NBA Star Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Champions for Stuttering Community at St. Ambrose University


06/06/2023

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, an accomplished NBA professional, spoke to future and current speech-language pathologists (SLP) at St. Ambrose University about his experiences surrounding stuttering and the creation of his non-profit, Change & Impact: Voices for Stuttering.

Since 2020, Kidd-Gilchrist has shifted his focus from shooting basketballs on the court to advocating for the passage of a healthcare bill on Capitol Hill that supports stuttering intervention research and improves speech therapy insurance coverage.

"Many people do not realize speech therapy is not covered or is poorly covered by insurance," said Kidd-Gilchrist, who did not receive speech therapy until 2011 when he attended the University of Kentucky.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Visits St. Ambrose


Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, an accomplished NBA professional, spoke to future and current speech-language pathologists (SLP) at St. Ambrose University about his experiences surrounding stuttering and the creation of his non-profit, Change & Impact: Voices for Stuttering.

The RiteCare Clinic, operated by the St. Ambrose Master of Speech-Language Pathology program, and funded by Iowa Scottish Rite Masonic Foundation and Davenport Valley, is the only clinic in Iowa that does not charge for the prevention, assessment, and intervention of speech-language pathology services for children and adults.

"As Michael noted, there are insurance companies that do not cover speech-language pathology services for children who stutter. Part of the role of a speech-language pathologist is to reduce barriers to accessing those services, and we are so grateful Michael is helping to spread this awareness," said Elisa Huff, PhD, CCC-SLP and MSLP Program Director at St. Ambrose University.

During his presentation, Kidd-Gilchrist used a tapping technique taught by his SLP as he shared his journey and the decision to become a vocal advocate for those who stutter.

"I don't like talking, but I have grown to appreciate who I am, and that's a big thanks to my village. Without speech-language pathologists, many people like myself will lack the confidence I now have. We are on the same mission," said Kidd-Gilchrist.

Many factors precipitated Kidd-Gilchrist's mission to break the stuttering stigma. One of his "hardest days" was when Michael Jordan drafted him. "From the outside looking in, I had everything, but for me, all those interviews and questions over and over again were awful, and I knew I had to talk."

During COVID-19, Kidd-Gilchrist paid a lot of attention to the President, how he went about his speech, and the openness of his stutter, which inspired him to open up.

"I stopped and thought about how I was helping myself and other people. So I made this platform and promised myself that I would travel, spreading awareness by meeting SLPs and those who stutter," said Kidd-Gilchrist. "I am show and tell. I had to do this and be an advocate around the country. No one wants to open up about what they lack or fear, but we all have something; it just so happens you can see mine."

Learn more about Michael's non-profit organization Change & Impact, Inc.
Learn more about St. Ambrose University MSLP program and Rite Care Clinic.


Many people do not realize speech therapy is not covered or is poorly covered by insurance.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist


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