WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – Parents of children who stutter and anyone who wants to learn more about the disability will have access to a national expert tonight in Wausau.
Dr. Scott Yaruss, who is the co-director of the Stuttering Center of Western Pennsylvania, will host a workshop for parents tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. at John Muir Middle School in Wausau. The workshop is free and open to the public.
Yaruss will help parents take steps to help their children overcome stuttering. He will answer questions about bullying, the potential causes and treatment of stuttering and helping children say what they want without letting their stutter affect them, said school district speech-language pathoogist Connie Zebro.
“It's not a disorder to be feared,” Zebro said. “I think the more anxiety parents and kids get, the worse the stuttering gets.”
Zebro said there are two approaches in trying to help stutterers overcome their stutter. One camp suggests stutterers try to speak without any stutter at all. The other tries to get stutterers to stutter easily.
“I think everyone feels it's pretty necessary to get through those emotional issues and try to desensitize the patient to those fears and anxieties,” she said.
Zebro said “The King's Speech”, which won the Academy Award for best picture, has brought positive attention to the issue. She said the movie helped others understand that stuttering is not limited by wealth or mental status.
Yaruss will hold a daylong workshop for area speech therapists on Tuesday.