye level.

2. Ask yourself - 'How much am I talking here?’ Optimal balance is 50/50. This way we do half the talking and the child does half the talking

3. We need to start to think about talking with the language complexity that matches the child. Talk about trains, bugs, whatever they want! 

I would like to recommend the book, ‘How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk’, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. In this book, you'll see cartoon illustrations and chapters that really talk about a lot of what I’ve just talked about. A second book I would recommend, is the book called, ‘Brain Rules for Babies’, by John J. Medina. It's written in a way that's very easy to consume, but it's written by a scientist, someone I recommend and really respect. 

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VIDEO: Distinctions Between Stuttering Therapy for Children and Adults

Click the image above to play our video

The therapy has to be fit for the person you’re working with

approach for pre-schoolers who stutter

  • Stuttering for preschool children is often just a blip and may resolve on its own.

  • Not a lot of stigma, or judgment; very matter of fact

  • Focused primarily on physical behaviors of stuttering

  • Focus on supporting parents and empowering them to help their children

transition from pre-school to school-age and beyond

  • At some point, in the early school years, children begin to compare themselves to others

    ‘My hair is different’,

    My body image is not the same as everyone else’,

    ‘My skin color isn't the same’

 
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  • The “non-physical”/emotional component of stuttering is introduced

As we move into the school-age, teen, and adult years, we have to think about how the person may be faced with thoughts and feelings around stuttering, and how that affects their overall experience in life and self-image.

Joseph Sheehan’s Analogy of the Iceberg

We think about how each person experiences the “physical” vs. “non-physical” components of stuttering to determine what therapy approach is best:

  • How much of the work is above the surface?

    • Behaviors we can hear or see like a stutter, or a body movement

  • What's beneath the surface?

    • Emotions and thoughts we often can't see, both positive and negative; shame, guilt, confidence, acceptance

 
 

Based on the person, their developmental stage, along with where their “work” primarily lies (above or below the iceberg), we can decide how much of the work will be focused on physical strategies vs. non-physical strategies.

Uri Schneider, Co-Director Schneider Speech

VIDEO: What to do When a Parent Wants Therapy But a Child Does Not

Click the video above to start watching!

Let’s review!

What to do when a parent wants therapy but a child does not?

  1. Ask yourself: What's the root of the problem?

    • Thinking about what the child's concerns are and helping to alleviate them can be a big step forward.

  2. Talk about it in a different way

    • Present therapy in a new light! For example:

“Mommy and daddy noticed that sometimes your words are getting stuck. We love you and we found someone who knows a lot about kids whose words get stuck and we want to get some help, some tips, some advice on how we can do the best we can for you. Would you like to come?” 

 
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3. Respect them

  • As they get older, they start to own shares of their life. Allow the child's voice to be heard, even if it's not what we wish to hear.


Now how about this...

‘How do you work with children who might not want to be in therapy?’ 

1. Learn what's troubling them

  • If a child is going through something significant in their life, like a stutter, learn what it is and what it's not. Let them know help exists.

2. Give them an invitation

  • Give a child an opportunity and an invitation. It can be helpful to present therapy as a project: “Would you be interested in a little project? We'll meet for three times and learn a little bit more about this whole speech thing.”

Uri Schneider, Co-Director Schneider Speech

VIDEO: It's OK to Talk About Stuttering

Click the video above to start watching!

Here’s a recap of our video!

Talking about stuttering with your teen can be challenging, but it needs to happen! Read below for some tips on approaching this sensitive topic in a safe and dignified way.

1. Don't ignore the elephant in the room!

  • The worst thing to do is to pretend the stuttering is not there. That sends a message (and transmits a value/judgement) that this way of talking is a "no-no," taboo, we don't talk about it.

 
@Schneiderspeech on Instagram

@Schneiderspeech on Instagram

 

2. Talk about it, in a way that is respectful, dignified and nuanced

  • Use descriptive language - not judgmental language.

  • If we can use words that are descriptive and just acknowledge what it is, we can talk about stuttering in a respectful and sensitive manner

    i.e.: “It must be hard sometimes, would you like to find some ways to learn how to make it easier to talk about it?” 

  • Being insensitive can lead to negative outcomes including poor self-image, reduced confidence and ultimately, a young person who retreats into a safer shell of silence.

Uri Schneider, Co-Director Schneider Speech

PODCAST: Building Relationships in Stuttering Treatment

What is the importance of “building a relationship” (between therapist and client) in stuttering therapy?

Lee Caggiano (Friends) and Phil Schneider join Peter Reitzes (Stuttertalk) to discuss the ins-and-outs of building relationships in stuttering treatment.

Check out more StutterTalk podcasts featuring Phil!

Visit our own podcast page here

Phil Schneider

Phil Schneider

Peter Reitzes

Peter Reitzes

Speech Therapy 2.0

Let’s get personal. Yesterday, I met with 4 clients on three continents. Technology is amazing!
But the most invigorating moments aren’t generated by tech.

The great moments are more often the subtle ones, face to face, one on one.
I want to invite you in, to appreciate the subtlety of my day yesterday.


I met an 18 year old young man who is struggling with his speech. As a result, he is starting to avoid conversations, acting shy and worrying about his future employability.

I asked him, what was most helpful in our meeting today?
He said: "I thought no-one would understand. I thought it was just me."
He appreciated the understanding I afforded to him. And in our meeting, I had the fortune to introduce him to a friend of mine, another young man who stutters. And that friend shared his own journey which resonated with this 18 year old!

I met another new client, a college-age young woman who is almost unintelligible. She lives the definition of resilience, but her deepest wish is the ability to speak for herself, and claim the independence she craves. And one of the keys to unlock her independence is her ability to speak for herself, and to be understood.


You see, what strikes me is the subtlety of these two meetings - two different people with different circumstances... they both come for "speech therapy." But what they really need isn't "speech therapy." "Put your tongue here..." "Slow down..." "Take a deep breath..."

What they want is:

[1] To be heard and to be understood - without judgement or whitewashing the real speech struggles. To be afforded the opportunity to own and wrote their own story. Often with the support of family, friends and sometimes... abcaring professional too.

[2] Real life change - the ability to communicate with greater success and more ease! In real life; not only in the speech therapy office. To be able to order food, enjoy friendships, meet new people, and pursue a career.


What these clients need (and deserve) is a guide. A speech-language pathologist, with a caring heart, problem solving mind, and championing spirit to unleash their fullest potential... and give them the greatest gift! An incubator for their improvement, growth and increasing independence!

This is what we do at Schneider Speech with each of our clients.
Younger kids, teens, adults and parents!

I can tell you, it's effortful and exhausting, even though it may appear fluid and informal.
That's because it's not your grandma's speech therapy.
It's speech-language therapy 2.0
Speech-language therapy with soul.
As we have learned from our teachers, clients mentors - first and foremost, Dr. Phil Schneider.

We feel privileged to do this every day with each of our clients.

If you know someone looking for this kind of help, let them know we're here.
Kew Gardens Hills, Queens,
Roslyn, Long Island
Cedarhurst, Long Island
Flatbush, Brooklyn
Upper West Side, Manhattan
and
Riverdale, Bronx

VIDEO: Stop Bullying with George Springer

George Springer has earned the MVP award in Major League Baseball - but he's also earned our respect for his consistent courage as an articulate spokesman and stand-out role-model for kids and young people who stutter.

 
 

Reigning World Series MVP George Springer joins the Shred Hate campaign to stop bullying and encourage young fans to "Choose Kindness"

 
I want kids to be themselves. And enjoy their lives.
— George Springer
 

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.

 

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.

 

 

IMAGES: National Stuttering Association Convention 2018 @Chicago

An incredible conference and gorgeous city! 

We learned a lot more about ACT with our friend Katie Gore and her team, and lots of other friends.  Definitely a HIGHLIGHT running 10k (me) and rollerblading (dad/Phil) on the boardwalk of Lake Michigan!

 
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We enjoyed seeing so many friends - and made new ones. 

But MOST OF ALL, it is incredible to see the transformative experience for our clients who came, and so many families, kids, teens and adults.  The conference is an oasis, a haven, a community of listening, love and acceptance.  

To be honest, we also gain so much from the experience.  We bask in the environment of people connecting and "transcending" differences that don't make a difference.  And we are encouraged to hear the stories of triumph, from people we know.  And probably the most valuable part is LEARNING from other professionals and from people who stutter themselves.

Nothing in any textbook or any classroom can compare to the lessons learned by spending time with people who live with stuttering.  Really LIVE!

Next year - we hope to see you there!  @NSA Convention in Ft Lauderdale, FL

NEW: Group therapy - just for teens who stutter 😉


ONE-TIME “TASTER” MEETING - 8-9pm, Tuesday October 9

Open to all teens who stutter.

(Current and past clients are welcome too.)

DETAILS:
Fee: $75
Time: 8:00-9:00pm
Tuesday October 9, 2018
Location: 1025 Northern, Boulevard, Roslyn, NY

Scroll down more info, and RSVP button below “APPLY HERE”.


monthly group THERAPY for teens who stutter

Fees made affordable.

Scheduling made easy.

Location made local.

Change made possible.
 

Details: How

  • Monthly meeting

  • Hosted by professional stuttering specialist

  • Small group of teens who stutter - providing peer-support, network, community

  • Our locations: Queens, Roslyn, Cedarhurst

  • Renewable monthly fee paid for 6 months series

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Why group therapy for teens who stutter?  

Increase the impact and value for your teen, combining TWO proven methods to help teens:

[Professional Guidance] + [Group Peer Support]

 

What's in it for teens?

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

We look forward to hearing from you,
Uri and Joy

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VIDEO: Top 5 Ways Talk About Stuttering

 

Click the video above to start watching!

 
Contrary to popular beliefs,
the act of talking about stuttering is often liberating
- not traumatic. 
— Uri Schneider

In this video, we learn about a family of school-age child who stutters, working together to find descriptive language - as opposed to judgmental language (i.e. good/bad) - to talk about stuttering.


 Top 5 Words to Talk About "Stuttering"

  • sticky

  • bumpy

  • effortful

  • tense

  • pressed

* NOTICE: Can you see the descriptive language - and the absence of judgemental language?
** Also, try to use words to describe what it is (i.e. "tense"); and not what it's not (i.e. "not easy"). 
You can see how it gets confusing using negatives ;-)


Top 5 Words TO TALK ABOUT "FLUENCY"

  • gliding

  • smooth

  • easy

  • fluid

  • flow

  • effortless

* NOTICE: These words are centered on the experience of the speaker / talker; how it feels for the speaker (i.e. sticky, easy).   As opposed to focusing exclusively on how it is perceived by the listener (ie. stuttering or fluent).


 
 
 

EXERCISE: Build YOUR OWN (FAMILY) "vocabulary"

TIPS: Try with your family

  • Keeping it light-hearted (even fun) thinking of words to describe speech (both "stuttering" and "fluency")

  • Brainstorm altogether, or see if each person can create their own list and then share with each other.

  • See who can come up with the most words!

  • Put the words in a notebook, on your phone notepad or on the fridge; and begin to use these words when talking about speech.  You can even discuss sharing "your personalized vocabulary" with therapists, teachers, family.

 

Let us know:

What words are in "your stuttering vocabulary"?

 


VIDEO: How To Talk To Kids About Speech Therapy

 
 

Watch our video!

If we were talking to an adult, we would (hopefully) consider their experiences, their feelings, their concerns...  We would consider whether they like surprises, or like to be informed in advance; whether they prefer to skip the details, or prefer to know exactly what to expect.

We need to think about children as young people.
— heard from Taro Alexander, SAY

Speech therapy is not part of the everyday routine.  It's not like the universal daily ritual (wrestle) of brushing teeth. 

Let's be honest, speech therapy is unusual.  It's different.  And it's often unclear what it is, what it looks like and how it works.

So, if you're a parent or a therapist, ask yourself these questions, BEFORE speaking to your child.  Of course you might discuss some of these questions WITH your child. 
And you might speak with the professional IN ADVANCE of your appointment - so everyone is on-the-same-page.
And this conversation should be ongoing, checking-in during the first meeting and subsequent appointments, to ensure the "young person" is taken into account.

 
 

What's going through the child's mind?

The example I think of is something I heard from Dr. Carol Westby, one of giants in in research and clinical speech-language pathology.  She contributed loads of research, assessments and more to show us how children learn through play

Now, for example, if you think about how children learn to swim, children don't learn how to swim when they're terrified of/in the water.  They learn how to swim only after they're comfortable to "splish splash" and fool-around in the water. 

So, what that means for us is this: children don't learn when they're terrified.  None of us do. 
We may memorize something out of fear, we may be able to spit it back on a test, but we're not really learning, long-term, deep learning.  Long-term, deep, learning happens when you feel safe.  Learning and therapy for that matter, happens when you feel interested and curious; when you feel secure; when you feel there's someone on the other side that has something to offer you.  When you feel that other person "gets you," responds to you and can enlighten you. 

Children don’t learn when they’re terrified. 
None of us do. 
Our brains learn best, when they feel safe, even playful.
— Uri Schneider

WORDS THAT TURN-OFF:

  • homework

  • therapy

  • job

  • test

 

WORDS THAT TURN-ON:

  • project

  • adventure

  • fun

These are ways to create a bridge, to create trust, and once you do that, you can have a very productive relationship, and you can really work on very sensitive things. 

 

SUMMARY TIPS:

I think that's the way to set-up "how we talk about therapy."  Whether it's a young child, or an older child, or a teen, or an adult, we should make sure to make it relevant; make sure to address points of concern (and even resistance), and make it matter of fact, and description not judgmental.

If we prepare well, then we can engage in therapy with the confidence that we want to have - and assured that our kids will have the confidence they crave.  After all, we all deserve to feel safe and secure.

 

Uri Schneider, Co-Director Schneider Speech

VIDEO: Practical Tips Better Than Telling Kids to "Slow Down"

 
 

Check out our video here!

In summary:

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

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

 
 

Give these tips a try.

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