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Marlene Lewis and stuttering treatment for children

Marlene LewisMarlene LewisI am honoured to have been asked to write an article for the Canadian Stuttering Association. My experience with self-help and advocacy groups like the BC Association of People Who Stutter (now dissolved) and CSA is that they provide an invaluable resource for people who stutter as well as for speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who want to serve people who stutter.

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Summer 2014 - Camps for children who stutter in Canada

Currently there are two Canadian camps for children who stutter that will take place this summer. These camps are NOT speech therapy camps, rather they each seek to create a social environment for kids who stutter to be with other kids who share the same challenge with speaking. The camps focus on the development of social skills, self-esteem and coping techniques. Speech Language Pathologists will be helping to run the camps and be available for consultation.


This camp, run by the British Columbia Association of People who Stutter has been around since 2000, with great success. This year's session runs July 2 - July 5, 2015. Camp fees are subsidized for those who live in B.C. Get more information and the registration form from the website.

Laughter's Voice

UPDATE: Laughter's Voice camp has been postponed until summer 2015.

This is a new camp whose first session will be this July, 13 - 19, in Mansfield, Ontario. For more information see the website, and the CSA article.




Book about boy who stutters a moving read


Paperboy is a story about an 11 year old boy who stutters. It is part memoir and part fiction, written by Vince Vawter. For over 60 years the author “stuttered fiercely, sometimes gently” yet he was able to overcome his speech impediment and lead a successful career in newspapers. The backdrop of the novel is Memphis 1959 – segregation is the norm. Two major themes explored in Paperboy are the speech challenge the protagonist experiences, and the racial tension in the South.

As a person who stutters, I was able to relate to the Paperboy’s inner turmoil. Overwhelmed by speaking, the Paperboy substitutes words. He calls his best friend "Rat" because it is easier to say. He blocks on words and cannot say his name. He also feels ashamed when he can not order food at a restaurant, and everyone at his table laughs.

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Laughter's Voice: An Ontario summer camp for children who stutter

felix Felix

UPDATE: Laughter's voice camp is postponed until 2015. See the website

Two years ago, my son Felix (pictured at left) was nine years old and developing an increasingly pronounced stutter. Ever since he could speak, he would go through months of relatively fluent speech, followed by weeks of severe disfluency. I wasn’t worried. I focused on what he had to say, not on how he was saying it. But one day at the library, Felix got stuck on a word and couldn’t ask for a title of a book. This kid, who has always arranged his own play dates by phone and once called Canada’s top Olympic Archery coach to ask about lessons, cried and asked me for help. I knew then that I’d been denying how much Felix’s stutter was affecting him.

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Brain development in children who stutter

A new study by a University of Alberta researcher shows that children who stutter have less grey matter in key regions of the brain responsible for speech production than children who do not stutter. See more at University of Alberta news.

Beal Deryk Beal, ISTAR Executive Director

The primary researcher is Deryk Beal, ISTAR’s executive director. Previous research has used MRI scans to look at structural differences between the brains of adults who stutter and those who do not.

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