During his general speech at the U.S. House of Representatives this past spring, Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA) spoke about the importance of seeking help for stuttering. Rep. Wolf is composed and delivers his prepared speech so well that no one would suspect he stutters.
Back in 2009, PresenceLearning interviewed Rep. Wolf about his personal experience with stuttering and how he overcame his struggles, giving him the confidence to enter the world of politics. During the interview, he discussed how his own perseverance during college was what helped him begin to challenge his stuttering.
During one of his college courses, the professor stopped calling on Rep. Wolf because of his stuttering. Instead of not participating in discussions, he chose to confront the issue so that he could share in class. Rep. Wolf specifically asked the professor to continue to call on him and just be patient as he finished sharing his thought.
“It’s just taking speech therapy courses and getting up and speaking if you have something to say,” continued Rep. Wolf on overcoming a stutter. “You can’t be afraid to stutter. Sometimes you get that stuttering block particularly on long words, but you have to get through it. It’s about doing what you want to do and think you ought to do and not using stuttering as an excuse.”
Some students learn to control their stuttering or grow out of it all together—whether through therapy or personal drive—but many do not. When stuttering is not corrected early, it can become problematic for students academically, socially, and behaviorally, as well as affect employment opportunities down the road.
During his speech on the House floor, Rep. Wolf urged students who stutter and parents and friends of these children to seek help immediately. However, students in schools both large and small do not always have access to quality therapy resources due to high caseloads, tight budgets, and a shortage of thousands of SLPs.
For students in these schools, telepractice is an effective alternative. Telepractice allows students to access therapists from across the nation with a simple internet connection, making it possible for all students to get therapy and thus bridging the gap between student needs and delivered services.
Interested in more information about getting help for stuttering? Check out The Stuttering Foundation at www.stutteringhelp.org , their FAQ page at www.stutteringhelp.org/faq and PresenceLearning online speech therapy.