The Stuttering Treatment and Research Trust is releasing a book of art, poems, and essays from Kiwi kids who stutter – to contribute to this year’s International Stuttering Awareness Day.

The Stuttering Treatment and Research Trust (START) is publishing a book called ‘My Stutter’ this October for International Stuttering Awareness Day (22nd October), to fit with this year’s theme of “A world that understands stuttering”. START believes there is no better way to help the world understand stuttering, than to get the world to read what it is like from the people who experience it.

Stuttering affects 1% of the population, which is around 45,000 Kiwis. The percentage of kids it affects is much higher, with around 10% of children experiencing a stutter between the ages of 2 – 4 years.

Although there are 45,000 Kiwis who stutter, the general population understands very little about why people stutter, and what it is like to have one – START is looking to combat this.

They have received a number of submissions from talented kids around the country who stutter, who have written about their unique experiences as a young person who stutters, in the form of art work, essays, and poetry. These children have poured their heart and soul into their work in an effort to help others understand what it is like for them.

People who stutter are often told they should slow down, take a deep breath, and focus more. They’re stereotyped as being nervous, or even unintelligent. The truth is; anyone can have a stutter. It has nothing to do with a person’s intelligence, confidence, or even the speed that they speak at. Stuttering is believed to be a neurological issue, where a certain part of the brain prevents speech being produced smoothly.

START is the only organisation in New Zealand dedicated to helping those who stutter, and as a charity they are making it their mission to make great strides in New Zealand to create a country that understands stuttering. The more our nation understands what stuttering is, the more easily people who stutter can access treatment.

Stuttering is a disorder, which means there is no magic pill to cure it, however treatment can be very successful – particularly for children, when stuttering is identified early on, ideally in the preschool years.

If you would like to purchase ‘My Stutter’ please head to their website You can also find a number of useful resources to help you understand what stuttering is, and how to access treatment on their website at