Marshall Speech and Hearing Center and WVU to host Stuttering U. camp in July

Updated 4 years ago Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - One out of every 100 people stutter, according to Marshall communication disorders professor and stuttering specialist, Craig Coleman.

"Many people think of stuttering as a disruption in the flow of speech, but that's disfluency - not stuttering. It's much more than that," Coleman said.  "It is the physical tension, the eye blinking, the hand tapping, the head nodding, it's the negative feelings and emotions people experience, the negative reactions of those around them in their environment and the overall impact stuttering has on their communication."

Coleman said stuttering may not be eliminated in most older children and teenagers, but it can be effectively managed through treatment. He said this is why the Marshall University Speech and Hearing Center has joined with West Virginia University to hold the Stuttering U. summer camp to help children 7-18 years of age become better communicators.

"Through this collaboration, we wanted to offer diverse experiences that will empower these individuals to succeed socially, academically and one day, professionally," Coleman said.

Mary Weidner, a speech-language pathologist and a current doctoral student in the West Virginia University Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, said working with rural populations allowed her to see the need for this partnership.

"In a rural state like West Virginia, many kids who stutter have never met another child who stutters," Weidner said. "This is a unique opportunity for those in rural settings to meet somebody else who has gone through this shared experience and the value of this is immeasurable.  Our overall goal is to empower kids with knowledge about stuttering and allow them to connect with others kids who stutter so they can really start to develop and uncover the skills that are necessary to be confident communicators."

Weidner said speech-language pathologists who attend the camp will be provided a 12-hour continuing education workshop July 15-16. The cost of the 3-day camp is $175 and will provide children and parents community-centered stuttering intervention through education, consultation, treatment and support.

For more information on the Stuttering U. summer camp and how to register, contact Coleman at or visit online.
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