Welcome to Journal Writing For Children Who Stutter. You are about to begin a familiar as well as unique experience for students who stutter. It is familiar because many of you keep journals in school and maybe even personal journals at home. Some of you may have read biographies, nonfiction, and fiction works which were written in journal form. It is unique because your time in speech therapy is often spent talking, not writing.
You may be wondering how writing is going to help your communication skills. It can happen in a number of ways. You will begin by making very simple and short entries about speaking. The journal has six levels. Each level will ask you to give your attention to a new and different idea about speaking. Everything is carefully explained at the beginning of each level. After each entry, you will talk to your speech pathologist or parent about what you wrote. Sometimes there will be a lot to talk about, sometimes there may be very little. That's OK. By talking with someone, answering questions, and sharing thoughts, you will learn many things about stuttering and what/how you can change what happens to you when you stutter. Talking about speech can be difficult, but it is the key to understanding stuttering and living with it no matter how hard it gets.
This doesn't mean the journal will make stuttering go away. Maybe it means that the next time you raise your hand to ask a question in class you will remember an idea you got from the journal and use that skill or technique so you won't be nervous. You may remember that it's OK to stutter at the beginning of the question, because you know that you will get through it. It may even mean that your stuttering decreases in some situations. Everyone's progress will be different.
We hope you will gain knowledge of yourself, the people around you, and how stuttering fits in. We hope you will learn what happens when you stutter, where it happens, and, most importantly, how to manage stuttering and fluency. With the support of your parents and speech pathologist, you can plan your personal goals and set out to achieve them.
Jackie Biagini & Judy Butler