Stuttering Awareness Week begins May 11, 2015, and offers an opportunity to focus public attention on a complex disorder that touches 70 million people around the world and more than three million in the U.S. alone.
“Actions speak so much louder than words,” said Jane Fraser, president of the nonprofit Stuttering Foundation. “This year, the focus of our effort to celebrate Stuttering Awareness Week is to spotlight helpful activities everyone can do for the people who stutter in their lives. One in five children stutters for at least a short period of time, and one in 100 adults struggles with fluency on a regular basis. Most people know someone – a family member, a friend, a coworker or a classmate – who stutters.”
The Stuttering Foundation, the largest nonprofit charitable organization in the world working toward the prevention and improved treatment of stuttering, offers the following activities to celebrate Stuttering Awareness Week:
1. Watch a New Video: Know a person who stutters, a concerned mom or dad, or a school speech therapist? Ask them if they’ve seen our most recent video titled Kids Who Stutter: Parents Speak available online or in DVD format featuring proven tips from parents and hands-on speech-language pathologists.
2. Design a T-Shirt: At every convention we attend, and on their online store, they sell out of T-Shirts regularly. Help them create a new design! Submit your ideas to [email protected].
3. Sign Up for Social Media: Visit them on Facebook,Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. Engage with thousands of others on topics around stuttering and fluency. Please engage on their social media channels and share content. They love when people “Share” their Facebook posts on their page because it helps reach more of the stuttering community. They also love when you “Retweet” them on Twitter.
4. Find a Referral: Wonder where to turn for help? The Stuttering Foundation offers referrals to therapists in the U.S. and around the world.
5. Share Your Child’s Art: In their newsletters and website, they often feature the drawings, letters and poems created by children who stutter. Please help children who stutter to understand they are not alone! Any child wishing to share their artwork can do so by sending it to [email protected]. Please include name, age, city and a permission letter from a parent.
6. Learn about a Famous Person Who Stutters: Learning about famous people who stutter helps us to understand we are not alone in our struggles with fluency. It provides hope and inspires our community with the knowledge that great things can be achieved by people who stutter. Read the ever-growing list of famous people who stutter.
7. Get Information: Visit your local public library and ask if they have resource materials on stuttering from the Stuttering Foundation. If they don’t shelve them, tell them they can get a set very easily by contacting [email protected].
8. Sign up for the Newsletter: The Stuttering Foundation creates three newsletters each year – Winter, Summer and Fall – and sends a paper copy to everyone on their mailing list. If you wish to receive a copy, please send your mailing address to [email protected].
9. Read a Book: There are many excellent books on stuttering. The Foundation offers several for free in E-book format. Many have been translated into other languages.
10. Listen Patiently: When talking with a person who stutters, avoid finishing their sentences unless they invite you to do so. Keep eye contact and be patient – many people who stutter just need a little extra time to finish their sentences. For more tips, see their brochure.
To make it easy, they’ve put links to all these ideas on their website, www.StutteringHelp.org/NSAW.