This past Sunday we held a parent-child workshop for kids who stutter and their families that was a huge success. We wanted to share some of the many valuable takeaways from the day, and encourage you and your family to attend one of our future workshops.
1. To give your CWS (child who stutters) an opportunity to have fun while hearing others who stutter in a naturalistic environment
Hearing others who stutter helps children realize that they are not alone and to become more comfortable and less reactive to their own stuttering. We call this desensitization.
2. To give you a forum to share and learn from other parents some things that have been helpful for their children
It is not only therapeutic, but clearly practical for parents of CWS to benefit from hearing about the experiences of others who share similar concerns. At the most recent workshop, parents shared that it was very helpful for their child to do a stuttering presentation in school, to watch videos of athletes and others who stutter, and to meet other kids who stutter.
3. To receive much needed emotional support, not only for your child, but for the entire family
Parents need support and a safe place to voice their concerns and fears in order to best be able to help their children. At our last workshop, several of the parents who themselves stutter shared that their own experiences have taught them that dealing with stuttering can be quite challenging at times, but stressed that there is absolutely nothing to prevent CWS growing into totally fulfilled, successful, happy adults.
4. To have your personal questions answered
Most parents of CWS have questions about speech therapy and stuttering in general. AIS workshops are led by therapists who are happy to answer individual questions and provide appropriate resources and referrals.
5. To encourage your CWS to keep on talking, freely and authentically
Often CWS act shy in certain situations and we maintain that a primary objective of successful treatment is to encourage children to say what they want to say without fear or avoidance. We give CWS a stage to talk and perform in a safe, supportive environment and discuss ways to help parents continue to encourage their children to speak freely. At our last workshop, the children did a magic show and made sure the parents yelled “Abracadabra!” quite loudly!
--The American Institute for Stuttering is a leading non-profit organization whose primary mission is to provide universally affordable, state-of-the-art speech therapy to people of all ages who stutter, guidance to their families, and much-needed clinical training to speech professionals wishing to gain expertise in stuttering. Offices are located in New York, NY and Atlanta, GA, and services are also available Online. Our mission extends to advancing public and scholarly understanding of this often misunderstood disorder
Carl Herder, M.A., CCC-SLP, BCS-F
Atlanta Clinic Director, Board-Certified Specialist in Fluency Disorders
Carl is our Clinic Director for the Arthur M. Blank Center for Stuttering Therapy in Atlanta, GA. He joined AIS in New York in 2006 and worked closely with our founder, Catherine Montgomery for nearly five years. In 2016, he moved to Atlanta to open our first satellite office.