To the editor of the Cherokee One Feather:
Being on an e-list for parents of children who stutter, I was pleased to read your article “Shapiro scholarship will benefit WCU students specializing in fluency disorders”. Be assured that the article was read and commented upon by people from all over the world.
It was inspirational to learn how David Shapiro, who struggled with stuttering himself, is giving back to help others through the scholarships to outstanding graduate students in the speech-language pathology department at Western Carolina University.
While on the subject of fluency disorders, I would like to mention something that should be highly publicized in the Native American population. The website of the Stuttering Foundation (www.stutteringhelp.org) has a brochure called “Special Education Law and Children Who Stutter” which details the little-known component of our national healthcare system that provides for free speech therapy for every child in the U.S. with any type of speech problem. This awesome benefit of free speech therapy for all kids is the result of federal legislation forty years ago.and can begin easy as early as pre-school and run through high school. Like all segments of the U.S. population, the Native American population has many children with speech problems whose families cannot afford private speech therapy. The website of this nonprofit organization also provides many free resources for children and adults who stutter.
Your article was such a positive one that I thought that your readers would be interested to know about this right to free speech therapy for all kids. If more parents in the Cherokee community and all Native American communities were to be aware of this amazing benefit, more children with speech problems could be helped and their lives improved.