Samantha Gennuso is a fearless stutterer who serves on the Board of Directors for the National Stuttering Association. In the May issue of Little Rock Family, she talks about overcoming anxiety in social situations and what you can if your child develops a stutter.

Anxiety around social situations started at pre-school introductions, or even earlier. I know how it feels to watch a loved one struggle. This type of struggle can tear a person down. It’s the type of consistent pain that is hard to watch, a ridicule that you want to protect them from. Even one-on-one, it can be tempting for a parent to fill in words for their child.

The best advice I can give is to let your child fight his or her own battles. Sure, as a stutterer, there are times where I want someone to speak for me. But those times are rare and I make them known. Usually, the compound burden of worrying how I am being received and if a friend or parent is worrying about me, makes the situation worse.  

For more on stuttering and what the National Stutter Association seeks from the 99 percent who don't stutter, see the digital edition of this month's Little Rock Family by clicking here. You'll also discover some famous names from history who stuttered, from presidents to boxers to a president who was once a boxer. It's proof that stuttering is a hindrance that can be overcome.