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Great Summer Reading: Stuttering

By Dr. Brenda Gorman, CCC-SLP, Lingua Health Advisory Clinical Director and Marquette University Associate Professor, College of Health Sciences Speech Pathology and Audiology

Dr. Brenda Gorman, CCC-SLP

Dr. Brenda Gorman, CCC-SLP

Every now and then, I’ll see a post from a friend on Facebook asking if anyone has a recommendation for a really good book. I read so much academic stuff that I am rarely able to recommend something that non-SLPs would actually enjoy, until now.

The book? Out With It: How Stuttering Helped Me Find My Voice. The author? Katherine Preston.

It’s perfect for anyone who loves an inspiring read that engages all of their emotions. In her memoir, you get to know and love Katherine as a young girl, and you grow to admire and be inspired by her as a courageous adult. You are easily drawn into her heartwarming transformation from a girl who wrote down the answers to teachers’ questions but avoided saying them out loud, to a woman who left her home in English, traveled across the United States conducting research, wrote about and published her experiences in this book, and now embraces public speaking to the benefit of so many.

We were extremely fortunate to host a presentation by Katherine with the Milwaukee National Stuttering Association chapter a couple of weeks ago in which she spoke about her journey writing the book. The majority of students in my fluency course attended, and they loved both her and her story so much (including the touching love story within the story), that not only did they eagerly line up to receive a signed copy at the end, but one student had already finished reading the entire book before our next class. While I am excited to incorporate it into the next fluency class that I teach, Katherine’s book is really inspiring for any reader. As she says in the book and clearly demonstrated throughout her journey, life is not easy, but the fight is worthwhile. Her message will resonate with anyone:

“After years of coming to grips with a different kind of voice, with a different kind of life, I have learnt that it is our imperfections that ultimately make us beautiful. I have learnt that they are what give us our humanity and what bring us, finally, into focus.”

You can learn more about Katherine and Out With It at http://katherinepreston.com/.

 

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