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The Speech Source, Inc.
Milwaukee, WI

(414) 964-3497

  Jason's Secret...

    Jason's Secret is a novel by Ellen-Marie Silverman, Ph.D. for children from 9 through 12 years of age as well as a book for adults who want to learn what stuttering can feel like to a child.

    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.

You can purchase Jason's Secret from:

Barnes and Noble.com...
and your local book seller.

Or you can purchase an autographed copy directly from the author for $21.00.
Mail your request and payment to:
  Ellen-Marie Silverman
5567 North Diversey Boulevard,
Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin 53217

    Brief summary:

    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!

    What 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 Jason's Secret:

    Jason's 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:

Ellen-Marie Silverman
5567 North Diversey Boulevard

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53217

    "Jason's 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.

    "This 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:

    "I enjoyed the book. It's a professional job and should be motivating to youngsters who stutter."

- Oliver Bloodstein, Ph.D.
Professor, Brooklyn College, New York, USA

    "A very attractive book. . . It presents a significant part of the problem not always apparent."

- Ehud, Yairi, Ph.D.
Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

    "Poor Jason 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'.
   "Images and 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.

Reviewed by Alison Byrne in the Spring 2003 issue of 'Speaking Out'
British Stammering Association

    "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 . . ."

- Shannon Neal-Brown
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

    "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 herself.
     "These 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."

- Jeffrey Korn, MS, CCC-SLP,
advance for Speech-Language Pathologists & Audiologists

    ". . . 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 themselves.'"

- Matt Schroeder
Milwaukee Northshore Lifestyles
August, 2001

Helpful Resources & Links:
  The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

  British Stammering Association

  The Stuttering Foundation of America

  The Stuttering Home Page      http://www.mnsu.edu/dept/comdis/kuster/stutter.htm


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