Following a successful inaugural gathering last year, the UNM Speech and Hearing Science Department (SHS) is hosting a second event aimed at reducing stigmas around stuttering.


Rick Arenas, associate professor of SHS, is hosting a free screening of ‘My Beautiful Stutter’ – a documentary of five kids from around the United States who attend the Stuttering Association for the Young (SAY). Through experimental, interactive and arts-based programs, the students address challenges that come with a lifetime of bullying and stigmatization. Some went to SAY withdrawn and fearful but blossomed through the year-long program.

“This movie is about teens coming to terms with their stuttering and stuttering openly and proudly and learning to live their lives as fully as possible,” Arenas said.

The film showing is taking place Friday, March 13, 2020 at Keller Hall at 7 p.m. It’s free, but participants are asked to register.

“Often times in the media there is attention drawn to celebrities who have overcome their stuttering because they no longer stutter – like Bruce Willis and Tiger Woods just to name a few,” he concluded. “But for millions of Americans, they are not able to stop stuttering but they are still able to overcome their stuttering by not letting it hold them back.”

Arenas, who lives with a stutter himself, is passionate about helping others find effective ways to speak freely. In addition to doing research focused on developmental stuttering, he also runs the UNM Stuttering Lab. He encourages those who feel alone in their struggle with stuttering to reach out to community resources, including local stuttering support groups.