The BSA is aware that many parents of children who stammer worry that teachers will not identify their children's abilities and talents. Parents often fear that their children's stammering speech may be allowed to obscure their potential for achievement.
Effective support from staff in the school, parents and therapists should ensure that this does not happen. Nonetheless, it is a common misconception that a person who stammers is not able to take on roles in adult life that involve a considerable amount of talking. While that choice is a matter for the individual, the BSA does know of many adults who stammer who have achieved in areas where they have to communicate frequently with many people.
There are adults who stammer in every career in the public and private sectors. In the public service for example they work as civil servants, guidance professionals, librarians, members of the armed forces, medical personnel, politicians, social workers, therapists, teachers, university lecturers and in every other conceivable role. In the private sector equally, people who stammer work as marketing and retail personnel, trainers, performers and in every other possible capacity.
It is helpful for teachers to appreciate that a stammer should not act as a barrier to achievement in speaking and performing for children who stammer and that they must be encouraged to succeed, as is any other pupil.
Teachers may be particularly surprised to know that the stammering community has included numerous famous figures who have performed in public; for example Winston Churchill and Marilyn Monroe. Today it includes famous performers such as the singer Gareth Gates, and a number of comedians, actors and other media personnel.
In the video clip, Sam Neill, the famous film and television actor who starred in Jurassic Park, recalls his experiences of stammering, and refers to his friend Peter Jackson, the Director of the 'Lord of the Rings' films who also stammers. These role models demonstrate that children who stammer can achieve in any area provided that they have the ability and the appropriate encouragement and support is provided.