ISAD 2008 Announcements

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Presenting to 300 middle school students in New York

From: Pamela Mertz
Date: 30 Oct 2008
Time: 05:51:32 -0600
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I did three presentations today at a middle school, one each to the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. The topic was on Stuttering, self-respect, and celebrating our uniqueness. It went very well. There was 110 kids in each group. The presentation went for 40 minutes. I had interactive stuff for the kids to do, including finger traps, silly putty to stretch out words, and I used the analogy of trying to hide my stuttering by having couple of kids trying to hide a grapefruit on their person. They had a ball. The school was great. They did a powerpoint of famous people who stutter, and the kids had to identify who they were, and what they were famous for. Then we of course tied it in to the stuttering. The school was activley teaching the kids about tolerance and disabilties. The guidance counselor did a hall way pictograph of ISAD and articles about stuttering, and will leave it up for a week. It was a wonderful experience, and the kids learned about an experience diferent than their own. I stuttered naturally, openly, and used lots of voluntary stuttering. The highlight was when I asked the kids to turn to the person sitting next to them and practice stuttering on their name. I then asked them to describe how it felt: they said weird, confusing, frustrating, tense, etc. Then I asked them why I had them do that, and there were various responses, but most said, so we'll know how you feel. To wrap up, I had kids volunteer to come up and try to do the Coolest Stutter, the Loudest Stutter, and the Longest Stutter. I got some of these ideas from some SLPs who willingly shared these ideas. I gave awards to the kids who tried the stutters at the end. I think the kids remember this day. I sure will! Pamela Mertz

Last changed: 10/30/08