This post will focus on the second interview conducted at speech and language pathology, Speech Matters. We interviewed Kym, a parent of a child who stutters. Her son, Ryan, 7, receives therapy from the pathology for his stutter.
SOMETHING TO SAY: When did you find out that Ryan had a stutter?
Kym: He started stuttering since he began to talk, but we didn’t think anything of it. Other parents told us that it was often part of normal development. It continued for a year though, and that’s when we consulted a speech therapist and we were told that it is most likely an ongoing issue.
K: I think any parent’s instinct is to not want your child to have to go through anything. When we were first told that Ryan’s stutter might be long-term, we researched everything we could about it. A lot of the research said that children often outgrow stuttering so we were hopeful.
S: Do you believe there is a stigma around stuttering?
K: Definitely. If there were no stigma around stuttering, there wouldn’t even be a need for Ryan to go to therapy in the first place! No one in our family had a stutter, and I didn’t know any other parents who had experienced this, so my knowledge on stuttering was very limited. There were many perceptions of stuttering that I had before, which I now know are not true.
S: What are your greatest concerns?
K: If Ryan’s stutter does continue into the long-term future, we are obviously concerned about the impact it will have negatively. However, for the most part, we are trying to be hopeful as we can see that he is gradually improving.
S: What do you wish people would understand about stuttering?
K: When I tell other parents about Ryan’s stutter, they assume that he also has an intellectual disability of some sort. This is completely untrue. Ryan can do everything a kid his own age can do. He just has difficulty talking fluently, that’s all.