Make Room For The Stuttering

Posts Tagged ‘teaching about how to treat people who stutter


Episode 8 of the conversations with men who stutter features Michael Callicutt, who hails from central North Carolina. He has been in St Louis, Missouri, his wife’s hometown, since last Fall. Micheal has been teaching band for seven years to students in grades 6 through high school.

Music has always been important to Micheal. He didn’t flourish academically in school until he joined band at age 10, when “all of a sudden, everything made sense.”  He knew then that music was his gift.

In college, Micheal actually started of with pre-dentistry classes, thinking he would not be able to support a family on a teaching salary. But he quickly learned that was not for him, and allowed himself to follow his music calling.

We discuss how stuttering impacted his college studies – he had a lot of self doubt and fears, worrying about completing the speaking aspects and teaching internships.

We also talk about how Michael almost never stutters in front of his students, interesting reactions from listeners, and true expressions of self.

Feel free to leave feedback or ask questions in the comment section of this blog. Let Micheal know what a great job he did!

Music used in this episode is credited to ccMixter.

I was so surprised and honored to receive a recent message from a woman in Brazil who had sent me a friend request on Facebook. Because I did not know her, I inquired who she was and why she was interested in connecting.

Ignes wrote: “I am the president of the Brazilian Institute of Fluency – IBF.  I’m a speech pathologist specializing in the treatment of stuttering, however I’m not a person who stutters. This is my personal website: www.gagueiraonline.com.br. It is written only in Portuguese yet, but I plan to translate it into English and Spanish soon.”

“I really admire your work. Here in Brazil we use a video of you – in lectures and courses to educate teachers about what stuttering is and how to treat a person who stutters. I visited your blog and really enjoyed it. I forwarded the link to several people from the Institute and two colleagues in particular who are also founders of the IBF and women who stutter. They will probably write to you.”

“It is indeed a great pleasure to establish contact with you and be able to exchange knowledge.”

Now maybe I am just getting wimpy in my old age, but this really touched me. I did not even know that somewhere in Brazil, teachers are looking at a video of me talking to kids about stuttering so they would understand it and know how to best work with those children. The kids I talked to that day did not stutter. I was teaching them about it so they would not be afraid when they encounter someone who talks different  and not laugh at someone who stutters.

What a powerful message this was for me when I read Ignes’ response. We never know who we might touch. We never know how what we do today may impact someone else tomorrow. I visited that middle school to talk to kids about respect for differences during National Stuttering Awareness Week two years ago and it is making a difference in Brazil today as well. Wow!

Moments like this remind me of why I keep doing this. Sometimes I don’t get any feedback and wonder if I should keep on writing and sharing my journey, my story. Thank you , Ignes, for reminding me that what we do does matter.


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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2014.
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