If your child is stuttering and you need some guidance or encouragement, here are a few of my favorite parent-friendly resources.
DVD Critique Form for "All Grown Up" Video Review Activity - Posted with permission, by Nancy Ribbler
Here is a video I published on how stuttering entered my life and what it has taught me thus far. In it I share two very personal stories that highlight the strong emotions surrounding stuttering as well as our need to be seen for who we are in an environment of empathy so that shame ceases to exist and hope for a bright future emerges. Please share freely if you feel it would bring encouragement to anyone you know!
Recently I was able to attend Camp Shout Out, a summer camp for children and teens who stutter. It was a wonderful learning opportunity, and this written reflection expresses a bit of the magic I witnessed and experienced.
An Avalanche of Transformation
By Ana Paula G. Mumy, MS, CCC-SLP
Camp Shout Out is a unique fluency camp where youth with fluency disorders, graduate students, and speech-language professionals come together to “learn, teach, and empower each other to become more competent communicators and therapists in a safe, fun, and natural environment.”
As I reflect upon Camp Shout Out, the pervading image I see is an avalanche. A start zone, a trigger, a shift in the snowpack, a track. Fast acceleration, rapid growth, and the entraining of everything in its path. Do you see Camp Shout Out yet?
The start zone – a rustic campground on beautiful Big Blue Lake.
Trigger #1: A supportive community of people with shared experiences, shared challenges, shared tears, shared goals.
Seismic activity has begun.
Trigger #2: Five guiding principles that teach us all to be…
Attentive as we listen to each other and our own bodies;
Assertive as we dare to conquer our fears and challenge self-imposed limits;
Confident as we stand up majestically and replace mistaken thoughts with helpful thoughts that lead to powerful actions;
Effective as we commit to continued learning with specific goals as we strive to become effective communicators;
Proactive as we practice and plan and set ourselves up for success and simple happiness.
Major metamorphic changes in the snowpack continue.
Trigger #3: New found understanding, peace, self-worth, courage, strength.
Deep breath in…and there flows the snow, unable to resist the imposing force, except its track is the surface of precious lives – children, young adults, old folks – all moving through their own journey, yet now with rapid acceleration and growth because they’ve all learned a great deal. They carry with them invaluable lessons, lessons that will entrain all those who cross their paths – family members, friends, teachers, co-workers.
You see, avalanche initiation starts with small amounts of movement, small variations in the surrounding conditions. However, under all of the right conditions, that small beginning evolves into a giant force. Camp Shout Out is an avalanche – an avalanche of empowerment and transformation, not of destruction. May its forward flow continue for years to come. May it grow exponentially and entrain multitudes because this force is truly life-changing!
* This reflection piece was submitted to the International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD) 2015 Online Conference. The following link for that submission includes the discussion threads surrounding the piece: http://isad.isastutter.org/isad-2015/papers-presented-by-2015/creative-expression/an-avalanche-of-transformation/