|About the presenter: Jane Fraser graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a BA in Russian studies. Graduate work at Universite de Strasbourg, France, in Russian and Linguistics. Has been president of the Stuttering Foundation since 1981. Was a member of the NIDCD Advisory Council of the NIH, 1996-2000. From 1978-1980, worked as editor in cancer research, Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France. From 1975 to 1978 worked as interpreter and translator, Assemblee Nationale (Congress), Paris, France. She has been Trustee of Hamilton College, Co-chair, Parents Association, Pitzer College. Member of the Societe Francaise de Phoniatrie, and IALP.|
Advice to Those Who Stutter
In the early 1970's, my father, Malcolm Fraser, and Charles Van Riper, who needs no introduction, thought up the idea of inviting 24 speech-language pathologists who stutter to write a short chapter on what had helped them deal effectively with stuttering. They felt that persons who stutter (PWS) would take the advice seriously if it came from a fellow stutterer -- and the success of the book over the years would appear to prove that this was true. The book was called simply To the Stutterer.
Those featured included speech-language pathologists (SLPs) from many states and universities ( Drs. Van Riper, Sheehan, Johnson, Freund, Luper, Starbuck, Emerick, Williams, Boehmler, Neely, etc.) and several women who stuttered as well, Margaret Rainey of Wisconsin and Margaret Neely of Louisiana.. That may not surprise us today, but it was a "first" in the 1970s.
Chapter heading ranged from "Do-It-Yourself Kit for Stutterers," by Hal Starbuck to "No Stutterer Is an Island Unto Himself," by Gary LaPorte to "Face Your Fears," by Sol Adler.
Joe Sheehan's "Message To a Stutterer" was used for many years by the National Stuttering Project as their featured brochure for adults. In this chapter, he introduced the idea of the "iceberg" of stuttering.
To the Stutterer as it was called then (now Advice To Those Who Stutter) met with amazing success. TIME magazine ran one of its very first donated public service ads for the book, which gave it a substantial boost in reaching many people nationwide. My father also asked his acquaintance, Walter Annenberg, if he would donate space in TV Guide to publicize the book; and this was done. Mr. Annenberg himself felt that the book had helped him.
The book was translated into German very early on and is still available from the German self help group. In 1998 some twenty years after the book first appeared, new chapters by Drs. Breitenfeldt, Ramig, Daly, Murphy, Molt, Manning, Quesal, Rentschler, and St. Louis were added, giving readers even more ways to tackle their stuttering.
Stuttering: For Kids By Kids
The same concept was behind the new DVD, Stuttering: For Kids By Kids. Lisa Scott and colleagues Kristin Chmela, Carroll Guitar, Jane Fraser, Bill Murphy, Joe Donaher and Lee Caggiano thought that having footage of children talking to other children and answering questions about their own stuttering would be more acceptable and less intimidating to them than being "talked to" by adult SLPs.
The variety of the children who appear in the DVD -- in age, in interests, in stuttering severity, in experiences -- makes it appealing to children of all ages. Another unique feature of the DVD is that it includes an animated character who narrates, "Swish." This character is the creation of a team of Purdue University computer graphics students who donated their work for the DVD.
The film has many advantages besides those for children. It helps to bring stuttering out into the open for parents and teachers who, one hopes, will watch it alongside the kids at some point. It discusses doing a classroom presentation about stuttering, whether stuttering is a "big deal," how kids feel about being teased, etc. The children also offer advice about what has been helpful for them. Many different reactions are included in such a way as to make any child be able to identify with some of the children in the film. In this way, it resembles Advice to Those Who Stutter where each reader will find a chapter that rings true for him or her.
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