Dear Abby Letters: Talking Openly About Stuttering

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Re: Dear Abby

From: Peter Reitzes
Date: 18 Oct 2006
Time: 07:05:23 -0500
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Terra, thanks for your kind word and questions. You ask, “Do you feel that the dear Abby letters will still work if she has a hard time describing her feelings and thoughts about stuttering?” I am always hesitant to say that anything will “work” because words like “work” and “successful” mean different things to different people. What I will say is that one of the goals of the Dear Abby activity is to engage children who are reluctant to talk openly about stuttering. My feelings, in general, about any activity is that if you feel it is appropriate, you try it and stay with the activity as long as you feel it is productive for the client. You also ask, “do you have any ideas to get her to talk more openly about her feelings?” I assume your client is a school age child or young teen and I will respond with a few ideas for these age ranges: 1) Children who stutter need to know other children who stutter. Try and schedule therapy sessions with other peers who stutter. If need be, contact other clinics or schools and try to set up an intervisitation. 2). Go to (the Stuttering Foundation), click on “streaming video,” then click on the video “Stuttering: For Kids, By Kids.” This is a great video to watch with children. Also, check out other materials on this site such as 3) Kristin Chmela and Nina Reardon: The School-Age Child Who Stutters: Working Effectively with Attitudes and Emotions. 4) 2. Go to, click on “Just for Kids” or “Just for Teens” and explore these stories and activities with children and teens. And 5) Check out my book, 50 Great Activities for Children Who Stutter (PRO ED). This book is loaded with activities to encourage children to talk openly about stuttering. Hope this helps. Peter

Last changed: 10/23/06