HOM Student Offers A Lesson On Stuttering
Head O’Meadow fourth grade student Emmett Paulson presented a lesson on stuttering to all of the kindergarten to second grade students at his school recently because he wanted them to know that “it is okay to stutter.”
For Emmett, who entered kindergarten with a stutter, the presentation was years in the making. He had previously shared a presentation with his own class, and since it is his last year as a Head O’Meadow student, Emmett said he thought it would be good to share with “a lot of people.”
“The reason I am doing it is to spread the word about stuttering ... That it is okay to stutter,” said Emmett, in a phone interview after the October 21 presentation.
Emmett’s mother Jessie Paulson was at the school for the presentation. She said the students “responded great.”
“They had a ton of questions,” said Paulson.
Emmett said his presentation shared the names of famous people who stutter and it offered facts about stuttering, like, he said, 70 million people in the world stutter.
The presentation lasted about 15 minutes.
Emmett shared his gratitude for Head O’Meadow Lead Teacher Carol Danenberg and Speech/Language/Hearing Specialist Justine Hensey’s support.
While Emmett had support and technical help for the presentation, Paulson said her son took the effort on by himself.
Ahead of giving the presentation, Emmett said he was scared of messing up in some way.
Afterwards, he reflected, “I learned that it is not scary to do it. I was kind of scared, but once I did it, I was fine with it and I was actually happy I did it.”
Emmett said he wants people to know that for children who stutter, it can be hard to say a sentence. It can feel like the whole world is watching them. The most important thing for people speaking with someone who stutters to understand is that they should be patient and not finish their sentences, Emmett said.
Paulson said a lot of teachers came up to Emmett after the presentation to share compliments for how well he did.
“It really was an incredible thing to be so vulnerable to so many,” Paulson said.
Education Editor Eliza Van can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.