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President Biden, stuttering, kindness

Avery is thrilled to get encouragement from President Biden about her stuttering.

Most Americans know by now that Joe Biden has worked hard to overcome a stutter he's had his whole life. His story of success, living a life of public service as a senator, vice president and now president of the United States, has inspired many who struggle to get their words to come out the way they want them to.

A video of Biden talking to a little girl who stutters has gone viral on Twitter, with people praising the president for his kindness and decency. Rufus Gifford, who shared the video, wrote, "My amazing niece and goddaughter Avery has struggled with a stutter much of her life. She was just told by a guy who knows a little something about it that she can be anything she wants to in this world. A day she will never ever forget. Thank you sir."

In the clip, Biden tells Avery, "That's all you have to do, and it'll go away, I promise. You just keep at it."

"Thank you," the girl says as she gives the president a hug.


Biden then invites Avery and her family to the White House, which Avery is clearly thrilled about.

This is not the first time we've seen President Biden inspire a kid who stutters. During the 2020 presidential race, Joe Biden met a 13-year-old from New Hampshire on the campaign trail. Brayden Harrington struggled with a stutter and the two bonded over it when they met.

"Don't let it define you," Biden told him. "You are smart as hell."

Brayden ended up writing and delivering a speech endorsing Biden at the Democratic National Convention and also recited a portion of a John F. Kennedy address for Biden's presidential inauguration.

To go from worrying about stuttering to giving two speeches in front of millions in a matter of months is incredibly impressive. That's the power of encouragement and inspiration.

“I’m just a regular kid, and in a short amount of time, Joe Biden made me more confident about something that’s bothered me my whole life," Brayden said in his DNC speech. "Joe Biden cared."

In 2015, when he was serving as vice president, Biden gave a speech on stuttering at the American Institute for Stuttering. He explained how, as a child, he would recite passages from Yeats and Emerson in the mirror and practice controlling his face and speech. He described how his mother encouraged him to not let his stutter define him. And he shared how having a stutter made him a more compassionate person.

"I learned so much from having to deal with stuttering," he said. "It gave me insight into other people's pain, other people's suffering. It made me understand that everyone—everyone—has something they're fighting to overcome, and sometimes trying to hide."

Presidents have power and influence that goes far beyond politics. Thank you, President Biden, for showing others who stutter that their struggles don't define them and that they definitely don't have to hold them back.


Photo courtesy of Dr. Lisa Lippman
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