Make Room For The Stuttering

Nice Surprise

Posted on: July 30, 2009

This is the text from a letter to the editor that was printed in my local newspaper yesterday, in response to an article of mine that ran on Sunday. I did not see this in the newspaper. Some friends called me to tell me they had seen it and were very excited for me.

And my sister called me today, also wanting to be sure I had seen it and offering congratulations. She also said it was pretty cool that some of my stuff was being published in the paper. She said she was proud of me. I will admit, that was very nice to hear.

(first published July 29, 2009 Opinion page, Times Union Albany, NY)

Pamela Mertz’s “Should she be dressing up or dressing down?” (July 26) struck a raw nerve with me. I am a stutterer and could relate to a lot of what she described about her early life, especially the bullying and teasing she endured on account of her speech problem.

Last year I was initially thrilled when The Stuttering Foundation, a nonprofit group, published a 36-page book, “Trouble at recess,” which is a guide for kids on handling bullying and teasing. My enthusiasm for the book later became despair when I learned that it was selling at a record pace; such big sales numbers convey that there is a great need for the book in this country. The Web site of the Stuttering Foundation (www.stutteringhelp.org) has a lot of free resources for parents and kids, such as many streaming videos and download-able brochures.

I am glad that Ms. Mertz shared this painful aspect of her childhood because it will serve to educate the public about the bullying faced by kids with all kinds of handicaps.

John W. Beneski

Enfield, Conn

I was not intending to plug bullying when I submitted the article, but I guess I am very glad that it was seen in this light. If I can help one kid not be teased or bullied, then that is a very big deal.

I emailed the Stuttering Foundation and let them know they got some publicity, thanks to John’s kind words and the fact that my local community newspaper finds stuttering important enough to publish these things. That is really special.

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2017. 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 2017.