New Member Profile


by Cliff Holt

In recognition of 1996 as the Year of the Child Who Stutters, this profile will focus on the parent of a child who stutters and his son. We hope that in doing so, this will help to encourage and educate children who stutter as well as anyone who may know or be related to a child who stutters, whether that person be a parent, teacher, friend, relative or speech language pathologist.

Six year old Chad Reagan, a first grade student from Knoxville, Tennessee, has been stuttering for three years. According to his father, Chad is a rather intelligent, quiet child who always thinks before he speaks. "Whenever he talks, he is always worth listening to," says Greg, who has never treated his son's stuttering as a disability. He says that it just takes Chad a little longer to say what he has to say. He has always tried to treat Chad's stuttered speech just as importantly as another person's fluent speech.

Chad's stuttering becomes worse whenever he gets really excited or is exposed to a more fast-paced, stressful atmosphere. However, he appears to have a firm grip on it. Chad rarely gets frustrated when he faces a bout of stuttering, but if he does, Greg reminds him that he is not any less of a person because he stutters. Chad always responds positively to this encouragement and seems to accept his stuttering as a fact of life. What a great lesson in desensitization from such a young teacher!

Greg heard about the NSP from one of Chad's teachers who showed him a brochure. After reading it, he decided to join. "I am the type of person who wants to know what I'm facing. I want both of us to be informed so we can be better prepared to handle obstacles," he stated.

Greg is maintaining a very positive attitude regarding his son's stuttering. I could sense this in the enthusiasm he projected during the interview. He is now in the process of having Chad evaluated for speech therapy. His primary goal is to do all he can to help Chad with his stuttering.

Greg, you have taken a great first step by joining the NSP. We welcome you and Chad to our family.

Cliff Holt is president of the Atlanta, GA chapter.