Stuttering won’t stop her

Taylor Watson inspires as a person who stutters


Helping Hand Patricia Boyd is helping Taylor Watson with her stutter. To be a speech pathologist, you need two years of training and a bachelor’s degree.

Camm Pollmacher, News Editor

Junior Taylor Watson has a stutter and isn’t afraid to let you know. Watson has lived with the neurological disorder of stuttering since the age of five and has inspired many of her teachers and friends with her journey as a person who stutters.
Taylor recently wrote an article for The Stuttering Foundations national Fall 2018 newsletter about how stuttering has affected her life.
“I’m going to have the stuttering all my life. It doesn’t make me who I am, so I said ‘you know what…It’s a gift to me so I’m going to use it’,” Taylor said.
The theme of Taylor’s article is you are never going to get your point across if you don’t say your point.
“You have to have a strong mind. Make sure that you have thick skin because some people may not really understand [your stutter] so you have to sometimes tell them that you stutter,” Taylor said.
Watson meets with speech pathologist Patricia Boyd once a week to work on her stutter and talk about situations that may make a person who stutters feel uncomfortable.
“Her level of confidence, which is the number one thing that I want to see in my students, to be able to advocate, to be able to say what they want to say when they want to say it,” Boyd said.
Boyd has worked at H-F for 25 years and has been inspired by Watson’s bravery in confronting people who don’t understand stutters. Boyd has only worked with a handful of females as four times more males stutter than females, so she said working with Watson is a special opportunity.
“She made a conscious decision in Junior High that stuttering would not define her, and it wouldn’t limit her; she just lives that,” Boyd said. “She has a lot of things to say as we all do, and the reason that I’m capitalizing on her is because this is very passionate for me.”
Boyd said that her main goal as a speech pathologist is to make her students effective communicators and that Taylor is an exceptional communicator.
“[Mrs. Boyd] has really helped me with the ins and outs of stuttering,” Taylor said. “I feel like talking is so much easier for other people, but for people who stutter, we have to take the time out and really understand each thing that we say and do.”
Taylor’s father Angus Watson has also lived with a stutter for 40 years and displays that his stutter has brought him closer to his daughter. He has the same stutter as Taylor but has learned to control better so most people don’t notice.
Taylor’s American Literature teacher Reginald Brown said that Taylor’s strength is admirable as many students with similar conditions lose the desire and motivation to participate.
“Taylor doesn’t struggle at all with communicating in class. Taylor is able to communicate effectively in her writing as well as orally during class discussions and group projects,” he said. “Her speech impediment doesn’t impede upon her success at all and she never uses it as a crutch or an excuse not to put her best foot forward.”