Royce Willis

Former All Black

“Growing up I found stuttering tremendously challenging and it created many self-esteem issues. Today I view the hardship as more of a gift than a curse – necessary for me to reach my full potential. Organisations like START have been responsible for helping me over the years, by giving me the tools to successfully manage my communication, for which I am most grateful.”

Ian Grant

Parenting Guru and Founder of The Parenting Place

 

“If I had a disastrous phone call, I used to hide for a week…now I’ve learned to get back on the bike. So many people – friends of mine – have never dealt with their stutter and hide it. I’d tried everything, but when I was about 30 years old I attended a course – it was great and taught me the techniques that helped me to become more fluent. It was important knowing there was an answer. I see lots of people with young children who have started to stutter – I just say to them – go to START – they are absolutely excellent.”

Matt McCarten

Labour Party Chief of Staff

“From a young age, well into adulthood, I never spoke in a public place. I can’t remember not stuttering, so I was always a child that wrestled with language. It took me a few years until I found START, but they fixed it for me because I understood what the problem was and was given the tools to overcome my stutter. If START had been around decades ago, it would have made my life a lot easier. Over the years, I’ve been involved in politics and always done a lot of talking – not bad for a stutterer.”

Judge Andrew Becroft

Principal Youth Court Judge and Children’s Commissioner

“There has scarcely been a day in my life where stuttering hasn’t affected me – it influenced me particularly in my teenage years and early adult life. My dream was that one day I could be a court lawyer and my firm paid for me to go on a course where I learned how to control my stutter. Because the treatment I received as a child was not in line with today’s practice, it was ineffective so it could never be eliminated. But it could be controlled, and that gave me the building blocks from that point on. With these techniques I can control my stutter – I could never have imagined myself in a role which involved so much public speaking, but it shows you that with good help, with those building blocks, with good support, having people believe in you – it’s survivable.”

START receives excellence award

START is delighted to have been granted the Marion Saunders Excellence in Speech Language Therapy Practice Award for 2015.

This award was established in 1973 and is open to all members of the New Zealand Speech Language Therapy Association (NZSTA) who have had a presentation accepted at the NZSTA Professional Development Symposium.  This two day event is biennially and was held in Christchurch this year.  The award is for an innovative project that has clinical/practice application and impact within the New Zealand context.

START was given the award for our presentation of the Pilot Mentoring Programme for PWS by PWS: Preliminary Evidence.  START developed the Pilot Mentoring Programme in conjunction with Wendy Baker from the New Zealand Coaching and Mentoring Centre (NZCMC).

It is well known that stuttering can have an impact on people’s lives including negatively affecting self-esteem, reducing educational opportunities and limiting occupational progress.  Research suggests that people who stutter may have less social support than others.  Mentoring is a supportive learning relationship which supports an individual to reflect and learn from their experiences.

The Pilot Mentoring Programme examined the effectiveness of formal mentoring for six pairs of people who stutter (PWS).  The mentees were all males in their 20s who were at transition points in their lives.  The mentors were all older males who were identified as having “lived well” with their stutter.  The mentoring pairs met every 3-4 weeks over a six month period and used their sessions to discuss a range of issues.  The mentees were interviewed both before and after the mentoring programme.  Some of the themes that emerged were increased confidence, less anxiety, becoming more open about stuttering and in some cases a changed perspective of stuttering.

 

Please contact START if you would like to discuss the findings of this research further.

Mentoring Recognised

START is delighted to have been granted the Marion Saunders Excellence in Speech Language Therapy Practice Award for 2015.

This award was established in 1973 and is open to all members of the New Zealand Speech Language Therapy Association (NZSTA) who have had a presentation accepted at the NZSTA Professional Development Symposium.  This two day event is biennially and was held in Christchurch this year.  The award is for an innovative project that has clinical/practice application and impact within the New Zealand context.

START was given the award for our presentation of the Pilot Mentoring Programme for PWS by PWS: Preliminary Evidence.  START developed the Pilot Mentoring Programme in conjunction with Wendy Baker from the New Zealand Coaching and Mentoring Centre (NZCMC).

It is well known that stuttering can have an impact on people’s lives including negatively affecting self-esteem, reducing educational opportunities and limiting occupational progress.  Research suggests that people who stutter may have less social support than others.  Mentoring is a supportive learning relationship which supports an individual to reflect and learn from their experiences.

The Pilot Mentoring Programme examined the effectiveness of formal mentoring for six pairs of people who stutter (PWS).  The mentees were all males in their 20s who were at transition points in their lives.  The mentors were all older males who were identified as having “lived well” with their stutter.  The mentoring pairs met every 3-4 weeks over a six month period and used their sessions to discuss a range of issues.  The mentees were interviewed both before and after the mentoring programme.  Some of the themes that emerged were increased confidence, less anxiety, becoming more open about stuttering and in some cases a changed perspective of stuttering.

The 2015 Programme is underway involving eight pairs of PWS.

Please contact START if you would like to discuss the findings of this research further.

START services expand to Albany

START now offers clients specialist stuttering treatment on Auckland’s North Shore thanks to a new partnership with Massey University.

Dr Anna Hearne who has a PhD in stuttering leads the specialist service at Massey University’s Speech Language Therapy Clinic at the Albany campus.

START Manger Janelle Irvine is excited START’s satellite clinic is now up and running, “We know that there are many clients who prefer not to travel to our Parnell clinic.  Thanks to the involvement of Massey University START can offer a new option to our North Shore based clients on where they would like to be seen.”

The specialist stuttering clinic offers appointments on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Please contact the START office on support@start.org.nz or phone 09 379 6364 to arrange an appointment.