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DVD aims to help kids with stuttering issues

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Children who stutter have a lot to say, and friends can show them how in “Stuttering: For Kids By Kids,” a DVD starring real children who stutter, available at most public libraries.

Public libraries in Oliver Springs and Rockwood have agreed to shelve the DVD for their patrons. Call the Oliver Springs library at 435-2509 or the Rockwood library at 354-1281 to check availability.

Many children who stutter have never met anyone else who struggles with the same disability. But in this DVD from the Stuttering Foundation, they meet other children who recount how they handle challenges such as teasing, speaking out in class, and teaching others about stuttering.

 Swish, a lively and engaging animated basketball character designed by students at Purdue University, narrates the DVD.  

The children, who range in age from first-graders to high school students, offer frank and sometimes differing views of stuttering.

For example, Matthew, 10, says about his speech difficulties, “It’s no big deal;” but Kate, 9, worries about talking, what is going to happen next and whether she’ll stutter.

Arianne, 14, says, “The hardest part about stuttering is to get through it and to stay in there when you’re stuck.” Umang, 12, agrees: “Sometimes it gets kind of annoying when you want to say something and you can’t. I also get worried what other people might think if I do stutter and wonder if I’ll be able to get out of my blocks and things.”

 “All those interested in helping kids learn more about stuttering will want to see this tape,” said speech-language pathologist Bill Murphy of Purdue University. “The children featured are a perfect example of how to openly and honestly handle stuttering.”

“This is an important tool for families and teachers of kids who stutter too,” added Jane Fraser, president of the nonprofit Stuttering Foundation.

Books and DVDs produced by the 65-year-old nonprofit Stuttering Foundation are available free to any public library.

A library that will shelve them can contact the foundation at 800-992-9392, email info@stutteringhelp.org or visit www.stutteringhelp.org or www.tartamudez.org.

Other noted professionals and specialists in stuttering taking part in this new production include Kristin A. Chmela, Northwestern University; Joe Donaher, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Lisa Scott of Florida State University; and Lee Caggiano of Friends, the support group for children.