Video addresses teenagers’ concerns about stuttering

Published 11:16 pm Friday, March 13, 2009

Stuttering is a condition that frustrates millions of people, and it can create embarrassing situations from anyone who suffers from it. But it can be particularly difficult for children and teenagers.

Help is available at the Chilton/Clanton Public Library in the form of a video made available by the Stuttering Foundation of America.

“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 video.

David Wilkins, a high school student who stutters himself, narrates the video. 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 video/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.

The local library has several such videos that address the topic from the perspective of different age groups.

“It is important anytime you can provide information like that to the general public,” Library Director Jo Abernathy said. “We have a fairly large collection of videos.”

Abernathy said Web users can access video titles, as well as search for specific titles, on the library’s Web site,

Library cardholders also may insert their card number and pin number on the site to view due dates and request book titles.

“Our new system allows us to issue each patron a pin number,” Abernathy explained. “This is included with your library card.”

The video is available free to all public libraries. If you are interested in checking this out and your library doesn’t have it, ask them to contact the Stuttering Foundation toll-free at (800) 992-9392, visit and, or e-mail for a copy.