"WOW! I never would have thought I'd be honored for my stuttering. Nothing was around like Our Time when I was a kid. God bless the founders. I'm thankful for this honor from such a wonderful program."
Phil Schneider, Ed.D. CCC-SLP is the founding partner of Schneider Speech Pathology and Professor Emeritus of Communication Disorders at Queens College, CUNY. Recognized as a master clinician and teacher, he has been practicing for over 40 years. Phil has received numerous honors including NYS Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Distinguished Clinician Award and was named the National Stuttering Association's Speech Pathologist of the Year. His documentary film, Transcending Stuttering: The Inside Story aired on PBS, and has tens-of-thousands of online views. His second film, Going with the Flow: A Guide to Transcending Stuttering is being used in graduate courses worldwide.
"It is an honor to be a part of the amazing Our Time family. Speech therapy is often not enough for youngsters challenged with stuttering. Along with their family, they need and deserve a loving, supportive community to help them accept themselves and celebrate their inner spark."
At age 10, Saadiq founded his own organization, LLLet Me Finish, to spread awareness about stuttering and bullying, and to raise financial aid funds for Camp Our Time.
"As a person who stutters I've been bullied for my speech and I know what it feels like to be ridiculed. I'm really excited to be working with Taro and the Our Time Family. Together we are going to help so many kids in the U.S. and all over the world!"
With artists and celebrities from the worlds of music, television, and film in attendance, the true stars of the evening will be Our Time's incredible young participants whose voices have been validated and encouraged by the organization. As 16-year old Argenis said, "Before Our Time, I was afraid to speak in public. But now, I can express myself freely."
Founded in 2001, Our Time is a non-profit organization that helps young people who stutter, ages 3-18, improve their confidence and communication skills. Children who stutter from around the nation and abroad join a community of unconditional acceptance where they discover the importance of expressing their unique and valuable voices. Through performing arts, speech therapy, and summer camp programs, participants develop vital communication skills, gain validating friendships, receive mentorship from adult role models, and experience motivating success.
The organization offers its NYC arts programming free of charge and provides financial aid for its speech therapy services and Camp Our Time.
It is estimated that over 68 million people in the world stutter, including 5% of all children. This common yet widely misunderstood speech disorder can cause extreme emotional distress in kids who struggle not only with verbal communication but also with shame, discrimination, bullying, and social isolation. Stuttering can claim a child's desire to speak, and ultimately their ability to achieve their dreams.
Our Time provides comprehensive treatment options for stuttering which address the emotional, social, and physical impacts of the disorder. The company's programs are designed to reorient children to believe that communicating their thoughts and feelings is more important than hiding their stuttering from others. When participants learn they can embrace a positive self-identity as a person who stutters, and reduce their struggle with speech, they can overcome social and academic obstacles and reach their fullest potential.
To learn more about Our Time, please visit: www.ourtimestutter.org.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski