Kiwi teenager with stutter achieves public speaking goal

Ethan Findlow, a Kiwi teenager who struggles with a stutter, has achieved his goal to deliver a speech in front of a group of people.

He's one of around 45,000 people in New Zealand who stutter.

He set the goal during an intensive week-long course to manager his stutter at the Stuttering Treatment and Research Trust.

"I'm kind of a bit frustrated when I can't say a word, and I kind of feel that as I'm speaking. It's strange," he told The Project.

"I'm speaking about my experience as someone who stutters. But trying to get his stutter under control has been hard," he said.

His father David Findlow said: He's actually been exhausted at home. Rather than doing ordinary teenage things, he's been giving his speech centre a serious working over."

Alongside Ethan are his fellow teens who also have stutters. All of them will have to give a speech. But a tough journey is always easier when it's shared by others.

Ethan says the key is to be calm and comfortable, and slowing down while speaking.

Speech therapist Janelle Irvine said one of the most valuable aspects of the programme is that it brings together young people with stutters.

"Often they've never met anyone else. There might not be anyone else at school, or their family or friends. So to come and spend a week with people who are just like them who also stutter it really takes the pressure off."

Watch the video to see Ethan's speech.


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