A Presentation for my class

by Cate, age 10

There was a girl. She made fun of me because I stutter. I wanted to quit school right away, but my Mom said, "Let's do a presentation." At first I said "no" because I thought she would make fun of me again. Finally, I was convinced. So I said "yes." My speech teacher, Nina Reardon pitched in to help my mom and me. We made an outline and my mom and I practiced.

It was October 21, 1998, almost International Stuttering Awareness Day. The presentation started. My whole class was there, and my old speech teacher came, too. I talked about why we were doing the talk, and then about the "Speech Machine". The Speech Machine is the parts of the body that help you speak (brain, diaphram, lungs, wind pipe, voice box, vocal cords, tongue, teeth, and lips). Then my mom told the class what things cause and don't cause stuttering (we don't really know).

Then, we talked about famous people who stutter. We brought a Darth Vader (action figure) and told that James Earl Jones plays Darth Vader and he stutters. Bob Love is a retired Chicago Bulls player and also stutters, and John Stossel is a news man who stutters, too. We had pictures of them, and a poster, too.

I was on a TV news show in Atlanta at last year's National Stuttering Project Convention. We showed a tape of that, too. After that, we took questions. There were A LOT of questions, and I answered a lot of them by myself.

Then, the presentation was over. Everyone except Nina, my mom, and me were amazed. Now everybody respects me and my stuttering.

There were A LOT of questions. From what I heard from everyone, the presentation went well. I think all children who stutter, if they want, can do a presentation to their class.

added with permission
April 9, 1999