Make Room For The Stuttering

Kid’s Bravery

Posted on: July 31, 2009

One of the best parts of my experience at the annual Friends conference last weekend was working with the kids and encouraging them to tell their stories. I had thought it would be a good idea to offer a video workshop and give the kids a chance to record themselves and put it on the Internet. I really wasn’t sure how well this would work or if the kids would really want to do it, or if the parents were willing. I know I would never have had the courage at this age that these kids did and do!

I met with the kids on Friday afternoon, explained the ideas and gave them time to think about what message they might want to share about their stuttering experience. 14-year-old Linnea helped me out as co-facilitator. A lot of kids didn’t want to do it. But 15 kids were very excited with the prospect of being able to tell their story in their own words and help raise awareness about stuttering.

So Linnea and I worked with this group and helped them come up with ideas and story lines. But the kids didn’t need much prompting. Once they got into it, each young person had an idea of how to tell their story. So we recorded 10 video clips with one kid or teen , and we did one group clip where three 11-year-old girls wanted to work together as a group.

The videos can be seen here on my YouTube page and will also be uploaded to the Friends page.

This was an amazing experience for me. These kids were so brave, honest and inspiring, it really blew me away. We did the recording on Saturday morning. Many of the kids took their “scripts” with them Friday night so they could practice. I spent time Friday night checking and double checking parental consents. All of the parents gave permission. We all saw this project as a great way to raise stuttering awareness and show real kids deal with the real issues involved with stuttering. I was so proud of each of them – they all touched my heart. Next year we are going to do a video workshop with the parents, which will also be amazing. I know these videos will teach something to everyone who watches.

So big congratulations to Brett, Claire, Katie, Ashlee, Maria, Jimmy, Ryan, Dan, Gracie, Linnea, Carly, Lilly and Sophie. Amazing, courageous kids who speak  from the heart. We must listen.

Here is Gracie’s story. Be sure to check out the rest of them. You will be inspired.

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2 Responses to "Kid’s Bravery"

love this Pam…im definitely going next year…haHA!

I loved watching all of the kids tell their stories. I know that as a kid and probably even now I couldn’t do that, so they are very brave and inspiring:)

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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.