Video

VIDEO: What Is "Word Retrieval"?

Click to start watching

It’s more miraculous that any of us can put a sentence together fluently; then it is surprising that some children have hiccups in their fluency!
— Uri Schneider

See this conceptual slideshow presenting the “speech process”

IDEATION -> KEYWORDS -> SENTENCES -> SAYING IT

(Adapted from our mentor, Dr. Ed Contour)

 
 
 
 

VIDEO: Speech Therapy for the Unmotivated child

 
 

We often hear things like:

"My child is not showing much motivation and seems disinterested - but my husband and I really want him/her to do this."

"I'm concerned about my child's speech and I really want them do the work to get better." 

Here are some things to remember during this confusing time!

  1. Stakeholders - Both parents and children have their own valid concerns!

  2. Kids have the right to decline

  3. Watch carefully

  4. Make it inviting

We have a responsibility to make sure that the visit in the office is going to be engaging and pleasant for them
— Uri Schneider
 
 
We hope these tips help you to decide what's best for your child!
 

VIDEO: Debunking 'one size fits all' therapy

Play our video above on this topic!

Here’s a recap!

For different people, different things are going to be helpful. At Schneider Speech, we don't use the term ‘stuttering modification’ or ‘fluency shaping’, instead it's always based on: what are the client’s needs, what are the client’s goals. We can figure out and custom tailor fit the right therapy plan for them once we identify the following: 

  • what their needs are

  • what their communication spirit is

  • what is the nature of their stuttering

  • what their goals are

  • where they would like to be more free to speak and speak fully and express themselves fully we can figure out and custom tailor fit the right therapy plan for them.

 
Public-Speaking-Training-for-Professionals-in-Chennai-780x405.jpg
 

Here's some general tips about stuttering therapy: 

  • if a technique doesn't work, it's not worth it

  • if a technique is not acceptable if it doesn't sound better than their other way of speaking it's not good enough

  • don' make it robotic - if it's so effortful they can't remember what it was they wanted to say because they're so focused on strategies, IT'S NOT A STRATEGY THAT WORKS.

  • a good therapist, is going to tune into that and make an adjustment, either to change something about the technique or change direction entirely.

Uri Schneider, Co-Director Schneider Speech

VIDEO: Is it time to seek stuttering therapy for my child?

Don’t let anyone tell you “don’t worry.”
You’re a parent, and you have the right to be concerned about your child .
And you have the right to choose what to do.
— Uri Schneider

Things to remember when thinking about seeking speech therapy:

What Type of parent are you?

  • Tolerant Parent

    • Are you able to “watch-and-see” and tolerate allowing some more time, and give your child the opportunity to sort it out themselves?

  • Concerned Parent

    • Are you more concerned, risk-aversive and more comfortable being more proactive rather than applying a more patient approach?

 
 

What ABOUT YOUR CHILD? And They’re Temperament?

  • Is your child reactive and fussy?

  • Is your child easy-going and unbothered?

IF Parents and kids are not concerned…

  • If neither parent, nor the child is concerned - it can be a legitimate option to allowing more time. There is no objective need to rush to therapy sooner than later.
    (In some cases there can be reasons to seek therapy sooner than later", but it’s not always true that “early intervention” is always the best policy.)

  • If you choose to “watch and see,” then put a date on your calendar to follow-up (4-12 weeks later). Something like this: “If by this date, nothing has changed, let’s give therapy a try.”

Click here for a practical infographic - when to seek professional stuttering evaluation for your young child who stutters.

For more - see the video above.

Uri Schneider, Co-Director Schneider Speech

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’

 
img_L2ZtLzgxOS90aHVtYm5haWxzL0NPTl81Mzg1NjAxOTlfTS5qcGcuMzQ3OTMwMDAuanBn_L2ZtLzgxOS90aHVtYm5haWxzL0NPTl81Mzg1NjAxOTlfTS5qcGcuMzQ3OTMwMDIuanBn.jpg
 
  • 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: Is Therapy Right for a Stuttering Three Year Old?

Click the video above to start watching

The Right Way Vs. the Wrong Way

  • There is no right way

  • There is a wrong way, which is to try to do a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution.

  • We may be the professionals and we may be the experts, but we're not the boss. A mother's intuition, a father's intuition is the best knowledge and the best guide in the process.

 
BB_part096_BookChapter013d_v1.png
 

remember what stuttering is

  • Stuttering is

    • a physical issue not an emotionally based issue

    • a neurophysiological issue, which involves the coordination of signals and neurons in the brain setting up the coordination of the speech mechanism

  • Stuttering is NOT

    • a learning disability

    • caused by anxiety

    • caused by parents

 
 

Good Communication Values

  • Plant communication values during moments of opportunity. You don't teach values, you plant them.

  • If we can listen to what the child has to say and practice active listening at the moment that the child is getting stuck, we can send a very powerful message to that young child. And that message is:

“What you have to say is worth listening to, no matter how it comes out. I'm listening to what you have to say more than how you say it”. 

Uri Schneider, Co-Director Schneider Speech

VIDEO: Discovering your child stutters: What next?

Click the video above to start watching

So, you or your child stutters.

Before you consult too much with Dr. Google, let us share some helpful facts to steer you in a helpful direction (also see our infographic).

Sometimes the best place to start is to understand what stuttering is NOT...

  • Stuttering is NOT an emotional problem

  • Stuttering is NOT a cognitive problem

  • Stuttering is NOT caused by parents

Stuttering is likely pre-wired, within the child's neurophysiological "wiring" at birth.  Often, stuttering first appears years later during the developmental years of 2-8, correlated to developmental and/or environmental conditions. 

Many kids go through some dysfluency or fluency instability for a period of time and move through it.  The incidence is probably underreported for those who are younger and experience disfluency for shorter durations of time.

Research suggests that five out of a hundred (5%) kids stutter for six months or more, and only one out of a hundred (1%) retain the trait into adulthood.

So, there is a strong likelihood that this is not going to be a lifelong trait.  This can be something optimistic to know, and valuable to keep in mind.

With that being said, when your child is stuttering, you don't care about statistics.  You don't want your child to become a statistic. 

So I think it's really important for people who care for families to remember that.

Parents don't need statistics. They need help as parents and they want to help their child the very best they can.

I think finding what's right for you, finding the right resource of information for yourself is the best thing you can do.  Anyone who knows me, and anyone who knows this issue would agree that binging on Dr. Google is probably the worst thing you could possibly do! 

  • There are good resources out there, and support groups for families who are dealing with this issue with their children.

We are not the only address, but we can be a good one for you.

You can contact us.   Stay tuned as we roll-out more content, videos and free webinars like this!

 

Uri Schneider, Co-Director Schneider Speech

VIDEO: Practical Tips to Keep in Mind for Pre-schoolers who Stutter

Click the video above to check it out!

some tips and strategies for working with your pre-schooler who stutters:

1. Understand the whole child

  • What are their language skills?

  • Are they having trouble with language?

  • Do they have trouble understanding language?

Maybe they understand language very well, but they have trouble expressing themselves. You want to understand everything about their language.

 
453772023.jpg
 

2. Look at their temperament

  • Some kids are really rough and tough, ‘rock’em sock’em’. They just keep ticking, no matter what happens.

  • Some kids are really sensitive. They're sensitive themselves and they tend to be very sensitive towards others.

I'd work differently with a four-year-old with an easy going temperament versus one with a tougher temperament.

3. Provide CUSTOM therapy

  • Our goal, whatever approach we’re going to be employing is that we don't throw any approach or anything too rigid on anybody. We try to:

  • tailor fit the right therapy

  • borrow from the best research and popular approaches out there

But none of them are a cure-all for every childSo, it's a real decision-making process, engaging the parents, putting the parents in the driver's seat, and making sure that we're working with the child. 

4. Treat them like people

  • we need to make sure that the communication that we encourage between parents and children is naturalistic, not artificial and plastic.

In doing so, hopefully we can help them with the physical side of stuttering, and also help them with the communication values to keep talking and have the confidence they were born with!

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?” 

 
16.jpg
 

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

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
 

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.


1200px-Alan_Rabinowitz_-_PopTech_2010_-_Camden,_Maine_(5103727234).jpg
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.

 

VIDEO: 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.
Kid-Friendly-Dentistry-790.jpg

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.

 

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

 
 

Watch our video!

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"

 
 

Watch our video!

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.

VIDEO: True Stuttering Courage 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.

 

His power, speed and defensive prowess are something to be marveled. As Jen Lada reports, it is his courage, character and fearlessness that have truly made an impact in the lives of those who stutter.

 
The game allowed me to be who I am
— George Springer