To Other Parents of Children who Stutter

To Another Parent:

I was so thrilled with the progress our son made with Adriana, I thought it was time to write a formal letter of recommendation. But on second thought, I decided it was more important to write an honest, open letter to new parents. Because right now you're facing a tough reality: No matter how much you hope, your child is not going to "outgrow" this.

It's a scary, painful realization. I know, because we've been there. So I hope what I'm about to say will give you peace-even as those little words stumble out 20 syllables at a time.

Rest assured, my son is quite fluent now. But I'll never forget the night in our quiet time before sleep when he said, "Mommy, sometimes it's really hard for me to talk." That second, I disregarded everything his pediatrician and preschool teachers had promised me. His speech was a serious problem, and he was depending on me for help. The next morning I was on the phone, getting him to speech therapy as fast as I could. For the next several months, I sat helplessly behind a two-way mirror watching my son try to master the strategies of speech all by himself.

When we failed to see results, I started doing my research. (Who knew there was such a thing as a Childhood Fluency Specialist?) Fortunately for us and for you too, we met Adriana DiGrande. Her compassionate, fun, disciplined approach to therapy changed our lives forever.

The best thing about Adriana's approach is: She doesn't expect to do it alone. We weren't asked to sit in the waiting room or behind a mirror. We sat by our son's side- learning together . With Adriana's guidance, we learned to play games and provide positive reinforcement appropriately. My son loved it, and his speech was smoother almost immediately.

You see, Adriana doesn't teach "strategies." She shapes a child's speech by example, with lots of games, stickers, hugs, and smiles. By not focusing in the actual techniques, the rhythm of my son's speech changed naturally . I never heard him "stretch" his words, "breath" or use "easy Onset." But somehow, some way, his speech improved. Best of all, he never considered it therapy. If you asked him, he was just having fun.

I know how heart breaking it is to hear your child t-t-t-t-t-try t-t-t-to g-g-g-get his w-w-w-w-w-words out. It plagues you with guilt. Why is this happening? What did we do wrong? The truth is, we may never know. But whatever went "wrong," you can be sure you're doing the most important thing right. You're getting your child the best help available.

Adriana is brilliant with children. And she's been a comfort and inspiration to us. Her insightful, positive way has helped is through the difficult task of speaking (something most parents take for granted). I know it's distressing to hear your child struggle with speech, especially when it comes so effortlessly to other kids. But when Adriana tells you it will get better, you can believe her.

I wish you all the best.


Kathleen P.

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