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Book about boy who stutters a moving read
Written by Mary Rose Labandelo   
Wednesday, 06 November 2013 15:54

paperboyPaperboy is a story about an 11 year old boy who stutters. It is part memoir and part fiction, written by Vince Vawter. For over 60 years the author “stuttered fiercely, sometimes gently” yet he was able to overcome his speech impediment and lead a successful career in newspapers. The backdrop of the novel is Memphis 1959 – segregation is the norm. Two major themes explored in Paperboy are the speech challenge the protagonist experiences, and the racial tension in the South.

As a person who stutters, I was able to relate to the Paperboy’s inner turmoil. Overwhelmed by speaking, the Paperboy substitutes words. He calls his best friend "Rat" because it is easier to say. He blocks on words and cannot say his name. He also feels ashamed when he can not order food at a restaurant, and everyone at his table laughs.

Beyond the ignorance
Written by Richard W. Lutman   
Sunday, 09 March 2014 17:21

It amazes me how, in this day and age, the way we articulate our words alters people’s perceptions of us. I am amazed at people’s ignorance when it comes to how I say words. Amazed that I can be treated so differently because it takes me longer to say a word or a sentence. Amazed that there is still such a stigma associated with stuttering.

Enlightening others

One of the questions I get asked frequently is, “have you always stuttered?” This is usually followed by, “what causes it?” I start to rule out all the stereotypes. I make it clear it is not caused by something my mother did when she was expecting, and that am not developmentally delayed. I make it clear that reducing my stuttering is not as simple as just “slowing down.”

Those of us that stutter endure different challenges. The derogatory term “retard” and the relations associated to the word are things that many of us have been called. This term means a slowness or limitation in ones intellectual understanding and awareness, and emotional development. Yet this is the farthest thing from the truth. There is no slowness in an individual that stutters nor difficulty in ones intellectual ability. In fact the opposite has been proven.

How many people take the time to see this? How many people look beyond our limitations?


So often we as individuals that stutter are grouped based on the way we speak. This strips away our individuality and dignity. We live in  a country that was founded on dignity and integrity, a country that we thought was beyond such ignorance and hate. Yet when we are grouped and labeled because of how we articulate our words I am reminded of just how behind society is.  When we are grouped and labeled so often, we are meant to feel ashamed of our stutter because we have been segregated and labeled.


With every incident of discrimination I have experienced, I became stronger. With every hurdle that society placed in front of me, I became prouder of who I am. Whenever a person places walls in front of me I knock them down.  For I know anything is possible. This ignorance is not something that should be directed to us. We can all hope that ignorance will dissipate and love for our fellow person will prevail.

Richard Lutman lives in Stratford.

A Parent's Journal
Tuesday, 16 April 2013 01:53

AParentsJournalThis is a personal journal of a mother whose child started stuttering at a young age. How stuttering, and the speech therapy sought to treat it, effects the child and the family is discussed. Names are not included to protect the child's identity.

February 26, 2013 – Why E?

My little boy has an assessment at ISTAR (Institute for Stuttering Treatment an Research) tomorrow.  It’s now 9:30pm, and in just over 12 hours I will be walking my baby there, knowing that he will be having therapy for stuttering.  Part of me is grateful that ISTAR is in Edmonton, so we only have a 30 minute drive to get to the some of the best therapy in the world. I know that with some therapy E will be fine and probably stutter-free, but a part of me feels like it is breaking my heart into pieces knowing that my baby is stuttering. I’ve had to tell my serious 3 year old that tomorrow we are going to meet a nice lady who helps kids talk better and she will help him unstuck his words.  I should be taking him skating or to a movie, not to speech therapy!

Cutting out the noise: a review
Written by Andrew Harding   
Thursday, 09 May 2013 16:32

A review of the book: Mindfulness and Stuttering - Using Eastern Strategies to speak with greater ease, by Ellen-Marie Silverman, 158 pages, CreateSpace 2012


You’re about to order a meal, or maybe introduce yourself. You feel you might stutter. Your mind races away for a moment as you think about the need to make a good impression. You remember the times when you didn’t  - and the consequences if you don’t this time. Then suddenly it’s time to speak. But now you feel a bit disconnected. You stutter- and feel more disconnected still.

Stuttering and marriage
Written by Lisa Wilder   
Saturday, 19 October 2013 12:45

The Other Side of the Block: The Stutterer’s Spouse. By Julia M. Boberg and Einer Boberg, from Journal of Fluency Disorders 15 (1990), 61-75

The impact of stuttering on adults who stutter and their partners. By Janet M. Beilby, Michelle L Byrnes, Emily L. Meagher, J. Scott Yaruss, from Journal of Fluency Disorders 38(2013) 14-29

couples imageIn the realm of information about stuttering, many perspectives have been studied, from that of parents of children who stutter to professionals in the field. However, there is scant research exploring the effects of stuttering on the life partner of a person who stutters, and how that relationship is affected.

In 1990, a study was conducted on this topic through interviews with 15 wives of men who stuttered. This report was called The Other Side of the Block: The Stutterer’s Spouse. The wives were asked a series of questions about how they met their husbands, their first impressions, and the impact of his stuttering on various aspects of their lives.


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