By Robert TimmonsJanuary 23, 2020
For C.C. Pinckney Elementary School student Kourtney McWhite having an article published in an international magazine made her "proud" of herself.
McWhite wrote the article for the Stuttering Foundation Magazine to share the strategies she uses in her fight against her speech impediment.
She wrote her article "Light Contact Lips" about one strategy she uses.
This "means that when I say words or sounds that are bumpy for me, I need to let the words fall gently from my lips onto other people's ears."
McWhite learned her strategy from Kerrie Ammons, the school's Speech and Language Pathologist.
"Dr. Ammons and I talk a lot about easy onset strategies and light contact lips," she added. "She is always reminding me that stuttering is something that I sometimes do, not who I am."
Ammons said SLPs like her are trained to "offer fluency techniques as well as emotional support" for those who stutter.
"We all have times when we do not speak smoothly," she said. "We may add 'uh' or 'you know' to what we say or, we may say a sound or word more than once. These disfluencies are normal if they happen every once in a while. When it happens a lot, it may be stuttering."
Stuttering can also make a person tense and struggle to talk in turn affecting the way they interact with others.
"You may want to hide your stuttering," Ammons said. "So, you may avoid certain words or refuse to talk in some situations. Stuttering does not only affect how you sound but it also affects how you feel, about yourself."
For Ammons the end result of the long and challenging process of speech pathology "is always worth it."
"Sometimes you get students who want to share their successes with international magazines and in turn, are selected for publication. These moments remind me that they "get it"... stuttering is something they do, not who they are."
McWhite is the third student Ammons has worked with to have an article published in the Stuttering Foundation magazine.
C.C. Pinckney Elementary School principal Ryan Smith said he couldn't be more proud of her accomplishment.
"We are so proud of Kourtney," he said. "Her accomplishment represents C.C. Pinckney's vision of achieving student success, all day, every day."