Beating the Stammer

by VocoVision on September 8, 2017

kid stammerMany people go through speech therapy. Many speech therapists join the force because someone they know someone who benefitted from speech therapy. Others simply just want to nurture those who need the help. Who we want to highlight today are those who overcame their own speech issues to move on and help others find their way. These two incredible individuals show how impactful speech therapy can be on one’s life, enough to motivate them to help those who went through similar situations. 

Richard Stephens

In the United Kingdom, a man named Richard Stephens is one who understands the struggle with speech and has graduated with honors to become a speech therapist. As a child, he stammered so much that he was unable to speak his own name and would avoid speaking in class. The social stigma surrounding his stammer created severe social anxiety and psychological issues. He saw a speech therapist from the age of seven and, unfortunately, speech therapists at that time were not paying much attention to the psychological aspect of his inability to speak clearly.

Originally, Stephens opted to study IT, as he believed he would be able to avoid speaking to people directly and communicate through email. However, because of his growth in a support group and work he did as a psychiatric nurse, he chose speech pathology instead. Not only does he work with children during the school year, he also takes time to volunteer at a Michigan camp that caters to children with a stutter. Stephens still has a mild stutter. but that is what keeps him motivated and his patients inspired by how far he has come.

Malcolm Fraser

Malcolm Fraser was born in 1903, at a time in which a speech impediment could be a major detriment to your life. There were no real resources for Fraser as he grew up, and he had to learn how to adapt and overcome on his own. He was a hard-working intelligent man and owned his own business.

At the age of 44, Fraser chose to go another way. He wanted to provide help to others who struggled with their stuttering and stammering so that they could make their way through life with just as much success. He created the Stuttering Foundation in 1947 to provide individuals, therapists, parents, employers, and schools with much-needed information and tools to help those who stuttered. Fraser passed away in 1994, but the foundation is still going strong with providing information and working closely with researchers to hopefully find ways to detect issues even earlier.

There are lots of famous people who have suffered from speech impediments who can inspire us to work hard and rise above our challenges. But when we have an everyday person who suffers their own impediments and works to help others at the same time, those are our true superheroes!


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