USF "Speech Party'' Helps Stutterers Connect

With the growing success of the Oscar nominated film The King's Speech, more awareness is being brought to stuttering and the ramifications it creates for people.

For children and adults who struggle with stuttering, there will be an event on Feb. 26 hosted by the Tampa Bay chapter of the National Stuttering Association (NSA) along with the USF Speech Clinic known as a "Speech Party."

The term "speech party" came from a child who previously attended the annual Youth Day for Children Who Stutter event.

The purpose of the event is to elevate awareness as well as to show children and their care givers that they are in lots of good company.

According to Nathan Maxfield, a USF assistant professor and speech-language pathologist, the event gives kids a chance to "normalize" their stuttering by meeting and spending time with other kids who stutter. "This event sets aside one day each year for kids who stutter to come together and spend time with each other without the fear associated with stuttering," says Maxfield.

Maxfield says the event will include workshops for kids and for parents. Workshops for kids allow children to share their experiences, learn how to deal with bullying and explore their strengths beyond stuttering. The workshops for parents also give a platform to share experiences, as well as become educated on stuttering, coping strategies and modern-day speech therapy. According to Maxfield stuttering is highly treatable.

"There is often an emotional component to stuttering, and events like the Youth Day, as well as self-help meetings for adults at USF go a long way in helping people cope with those emotional issues," he says.

The Youth Day for Children Who Stutter event will be at USF's Marshall Center on Saturday, Feb. 26 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Writer: Kimberly Patterson
Source: Nathan Maxfield, University of South Florida

Read more articles by Kimberly Patterson.

Kimberly Patterson is a news editor for 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida.
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