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NBA player Michael Kidd-Gilchrist speaks with LSU students about his challenges with stuttering | Sports

Former NBA player Michael Kidd-Gilchrist spoke to a group of students at LSU to discuss his challenges with stuttering.

Kidd-Gilchrist spoke to a class of students majoring in communication disorders in an auditorium at the Energy Coast and Environment Building. The class is taught by Brittany Rutland, who also has challenges with stuttering herself.

“I didn’t find I stuttered until I went to college,” Rutland said. “I was actually someone who pretended I didn’t stutter.”

Due to his high profile, Kidd-Gilchrist has been an advocate for this community. He regularly appears as a guest speaker at colleges and universities around the country that offer undergraduate and graduate programs in the areas of audiology and speech-language pathology. Kidd-Gilchrist also makes appearances as a guest speaker at camps and conferences focused on stuttering.

While spending quarantine playing basketball in the NBA ‘bubble’ in 2020, Michael began reflecting on his own personal journey as a person who stutters. He considered how to turn his knowledge and experience into beneficial and meaningful ways to help others who experience stuttering.

Change & Impact is focused on raising awareness for stuttering, bringing together key stakeholders to improve the environment of learning for those who stutter, and working on behalf of the people who experience stuttering to improve insurance coverage for adequate speech therapy.

In 2021, he founded Change & Impact, Inc., a nonprofit stuttering initiative with “a mission to improve access to healthcare and expand services and resources for those who stutter.”

“It’s a mindset to me. Do you want to finish this, or do you want to drag this thing out? For some reason, we’ve chosen to drag it out. It’s n…

“What I want the public to know about those who stutter is that we are no different,” Kidd-Gilchrist said. “When you fall you get up, and you’re going to fall again, and you’re going to get back up. That is the type of example I want to set and show to my family, my friends and the public eye about those who stutter.”

According to Change and Impact, more than 70 million people around the world suffer from stuttering, including 3.5 million in the United States. People are also more likely to rate themselves as poor communicators, display social anxiety and experience teasing and bullying.

Kidd-Gilchrist was often bullied when he was younger because of his issues with stuttering.

“When I was younger I was often teased and picked on because of my stuttering,” Kidd-Gilchrist said. “Because of those experiences, it made me more aware of my situations as people would look at me funny whenever I was stuttering.”

However, he got over his stuttering once he entered college. He had help from some of the speech therapists on campus at the University of Kentucky and their guidance helped him when it came to dealing with the press.

“They taught me different techniques to help me overcome my stuttering so I could talk coherently enough so people could process what I was saying,” Kidd-Gilchrist said.

Kidd-Gilchrist is a professional American basketball player who has played in the National Basketball Association since 2012. He first gained national attention in high school as a McDonald’s All-American and was named Mr. Basketball USA.


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