What Do You Think?
Posted October 10, 2011on:
Kudos to my young friend, Philip Garber, who is featured in this New York Times article today, A Stutterer Faces Resistance, From the Front of the Class.
I know Philip, who is 16 years old, from the NSA. I have known him for a couple of years, so have had the opportunity to see him “grow up” as a young person with a profound stutter.
I also know Philip’s mom, Marin, who is mentioned in the article. I got to spend more time getting to know Marin at this year’s NSA conference in Ft Worth, Texas. We ran into each other at the airport on the way to Texas (!), and hung out quite a bit, sharing some meals together.
When this discouraging incident happened with Philip last month, Marin emailed me and asked my opinion of how Philip might handle the matter. We bantered a few thoughts back and forth, but ultimately Philip decided how it would be handled. He is quite skilled at self-advocacy.
I suggested that Philip should do a presentation to the faculty on stuttering awareness, and am pleased that he IS going to do this at some point.
Please take the time to read this article and the many comments (355 the last I saw!) The reactions are mixed.
What do you think? Do you think Philip was discriminated against? Do you think that the professor was reasonable in asking that Philip not speak in class? Is the article too one-sided? What lessons can be learned from this scenario?
Here’s a video that Philip did last year to commemorate International Stuttering Awareness Day, which is October 22. Hard to remember he is only a kid!