A teenager who bonded with Joe Biden over their shared experience with stuttering has revealed how the president ‘inspired him’ by giving advice on how to beat his stammer.
Brayden Harrington, 13, from New Hampshire, met the President on the campaign trail in August last year, when his dad Owen opened up to Biden about his son’s struggle with speaking.
After their initial chat the pair kept in contact, with Biden advising the teen to read poetry and practice in the mirror to overcome his stammer, the same way he did as a child.
Appearing on This Morning, Brayden revealed how the President’s tips have made him more ‘confident’ speaking in public, with the teen delivering an address at Biden’s inauguration TV special last night.
Brayden Harrington, 13, from New Hampshire, met President Joe Biden on the campaign trails in August last year
Brayden (pictured with dad Owen) bonded with Biden over their shared experience with stuttering has revealed how the president ‘inspired him’ by giving advice on how to beat his stammer
‘I was really glad about chatting with him,’ said Brayden. ‘It made me more confident about what I do and what I say.
‘As a kid, he used Yeats, a poet, and used to practice in his mirror every morning and every night before and after Catholic school. He also had no therapist, I don’t think he did.’
He also added that Biden marks his addresses to signpost when he needs to take a breath.
Harrington recited a passage from President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address at the ceremony last night, and last year spoke at the Democratic National Convention about how Biden has inspired him.
When asked by hosts Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield whether his advice from Biden had encouraged him he said: ‘Yeah, it really has.
The pair met after Brayden’s dad Owen opened up to Biden about his son’s struggle with speaking at a campaign event
After their initial chat the pair kept in contact, with Biden advising the teen to read poetry and practice in the mirror to overcome his stammer
‘Because he got elected in a really good spot where he can show his courage with Covid, electing a woman, and someone who deals with difficult challenges.’
He shared his advice to others trying to overcome a stammer: ‘I would say just don’t give up.
‘He’s (Biden) made it through February when he first began and Trump is a hard guy, he’ll knock you down and he got through and was amazing with it.’
Brayden’s dad Owen admitted that seeing his son speak at the Democratic convention was ‘overwhelming’.
‘My wife and I were certainly overwhelmed with the situation,’ he said, ‘Taking our son and putting him in front of millions of people, but Braden wanted to do it.
When asked by hosts Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield whether his advice from Biden had inspired him he said: ‘Yeah it really has’
‘He wanted to be the voice for all these other children with a stutter and people with challenges, to show they can get through it.’
When asked whether he was surprised Biden took the time to talk to his son, Owen said: ‘No, I wasn’t surprised by that moment.
‘I was surprised by the offer of the phone number and saying “I want to take more time to talk to you, so hang around”.
‘What you saw there was Joe Biden – that is who he is, he will speak to every person who wants to take time with him…What he says is what he means.’
Following the segment, Ed Balls appeared with Beverley Turner to discuss the day’s headlines, and shared his own experience with stammering following Brayden’s story.
Following the segment, Ed Balls appeared to discuss the day’s headlines, and shared his own experience with stammering following Brayden’s story
‘The thing about Joe Biden is, he knows what it’s like to be a boy and a young man, an aspiring politician with a stammer, said Ed.
‘What I have learned is going out there and being public and talking about it is a brave thing to do, but is the thing that makes a difference.’
He added of his own experience: ‘In the House of Commons sometimes pressure was enormous.
‘For two years I said to my stammering therapist “I can’t talk about this, I’m a cabinet minister” and she said, “It’s only when you go public it will start to make the difference”.’