About the presenter: Bob Adams was a British Stammering Association (BSA) trustee and has been the Chair of Doncaster Stammering Association (DSA) for over 10 years. The time2talk CD is one of many awareness raising projects in which Bob has been instrumental. Other projects have included hosting open days and BSA national conferences. Bob also uses other skills, such as performance art (e.g. fire eating) and freefall parachuting to raise awareness of stammering and strongly believes that good communication skills are more important than 'fluency'. As a confident and effective communicator who stammers openly, he aims to be a positive role model for others.
About the presenter: Hilary Liddle was a specialist NHS Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) for 20 years. She worked mostly at the Liverpool Willy Russell Centre for Children and Adults who Stammer. She also spent time setting up a specialist service within Doncaster and Bassetlaw (NHS) Trust. It was there that she and her young clients became involved with the time2talk project. She is now at Leeds Metropolitan University, where she misses her clients, but enjoys studying for a PhD. Her area of interest is group therapy for school-aged children who stammer. She retains close links with the Doncaster Stammering Association and with the SLT services where she worked.

You can post Questions/comments about the following paper to the author before October 22, 2008.


by Bob Adams from Yorkshire, England and Hilary Liddle, from Leeds, England

Two of the songs from a new CD of music, Time2Talk, designed to to raise awareness of stammering are freely available online

The songs are part of a CD which was produced by children and adults who stammer. The lyrics to all of the songs on the CD are also freely available.

The following information is edited from an article by Cherry Hughes which appeared in the Winter 2007 edition of Speaking Out, pages 4-5. Additional information is available at This site

The Doncaster Stammering Association (DSA), a support group in England, spear-headed this project. The group felt that it was essential to involve children in the making of the CD, so 14 of Hilary Liddle's (speech and language therapist) young clients, aged 7-12, were enlisted. The older children worked on the first track (S-S-S-S-Stammering is Cool) and the younger ones worked on the second track (Don't Finish My Sentence!). The other tracks on the CD were all written and performed by youth and adult self-help group members.

The participants shared stories and experiences in order to develop the words for their songs. All the tracks draw upon personal experiences and offer words of advice, e.g. "Give me time" "Don't finish off my words". Some of the songs support people who stammer by speaking of common feelings, emotions and experiences e.g. "Tension, angst, guilt & shame, just when I tried to say my name".

The participants felt that their confidence increased as a result of being involved in the CD. Talking and singing openly about their stammering helped them to feel less sensitive about it. Projecting positive messages about stammering helped to increase their own self-esteem. Parents and professionals alike felt moved to tears the first time they heard the children expressing their mixed emotions in 'S-S-S-S-Stammering is cool'.

The confidence and pride that they had in themselves, regardless of their stammering, was overwhelming. One young girl, after making the track, proclaimed that she no longer cared whether she stammered or not. Other children who were previously too embarrassed to talk about their stammering in front of their classmates were bursting with excitement in anticipation of their CD being aired at a school assembly. When it was played the other children were very impressed. One little girl who had been teased by another girl in her school told me that girl now looked upon her with a different attitude after hearing the CD, and the teasing stopped. Parents also expressed their delight at how being involved in the CD had boosted the confidence of their children.

The CD conveys significant messages about stammering in an excellent and varied musical context, reflecting many different styles. As Bob Adams, Chair of the DSA and Hilary Liddle both said:

"Stammering may or may not be cool. However, this CD leaves the listener in no doubt that people who stammer definitely are cool!"

The entire CD is available for purchase from the British Stammering Association

You can post Questions/comments about the above paper to the authors before October 22, 2008.

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