Stammering: When just giving your name seems impossible

Arthur Young gives his talk to Morpeth Rotary Club. Pictured are (left to right) Ann Thompson, Arthur Young, President Bob Kendal and Secretary John Pringle.
Arthur Young gives his talk to Morpeth Rotary Club. Pictured are (left to right) Ann Thompson, Arthur Young, President Bob Kendal and Secretary John Pringle.

Morpeth Rotary Club

A recent speaker at Morpeth Rotary Club was Arthur Young, who is the Men’s Golf Captain at Burgham Golf Club.

Mr Young’s chosen charity for the year is Action For Stammering Children.

He understands the problem all too well as he is one of a family of five who have struggled with the disability.

Mr Young told club members that as you grow up, the stammer is something you do not want to reveal so you remain silent.

School can be a place of ridicule for sufferers.

People can feel that they are a lesser person, and it affects their personality and character.

The stammer gives sufferers a sense of insecurity, and it makes the normal problems of growing up and facing the everyday challenges of life ten times more difficult.

Those that do speak will often switch words to those they can say more easily.

Some children don’t give their own name when asked, but give a different name that is easier for them to say.

It can get silly when you go into shop and buy something you do not want because the article has an easier name than the item you went in to buy.

For example, Mr Young used to order pie and chips at take-outs just because he couldn’t say fish and chips.

Some stammer sufferers are especially hesitant about getting married because of the ordeal of saying their vows in public.

Mr Young bravely gave this, his first address on the subject, at Morpeth Rotary Club following an introduction by fellow golfer and Rotary member Ann Thompson.

He was asked a number of questions about his experiences of stammering, and he gave a range of confident and insightful replies.

Rotary member Alex Swailes said that he had seen the beneficial effects for his brother of taking part in outdoor projects and tasks.

He had been allocated a place at Brownrigg School, at Bellingham, where the approach seemed to ease his stammer and boost his confidence.

Mr Young said that such a result is just one reason for supporting his chosen charity.

This is what the charity aims to do — boost confidence by taking children and their parents away together for camping and outdoor activities.

He thought that about one per cent of children have this speech problem.

However, with help and support, as well as strategies to help them get by, any trade or profession is possible for them.

Former Morpeth Rotary President Dr Paul Crook had a stammer, but he has had a successful career in medicine and was an able and competent chairman.

As with all disabilities, some individuals are affected more than others.

Of course, some sufferers have a much harder time than King George VI seemed to have in overcoming the problem, as it was portrayed in the award-winning film The King’s Speech.

Mr Young then passed around a donations sheet to members.

Donations can also be given by email.

The speaker was commended by Ms Thompson on how well he had communicated his message to the club members.