Summer Camp for Kids Who Stutter Ends With Ice-Cream Shop Flash Mob | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Summer Camp for Kids Who Stutter Ends With Ice-Cream Shop Flash Mob 

Published July 30, 2015 at 5:20 p.m.

click to enlarge Camp participants with parents, friends, supporters, camp coordinators and volunteers at the Ben & Jerry's flash mob. - JAMES BUCK
  • James Buck
  • Camp participants with parents, friends, supporters, camp coordinators and volunteers at the Ben & Jerry's flash mob.

When 11-year-old Madison Denton ordered a scoop of Americone Dream on a waffle cone at Ben & Jerry’s on Church Street, her mother Sara beamed with pride. 

“It took her a moment. She had to repeat, but they were polite,” the elder Denton said.

She explained that the letters “A” and “W” are especially tricky for her daughter, who started stuttering when she was six years old. The Stuttering Foundation describes stuttering as a “communication disorder in which the flow of speech is broken by repetitions, prolongations or abnormal stoppages of sounds and syllables.” Denton was pleased Madison ordered what she wanted instead of settling for something that would have been easier for her to say.

The mother and daughter were part of a “stuttering flash mob” that took place on Wednesday evening. About 20 people — children who stutter, as well as their parents, siblings, friends and supporters — converged on the ice cream parlor to mark the end of a stuttering summer camp for kids ages 7 to 11 organized by the Eleanor M. Luse Center for Communication at the University of Vermont.

At the camp, which met once a week for six weeks in June and July, half a dozen kids from Vermont — led by coordinator Ana O’Neill and volunteer Ben Manning — shared their stuttering experiences. They also designed a board game with questions about stuttering, such as “What percent of people worldwide stutter?” (The answer: 1 percent.) O’Neill said they will replicate the game and send copies to each of the participants’ schools. The campers also prepared fact sheets about stuttering that they planned to distribute on Church Street on the evening of the Ben & Jerry’s outing, but a sudden downpour forced everyone to remain indoors.

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.

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About The Author

Kymelya Sari

Kymelya Sari

Bio:
Kymelya Sari is a Seven Days staff writer.

About the Artist

James Buck

James Buck

Bio:
James Buck is a multimedia journalist for Seven Days.

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