SCOTTSDALE, AZ - Hundreds of people are gathering in Scottsdale for the National Stuttering Association’s annual conference.
It’s the world’s largest stuttering support group with a strong chapter in the Valley.
The Sanchez family made the trip from Apache Junction to learn the latest research, meet other families and help their 10-year-old son Diego.
“He has a hard time with some things,” says Diego’s father, Mario Sanchez. “But if you’ll just be patient with him, he’ll get it out and it’ll be fine.”
Diego attended a workshop where they played a game called "Friend or Foe." It was designed to help kids determine which comments were meant to be hurtful or helpful.
“I like it here because I can be around other people who stutter and I’m not alone and it’s a really nice feeling,” Diego said.
At school, Diego says he’s the only one who stutters. When he was younger, he says other kids could be mean.
“They kind of copied what I did and said my name with a stutter at the beginning,” he said.
With the help of the National Stuttering Association, Diego and his family are more comfortable educating others.
Diego’s father says it’s not about how you say something, but what you say.
Diego says people who do not stutter should be patient and let people who do stutter finish their sentences.
“People who stutter have a voice that needs to get out,” he said.
It’s estimated three million Americans stutter.
According to the National Stuttering Association, it usually starts between the ages of 2 1/2 and 5. The cause remains unknown and there’s no cure, but people can learn to speak more easily and communicate more effectively.
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