About the presenter: Judy Kuster, M.S. in speech-language pathology and M.S. in counseling, is a professor in Communication Disorders at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is well-published in Internet resources and has presented at state, national and international conferences. She is the webmaster for Net Connections for Communication Disorders and Sciences and the Stuttering Home Page as well as the coordinator of this online conference. She holds Specialty Recognition in Stuttering and is a member of the Division #4 Fluency and Fluency Disorders. She is a member of the National Stuttering Association, the International Fluency Association and the International Stuttering Association.
You can post Questions/comments about the following paper to the author before October 22, 2005.
PWS Speak for Themselves Online
by Judy Kuster
from Minnesota, USA
Telling your personal story has become an important part of "therapy," including therapy for stuttering. There are numerous ways people who stutter tell their stories. "Open mic" sessions at self-help group meetings and conferences have become very popular ways for people who stutter to tell their touching and inspiring personal stories in an open forum. At the 2005 National Stuttering Association Convention in Chicago, one person told of always wearing a too-small shoe because it was difficult for him to say 11. A woman shared how she used to refer to her brother as "my mother's son" to avoid the word brother.
Others have published autobiographies about their stuttering.:
- Jezer, M. (1997). Stuttering: A life bound up in words. New York: Basic Books.
- Love, Robert E (2000) The Bob Love Story: If It's Gonna Be, It's Up To Me, Chicago, Illinois: Contemporary Books.
- Murray, Frederick P. (1980). A stutterer's story. Memphis, TN: Stuttering Foundation of America.
- Shields, David, Dead Languages:
- Steele, Lise G. Cloutier, (1991) Living & Learning With A Child Who Stutter: From A Parent's Point Of View, NC Press Limited,
Another place where people who stutter tell their stories is on the Internet. This paper will highlight several examples. The reader is invited to explore these insightful stories, which are often used for discussion in therapy and self-help group meetings.
ISAD online conference papers
The International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD) online conferences for the past seven years have provided many opportunities for people who stutter to share information and tell their own stories. Below are a few examples, all worth re-reading!! Search past online conferences for additional excellent examples!
1998 - The Power of Your Voice
1999 - Many Languages, One Voice
- Paths Toward Recovery, featuring a panel of Kristin Chmela (Illinois, USA), Geoff Johnston (South Australia), Walt Manning (Tennessee, USA) and Bob Quesal (Illinois, USA)
- Born with a Broken Tongue, by Martin Casey (Ireland)
- Stages of Coping: A Stutterer's Journey from Denial to Integration by Louise Heite (Iceland)
- Speaking Is My Challenge -- And I'm Facing Up To It by Marty
- The Stuttering Paradox: A Trap To Full Acceptance. Some Journal Based Thoughts From A Covert Stutterer by Lieven Grommen (Belgium)
- Stuttering: the Real World by Michael Hughes (Canada)
- Change by David Preece (United Kingdom)
- "TEENS - The Best Stuttering Years of Your Life?" by Gina Waggott (United Kingdom)
2000 - Reach Out to Children Who Stutter
2001 - YOU ARE NOT ALONE: Transforming Perceptions
- The Real World of Jobs by Karen Lewis (Ohio, USA), Gunars Neiders (Washington, USA), Lee Reeves (Texas, USA), Louis Roden (Georgia, USA), David Steiner (New York, USA), and Ann Van Der Berg (South Africa)
- Lessons from Within the Stuttering Community: Perspective of a Teenager and his Parent by Jay Castleberry and Susan Short Castleberry, (Illinois, USA)
- Stuttering and James Griffin by James Griffin (Melbourne, Australia)
- Childhood: the pain of stuttering by Mike Hughes (Canada) Questions/comments
2002 - Don't Let Stuttering Stop You...
- My Words Have Wings - Finally! by James Abbott, Jr. (Michigan, USA)
- "I've Got a Secret -- And It's Scaring Me to Death! (The Story of a Covert Stutterer)" by Steve Hood (Alabama, USA) and Chris Roach (Texas, USA).
- A Search for Fluency That Ended With Acceptance by Craig Stephenson (Idaho, USA)
- Life Lessons: Putting Stuttering into Perspective by Candace Webster (Michigan, USA)
2003 - "INTERNATIONAL STUTTERING AWARENESS" is everyday. . . We just celebrate it on October 22!
- Getting on with Life by Adam Demello (Alaska, USA)
- One chronic stutterer's path to fluency and his supposition by Huang Haiyin (China)
- The Gift of Stuttering by Russ Hicks (Texas, USA)
- Parents: A Source of Comfort and Support by Sophie Bell Sacca (New York, USA) and David and Nicola Bell (Arizona, USA)
2004 - International Year of the Child Who Stutters
- A Stutterer's Odyssey Through Life. by Dorvan Breitenfeldt (Washington, USA)
- Breaking the cocoon and discovering who I am by Marija Cvetkovic (Croatia)
- Passing As Fluent by Terry Dartnall (Australia)
- My Personal Experience with Stuttering and Meditation. by Ellen-Marie Silverman (Wisconsin, USA)
2005 - Community Vision for Global Action
- Looking Back and Looking Forward: It Gets Easier by several authors from around the world
- Obsessions with Language, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Stutter by Jesse Loesberg (California, USA)
- My Personal Transformation by Masaki Nagao (Japan)
- Tongue Tied. by John Ravenscroft (England)
This year's conference also features several personal stories by people who stutter. The authors are not only eager for you to read what they have to say, but also to respond to your questions/comments on the threaded discussions attached to their papers.
People Who Stutter Speak For Themselves
Another resource created by people who stutter can be found on the Stuttering Home Page, under "People Who Stutter Speak For Themselves." These brief autobiographies were written by persons who stutter. They include information about therapy programs they have tried, about their successes and disappointments, about their goals and aspirations. Many include helpful information about how they want listeners to respond to them. The most recent edition features the selections indexed below. All are accessible on http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/kuster/PWSspeak/PWSspeak.html
My Life as a Stutterer by Asim Kahn
Untitled by Candace Webster
The Battle At 7th And K by Jon Bjornstad
It Gets Easier by Jim McClure
Struggle for Acceptance by Dan Wong
Untitled by Margaret Witbeck
Its All in the Mind by Bennett Gross
....and then a Rainbow by Diane Laval
If I'm Special Its Because I Stutter an article about C Wilcox by Thomas David Kehoe
Rejection to Acceptance by Mathew Benson
What?....Ashamed of Fluency? by John Larkin
Confessions of a Stuttering Speech-Language Pathologist by Dr. Ted Peters
An Errant Elbow/An Act of God by Marty Jezer
Stuttering: A Life Bound Up In Words by Marty Jezer, a book preview.
Excerpts from several chapters of Stuttering: A Life Bound Up In Words by Marty Jezer.
The Kid and His Hero and Your Everyday Senior by Kelly P. Snow
PWS ---> SLP by Rod Abbott
Not All Christmas Presents Come In Wrapping Paper by Louise Heite
A Personal Story by Jean-Pierre Tibi.
"Bless Her Lying Little Heart" by Vicki Benson Schutter
Her Name was Mrs. Claussen - And She Cared by Lee Reeves
untitled by Maximilian J. Sandor
The Origin of My Points of View by Bob Quesal
For Richer, Poorer, or Fluenter by Vicki Benson Schutter
Things Don't Always Work Out As Planned by Rod Abbott
I Swore an Oath to a Birch Tree by Charles Van Riper
Tell ESPN I'm Available! by Larry Molt
Happy Hunting For The Holy Spirit by Vicki Benson Schutter
My Stuttering Summer by Maggie Hansen
Old Fart Face by Bill Murphy
What's Wrong With Using A Crutch If It Helps You by Herbert Goldberg
Defeating The Dragon by David J. Halvorsen
Stuttering, While Feeling Comfortable Among Politicians by John M. Williams.
An interesting FAX sent to Art Nefsky from Mel Tillis on September 30, 1997..
And the Shelves Come Tumbling Down by Bonnie Weiss.
A short essay by Charles Lamb, (b. 1776, d. 1835).
Mouth Piece by Anne H. Mavor
The Sasser Syndrome by Jeff Shames.
A Conversation with my Father by Elaine Saitta
A Way Through the Forest: One Boy's Story With a Happy Ending by David Shapiro
Speaking Is My Challenge -- And I'm Facing Up To It by Marty Jezer.
My Name is Eric, and I Stutter by Eric Ferraz.
Early years in India and now in school in the US by Balaji Krishnamurthy.
A Wonderful Card by Russ Hicks.
You Can Call Me by Vicki Schutter
Blow And Bluster by Charles James.
Loss of Innocence by Michael Hughes
The Rage by Michael Hughes
Marriage Vows by Michael Hughes
C-C-C-Cold Enough For You? by Michael Hughes
Fear Therapy? by Michael Hughes
Ever Since I Can Remember by Ashley Callan
The Stuttering Sub by Dave Helibronn.
A Tale of a Girl Who Talked Funny by Debbie Britton.
Total Block by Israel Mlambo.
Victorious people by Gokce Baser.
A Contrast in People's Response by Paul Goldstein.
My Name is Jim Abbott; A-b-b-o-t-t by Jim Abbott
January 11, 2002 Episode 203 archive recording from "This American Life." by Kevin Murphy.
At Peace with my Stuttering by Paul Goldstein.
"Four, Three, Two, One" by Rod Gilchrist.
Feelings When Stuttering In Front of a Group by Casey Donohue
Blocking the fear out by Rob Bloom, Written for National Public Radio's All Things Considered
You think YOU'RE afraid of public speaking? by Rob Bloom