I’ve just finished reading Out with it: How stuttering helped me find my voice, by Katherine Preston. I found it moving and a great read!
It’s not a new book, but it has aged well, and feels relevant to me today.
Out with it is a memoir, that starts in the author’s childhood, growing up in suburban England, and ends after she completes a road trip across the United States, interviewing people who stammer/stutter, speech therapists and researchers.
Katherine explores her childhood and teenage years, searching for an elusive “cure”. During the second part of the book she gradually comes to accept her stutter and finds a way to live with it.
She meets lots of famous and everyday people along the way, and quotes liberally from her interviews.
In the author’s journey I see echoes of my own. My formative experience was group speech therapy at the age of 20, at the old Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. The speech therapy was based on the work of Van Riper, Sheehan and others. It used a 4-step process:
- Open and voluntary stuttering,
Therapy was tough and lasted an intense 5 months, but with the support of the other young people in the group, ultimately successful in allowing me to accept and reduce my avoidance of stammering.
I heartily recommend Katherine’s book!
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