From a Parent of a Child who Received Stuttering Treatment
This letter has been on my mind and in my heart for many months. Ever since your first visit with Joe last winter, I knew that you would do amazing things together. Up until that evening, Joe had never acknowledged the sadness that he felt about stuttering. And I never quite realized that I felt somewhat to blame for causing the stuttering.
If the only result of attending your program were increased fluency, it would have been enough. But to say that the program was life changing for Joe, is no exaggeration. Each day, I see the results of that brief, intense experience.
The boy who burst into tears the first time he tried to make a phone call from home now races to the phone every time it rings. Joe even engages the caller in conversation! Now Joe eagerly speaks to the adults and children who address him and maintains eye contact. These days Joe rarely stutters, but if he does, it is no longer a cause for frustration and concern. He merely takes out one of his "tools" from the "toolbox" and carries on.
Some of the changes that have taken place are almost intangible. Joe holds himself differently. He appears more self-confident. Doing this work with a group of other children who stutter has made Joe more tolerant and empathetic. And rather than being intimidated by the older children, he thrived in those relationships.
Joe was not the only family member who benefited from the program. As the parent of a child who stutters, I learned a great deal about stuttering. I also learned how to support him as he worked to gain control over his stutter and when I needed to let go, allow him to do the work himself. These are important lessons for any parent, in any situation. They are lessons with which I will continue to struggle at times, as Joe might, on occasions, with stuttering.
We are blessed to have had the opportunity to participate in the Fluency Program. And while I know that it is the result of years of hard work, study, training, and experience, I believe that it is even more special because of you, Adriana. Your warmth, intelligence, sense of humor, gentle persistence and clear vision, make you not only a gifted speech therapist but an incredible person, as well. Thank you so much.