By Ms. LaTrice Langston (IMCOM)June 1, 2018
Tristian Williams, a fourth grader at Fort Jackson's C. C. Pinckney Elementary School was recognized in circles whose members consist of well educated speech and language pathologists for his work against stuttering for creating a way to help stutterers overcome their speech problems.
He was named South Carolina's 2017 -- 2018 Speech and Hearing Association Ambassador because of the techniques used to overcome his stuttering complex with the assistance of his speech pathologist Kerrie Ammons. His work, called the Stuttering Adventure Blueprint, was published in a recent issue of the Stuttering Foundation magazine.
Williams' message to those who stutter is simple; just be you.
"Usually some people will make fun of people who stutter but you shouldn't be ashamed of what you say and how you say it, you should just be happy with who you are," he said.
Confidence and a knowing of one's self is present in every perfectly crafted sentence spoken by Williams but he said his words haven't always flowed so smoothly.
"Well, before I actually got into speech and with Dr. Ammons … I actually stuttered a whole lot more than I am right now," he said. "Like every sentence I say, would usually have like one to three or five stutters, but now I've found a way to prevent it."
Williams' says he uses easy onsets, to avoid a bumpy conversation.
"I overcame it [stuttering] with easy steps called easy onsets," he added. "The first one is, stop; the second one is think about what you're going to say; the third is breathe in; and the last one is breathe out on the word that you are saying."
Williams created the SAB, a pacing chart he uses to track how well he is applying the easy onset techniques to achieve smooth conversation throughout the day. The SAB has four features that aid in treatment to prevent stuttering; "I Can" list belief statements such as "I can adjust and monitor my speech;" a section to list bumpy sounds and or words; the Pace It and Face It has three rows of emoji to help the individual identify and make connections between their emotions and communication.
The "Think -- Pair -- Share, to Show You Care" of the SAB. serves as a reminder to educate others on what stuttering is.
"Think pair share, to show you care is a part where you ask people do you know what stuttering is, if they say no, then you tell them what it is and explain how it can be prevented. When teaching people what stuttering is and you talk to them on a different day, then they will understand what you're going through and they will be nicer."
Williams said all people should be treated the same regardless of how they communicate.
"Just because people stutter when they are talking to you; don't think down on them," he said. "All you should do is just be nice and threat them the way that you want to be treated."
Williams'' Stuttering Adventure Blueprint published in the Stuttering Foundation magazine received rave reviews.
Joan Warner, resources coordinator for The Stuttering Foundation of America wrote, "The SABis truly a creative and helpful resource and you all should be proud! These kids need to know that they can and they do make a difference!! Bravo, Tristian!!"
The SAB. will be used by others across the country as well.
Mary Wuerker, a speech language pathologist in Cape May, New Jersey wrote she will share Williams' SAB with students and colleagues while encouraging Williams to start a video blog to share his wisdom.
"I just read Tristian's letter and Stuttering Adventure Blueprint in your Summer 2018 issue. Wow, what an awesome resource," she wrote. "Thanks to Tristian for taking the time to share his invention. I'm wondering if he has ever considered making videos or having his own YouTube channel to explain and demonstrate the SAB to kids all around the world."
I am "looking forward to hearing more from Tristian in the future," she continued. "I really loved Tristian's SAB and I will certainly share with my students who stutter. I'm going to pass it along to my colleagues, too."
Williams met South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster last year after being name Speech and Hearing Association Ambassador for his creation of a "Stuttering Hero."