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A Parent's Journal, Part 3

This is the continuation of a 3 part journal of a mother whose child began stuttering at a young age. Part 1 is here.

May 28, 2013 – Openness

As a person who stutters (PWS) I have learned to be open about my stuttering.  I became involved in self-help groups at the age of fifteen and that was the first time that I started to talk about my stuttering.  I have shared my story with probably 1000s of others through self-help groups, conferences, newsletters and now the internet.  I have also shared my story many times with ISTAR clients and supporters.  I’m an ISTAR success story and am proud of what I have accomplished.  I typically do not announce that I stutter but if I am asked about my speech will happily share my story.  Stuttering and my experiences are just part of my life and I talk about it just like how someone may talk about their experiences playing hockey while growing up.

I have continued with this mindset when talking about E’s speech.  It’s just part of who he is and stuttering is not anything to be ashamed of so let’s talk about it.  Perhaps that is why I am blogging our present experiences.  I hope that by being open and sharing my experiences and emotions that others will find this process easier.

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A Parent's Journal, Part 2

journal

This is the continuation of a personal journal of a mother whose child started stuttering at a young age. Read Part 1 here.
How stuttering, and the speech therapy sought to treat it, effects the child and the family is discussed. Names are not included to protect the child's identity.

April 16, 2013 – E the Follower

E began a play school program today. He’s been in the program before so I know that he does not talk with the other kids and the teachers have shared that he usually picks toys to play with where there are only one or two other children. He tells me that he is a little shy at school.

The program has a great gym area that he really enjoys. I’ve peeked in the window of the gym to see what he does and he seems to follow the other kids around.  He doesn’t interact with them, just picks a child or two to follow and chases them from activity to activity.  Today I noticed he was following a boy around and copying what he was doing – being the follower.  This boy was not playing appropriately and E was doing exactly what he was doing.  I then heard the teacher tell both boys to stop; I know E knew what he was doing was not good but he just wants to be like the other kids.  I worry about him being a follower or becoming the child that others can persuade to do things that are wrong.

I’m watching E become more withdrawn during social situations and less confident.  It’s so hard to know this is happening and not know how to fix it.

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A Parent's Journal

AParentsJournal

This is a personal journal of a mother whose child started stuttering at a young age. How stuttering, and the speech therapy sought to treat it, effects the child and the family is discussed. Names are not included to protect the child's identity.

February 26, 2013 – Why E?

My little boy has an assessment at ISTAR (Institute for Stuttering Treatment an Research) tomorrow.  It’s now 9:30pm, and in just over 12 hours I will be walking my baby there, knowing that he will be having therapy for stuttering.  Part of me is grateful that ISTAR is in Edmonton, so we only have a 30 minute drive to get to the some of the best therapy in the world. I know that with some therapy E will be fine and probably stutter-free, but a part of me feels like it is breaking my heart into pieces knowing that my baby is stuttering. I’ve had to tell my serious 3 year old that tomorrow we are going to meet a nice lady who helps kids talk better and she will help him unstuck his words.  I should be taking him skating or to a movie, not to speech therapy!

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Stuttering treatment for Down Syndrome children

istar

Researchers from the University of Alberta are helping children with Down syndrome who stutter find their voice and speak with ease.

Stuttering is a common problem that affects almost half of all children with Down syndrome, yet despite the scope of the problem, little research exists about preferred treatment options—or even whether to treat at all. Researchers with the U of A’s Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research (ISTAR) point to a new case study that shows fluency shaping can indeed improve a child’s speech.

Read the article, and listen to the therapists, Marylin Langevin and Jessica Harasym, talk about the treatment on a radio show.

"Voice Unearthed": a different perspective on stuttering treatment for children

voice unearthed

This is a review of the book Voice Unearthed: Hope, Help and a Wake-Up Call for the Parents of Children Who Stutter, by Doreen Lenz Holte.

Doreen Lenz Holte wrote Voice Unearthed about her journey to seek help for her son, Eli, who stutters. Like a lot of parents, she took him for treatment at a very young age. The type of speech therapy he received is the standard fluency shaping/stuttering modification model that is widely used today for both adults and children. She argues that this model for stuttering therapy is failing children.

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