Reaching Out

The following teens have sent this information, hoping that others will have some ideas for them. If they have provided their email address, feel free to contact them by email. Or if you are willing, send your ideas to me and I will post them here. Judy Kuster

Looking for a Little Hope

by Christopher Kessler, age 16,

I am a 16 year old male. I have stuttered since I was a little younger than five. I went to speech therapy since kindergarten until 8th grade. Then I stopped. My speech got to be ok...until lately...As a lot of you may know, being a teenager is very stressful. I have problems with friends, family, school, job, etc. Well, since August of 98, my life has been very stressful, perhaps the most stressful it has ever been. I got depressed and my stuttering started to act up. I figured it was nothing...just a little bump in the road, and I would get over it. Well, I was wrong. Lately even more things have been wrong, and my stuttering is at it's worst. I can talk fluently in conversations with people, face to face, but if I am to read out loud in class, or talk on the phone most of the time, I freeze. I can't speak. It's gotten to the point where I am afraid to answer the phone, afraid to talk in class...I went to my guidance counselor and told her about the problem, and she is going to try and get me the speech therapist again...but I haven't heard from them yet. She told my teachers about my problem, and they understand it. I also found out that my Science teacher stutters and stammers. We had a long talk about it after school was a little uncomfortable, but it was good. But I still am afraid to do things like talk on the phone...and I am just looking for a little hope...

added with permission
March 10, 1999

Update - email received by Christopher July 28, 2008, added with permission

I just want a normal life

by Amber

My name's Amber, I'm 14, and I stutter. I don't remember the first time I stuttered, or what made me stutter. Over the years, it's become harder and harder for me to do things such as answer questions in class, or give presentations. I must say I'm a lot better with spontaneous talking. When I stutter people think I'm sick, or stupid. There's so many things I want to tell them, but as you can all relate, the words don't come out. I wish for just a day I could feel the confidence and assurance that people that talk fluently do. I've had therapy, but it doesn't really seem to help. I just want a normal life, you know? Well, hope someone can help me. Thank you.

added March 26, 2000

"Am I going to go through life stuttering?"

by Mallory, 13

I am 13 years old and was stuttering since I was about 5 or 6 years old. I don't remember a lot about my early years stuttering but I'm kind of glad I don't. I still stutter and went to speech therapy for 5 years almost!! And so far it hasn't helped, my parents see it as a problem that CAN be fixed but I'm starting to doubt it my self. I don't try a lot of the times. I'll tell you that it just seems useless. I know I can get over my speech disfluency, I just need to put an effort into it. Luckily I wasn't made fun of at all during grammar school, because all my friends say what a great person I am! But in high school I think it's going to be very different! People aren't going to give me a chance to show them that I am a great person and stuttering is just one of my faults. When my father was in high school he made fun of one of the kids in his class who stuttered. Is God trying to teach him a lesson by using me?? My parents are sending me back to some more speech therapy. How it will help I don't know but I'm willing to give it a try. I want to know that I'm not the only one in this world who stutters so email this site and tell me how you feel! :)

added April 6, 2002

A response from Jonathan added April 18, 2002