Changing the Words Around

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Re: Great story

From: Christine Badgett-Richards
Date: 04 Oct 2004
Time: 18:45:11 -0500
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Hi Jenny, First of all,thanks for posting :). That is an interesting question. I would hope that reading this story to children who don't stutter would allow them to view stuttering from a slightly different perspective. While I don't think they would necessarily be able to relate personally to the main character's difficulties in terms of stuttering,I would hope they might be able to relate to the emotional aspects of the boy's dilemma. I think many children can relate to feeling a need to try to hide things about themselves that they don't necessarily feel comfortable letting others know about(in the main character's case,his stuttering). Children who don't stutter might also be able to relate to the fear and anxiety the main character experiences as he gets himself into increasingly difficult situations(upsetting his best friend, having to deal with the consequences of avoiding certain situations,etc.)while trying to hide his stuttering. Hopefully,children who don't necessarily stutter, but who may have a learning disability,or need to wear glasses,or who face any other challenge that can be hidden(though through great effort,and with possible emotional, social, and/or educational consequences)will think about their own ways of dealing with the challenges they face in the situations they find difficult. I hope Alan's poems ("Changing the Words Around" and "Everyone's Different") will, in some way, help children who face any kind of personal challenge realise that they don't need to hide that part of themselves in order to be 'accepted' by others. I think the overriding theme of both of Alan's poems is self-acceptance, which is something many children (and adults) seem to struggle with at different times in their lives. Best wishes, Chris

Last changed: 09/12/05