UNION COUNTY — Stuttering is a frustrating and embarrassing problem for millions of people, but it can be especially tough on teenagers. Help is available at most public libraries in the form of a DVD. Some libraries have an older video format.
“It’s meant to encourage teens, to tell them that there is hope out there,” said Professor Peter Ramig of the University of Colorado at Boulder. Ramig is one of three nationally recognized experts appearing in the DVD produced by the nonprofit Stuttering Foundation.
Local libraries in Garwood, Metuchen, New Providence, Roselle, Scotch Plains, Springfield, Woodbridge and Union are among those who have accepted a copy of the Stuttering Foundation DVD and agreed to shelve it.
David Wilkins, a high school student who stutters, narrates the DVD. It features students from junior high school through college talking about their experiences with stuttering and what they found to be helpful. They talk openly about the ridicule they faced from classmates and how their stuttering affects their lives.
“We really try to emphasize the embarrassment and frustration factor, and we think teens will relate to that,” adds Ramig. He appears in the DVD along with speech-language pathologists Dr. Barry Guitar of the University of Vermont and Dr. Hugo Gregory of Northwestern University.
The three experts answer questions about stuttering, refute myths and misconceptions, and present examples of therapy sessions showing how stuttering can be reduced.
More than three million Americans stutter, yet stuttering remains misunderstood by most people,” said Jane Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation. “Myths such as believing people who stutter are less intelligent or suffer from psychological problems still persist despite research refuting these erroneous beliefs.”
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 1-800-992-9392, e-mail email@example.com, or visit www.stutteringhelp.org or www.tartarmudez.org.