Ellen-Marie Silverman is preparing a companion volume to Jason's Secret. This book, Jason's Secret: A Tool for Healing, written for parents, therapists, and other educators, offers suggestions for applying the content of Jason's Secret to personal and interpersonal communication needs. By following these suggestions, the reader will be better able to create and maintain a communication network that supports positive change in speech communication skill and satisfaction for all members.
Or you can purchase an autographed copy directly from the author for $21.00. Mail your request and payment to:
5567 North Diversey Boulevard,
Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin 53217
Jason Loring felt like an alien. His classmates avoided
him and called him names. His stepbrother, Robbie, teased him. His father and
stepmother didn't listen to him. Now he was starting fifth grade at a new
school. He hoped that this time, this one time, he would just fit in. He was
smart. He looked OK. He was good at chess. But whenever he started to talk, he
never knew whether IT would happen, and he would look and sound like a freak!
That was the problem. A big problem! And it made him angry. Very angry! He had
to learn to cool it, and he had to learn fast!
happens at his new school, why his father shares his secret, and how Jason
changes leads to acceptance at last.
Here's what one reader has to say about
Secret can be read by children themselves or with a caring adult.
Please feel free to contact me, Dr. Ellen-Marie Silverman, for suggestions.
Also, please feel free to share your opinion of the book with me. Here's how
you can reach me:
Secret takes readers into the thoughts and feelings of a boy who feels
isolated and alone because he cannot talk as other children do. His experiences
are not limited to children who stutter, however; his sense of isolation is
shared by all who, for whatever reason, feel different. This book is timely for
this sense of alienation has resulted again and again in tragedies in our
schools in recent years.
"Jason's Secret also gives
insights into family relationships and the potential role of teachers and
special school personnel (in this case, the speech therapist) in a child's
development. An open and positive approach turns Jason's life around.
book provides incidents and situations with which any school child can readily
identify. In addition, it provides interesting information about the world
around us and stimulation to learn more.
"Jason's Secret is a good
reading for the story itself as well as for fresh ways of looking at life with
its problems and opportunities."
- Catherine H.
Zimmer, Professor Emerita Department of Speech Pathology and
Audiology University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Here's what reviewers of Jason's
Secret have to say:
enjoyed the book. It's a professional job and should be motivating to
youngsters who stutter."
Bloodstein, Ph.D. Professor, Brooklyn College, New York,
attractive book. . . It presents a significant part of the problem not always
- Ehud, Yairi,
Ph.D. Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
Loring! For this 10 year old American boy, life holds some challenges -
attending a new school in a new community, living with a directing stepmother,
an insensitive stepbrother and a dad with some turn taking issues. In addition
to this, he has a stammer which he is having some difficulty
accepting. "In this
novel aimed at American pre- and young teens, 'Jason's secret' takes the reader
on the journey of a young boy who stammers, from his anxiety-ridden, negative
outlook on himself to a more accepting, positive one, ready to 'beat this
thing'. "The thoughts
and feelings experienced by a young person who stammers are dealt with in great
detail and there are some poignant images and analogies for those readers
mature enough to understand them. For example, the idea that 'flying would be
fun, but the take off's and landings might be hard ..... exhausting'.
self-imagery are used throughout the book to emphasise the degree of emotions
experienced by the person who stammers. For example, Jason likens himself to a
gladiator going to the arena, during a dinner-time conversation with his
family! "It is likely
that the reader will find plenty to identify with, from the over-talkative
friend to the classroom bully, from the negative thought cycles to the
reluctance to want to be seen as 'different'. "Although the book encourages the idea of giving
speech and language therapy 'another go' for those who found it non-beneficial
first time round, therapy was presented in the light of a medical model. Speech
and Language Therapist 'Dr Allen' directed the therapy, with a little in the
way of negotiation or setting steps with the client. Jason's readiness for
therapy was not a consideration and therapy was organised as soon as Jason
brought the signed consent slip from his parents. "This was considered to be a less helpful
introduction to therapy and what it can offer to children of this age.
"I would recommend
this book to 10 - 13 year old children who stammer after they have experienced
speech and language therapy, as British and American models differ. I would
also recommend this book to peers, in order for them to understand more about
the issues involved for a person who stammers.
"Jason's Secret is written not
only for the person who stutters, but also for parents, siblings, and teachers.
It allows others who have never stuttered-or who have never been in contact
with someone who stutters-to see and to understand the emotions that
individuals who stutter feel at times. It covers the shame they often feel
about themselves as communicators. It addresses the fear of stuttering in front
of others, as well as the anger that people who stutter feel because they can't
seem to even say their own names fluently. This book also addresses how
individuals who stutter feel about speech treatment. Overall, I would highly
recommend this book . . ."
Neal-Brown American Speech-Language-Hearing
"There are many textbooks available in the
area of stuttering and fluency disorders. Some deal with the theories behind
stuttering and its treatment, some with stuttering from the perspective of the
person who stutters, and still others deal with the history of the disorder.
"While many of
these books are well written and beneficial, they do not yield a true
understanding of a crucial aspect of the disorder: the effect that stuttering
has on an individual's beliefs and feelings about him or
feelings affect the way people who stutter interpret the actions of others.
They can eat away at a person's self-confidence and lead to anger, anxiousness
and other negative reactions toward themselves and others. While this may be
discussed in textbooks and understood by readers, it cannot be truly felt by
the reader. However, in Jason's Secret by Ellen-Marie Silverman,
Ph.D., CCC-SLP, the reader is able to feel what stutters feel regarding their
difficulty in speaking because the books is a novel. . . "I highly recommend
Jason's Secret. The book is written at a fourth-grade to middle
school level but should be read by parents as well. "Speech-language pathologists
know a great deal about the theory of stuttering, but this book should be read
by them as well because it brings home the feelings of people who stutter on an
emotional level. I was glad that I did."
. . Jason's Secret is the fictional story of Jason Loring, a boy
with a serious stuttering problem. The book picks up his life as he begins
fifth grade at a new school, and focuses on his efforts to deal with the
stuttering and how it relates to untold number of other anxieties that just go
with being a 10-year-old.
"Most compelling in the book is the
description and depth of Jason's angst over his social standing both in school
and at home. It's a good reminder to parents about the ever-increasing
difficulties of growing up. Silverman said that was part of her two-pronged
goal in writing for children.
" 'Children who grow up stuttering are
isolated so they rarely see another child with the problem,' she said. 'I
wanted these kids to know they're not alone.
"'Second, I wanted those who know these kids
to know that children see the world in a different way. Stuttering isn't only
what happens in a child's attempt to say words, but how they feel about
Schroeder Milwaukee Northshore Lifestyles August,
Resources & Links:
Speech-Language-Hearing Association www.asha.org