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TitleStuttering Recovery: Personal and Empirical Perspectives
Author
LanguageEnglish
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Table of Contents
                            Book Cover
Title
Copyright
Contents
Acknowledgments
Prologue Start Here
Chapter 1 What Is Stuttering? What Is Recovery?
Chapter 2 Eighth-Grade English Class
Chapter 3 How to Read Research (and Non-Research)
Chapter 4 An Empirical Investigation: Analyzing the Effectiveness of a Self-Help Application Method for Treating Stuttering
Chapter 5 Recovery and Therapy
Chapter 6 The Depo
Chapter 7 Support Groups
Chapter 8 The Meeting
Chapter 9 The Stereotyping of People Who Stutter
Chapter 10 A Visit From St. Notker
Chapter 11 Listeners
Chapter 12 Stories of Listeners
Chapter 13 Friends, Family, and Significant Others
Chapter 14 The Family Dinner
Chapter 15 Self-Improvement Is Worth the Risk
Chapter 16 The Match of a Lifetime
Chapter 17 Odds ’n Ends
Chapter 18 The Bottom Line
Chapter 19 Questions for Discussion
Chapter 20 Other Essays
References
Quotation Source List
Author Index
Subject Index
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

STUTTERING RECOVERY

Personal and Empirical
Perspectives

Page 113

It is also worth noting that sometimes listeners intend to respond in a
simplistic manner. If they believe, for example, that stuttering is symp-
tomatic of a more widespread problem (e.g., see Livneh, 1982), they may
well converse in a rudimentary manner, as if the speaker is slow to under-
stand.

Whether one tries to help, flees, or responds more appropriately is
largely based on factors that stem back to early childhood. Some children
are taught to be tolerant and doing so is quite natural for them. Although
this conditioning does not exclude reactions of flight or condescension, it
is likely that some measure of compassion will remain into adulthood. On
the other hand, if childhood influences emphasized health and normalcy
above all else, there may well be an aversion to those without them
(Livneh, 1982).

Our life experiences further shape our reactions. For example, listeners
who do not speak normally, or who present other differences, are likely to
have compassion for the struggles of stuttering (Miller & Sammons, 1999).
This is particularly true if they were teased about their own distinctive
traits. Similarly, those with close relatives or good friends who stutter
may well have an understanding of how to respond.

Related to this point are media images, which we can assume affect re-
sponses to some degree (Livneh, 1982; Miller & Sammons, 1999). Sympa-
thetic images can lead to like reactions. Conversely, negative portrayals
serve to legitimize reactions about which listeners might otherwise have
felt guilty.

One final point should be made with respect to how listeners respond,
that being the reactions of children. Remember from Chapter 9 that classi-
fication schemes generally expand as people get older. One offshoot of
this is that the reactions of children are unpredictable. Stuttering is not
necessarily viewed as a difference if a child has not been conditioned to
think of non-stuttering as normal. Thus, the reaction might be slight or
even non-existent. However, if it is seen as a outside of normal, the result-
ing reaction might be strong, given that children have less understanding
of why some people present differences. In other words, after the initial
reflex, there is no rational thought to utilize. They might fear that stutter-
ing is contagious or wonder why it has not been fixed (Miller & Sammons,
1999). Whatever their thoughts, they are often quick to mention them and
to ask questions adults would not dream of asking.

But they have an excuse. They’re kids. By the time one reaches adult-
hood, there should be better strategies available for responding to differ-
ences such as stuttering. This brings up the next question.

2. How should listeners behave?

94 V CHAPTER 11

Page 114

Obviously, each speaker has his or her own idea of what proper listener
conduct entails. For people who stutter, these ideas generally include such
behaviors as responding to the content of speech (without commenting on
its delivery) and demonstrating acceptance and patience (Whaley &
Golden, 2000). That is, good listeners don’t smirk or fidget or add time
pressure by finishing sentences, asking multiple questions, or interrupt-
ing. They respond with a relaxed speech rate (not slow motion, just re-
laxed) without offering demeaning and unhelpful advice such as “Slow
down” or “Relax” (“How to react,” 2003; Whaley & Golden, 2000).

Some people who stutter are more comfortable when listeners ac-
knowledge their difference (Starkweather & Givens-Ackerman, 1997;
Whaley & Golden, 2000). Of course, there are appropriate and inappropri-
ate ways of doing this. In general, when the listener lets the speaker know
that he or she does not mind the stuttering, the speaker feels more com-
fortable (Starkweather & Givens-Ackerman, 1997). However, if it is not
relevant to the conversation, acknowledgment can be not only insensitive,
but can send a message that the listener is interested in how speech is be-
ing produced, not what is said (Miller & Sammons, 1999).

Another common listener suggestion—maintaining normal eye contact
(“How to react,” 2003; Whaley & Golden, 2000)—also requires clarifica-
tion. While clearly one should not avoid eye contact just because a speaker
stutters, the listener must also understand what normal eye contact is. It is
not an unwavering stare. It is occasional, enough to regard, to let the
speaker know that he or she is being acknowledged (Miller & Sammons,
1999).

Of course, one person’s acknowledgment is another’s discourtesy, and
thus it is not always easy for the listener to know that he or she is doing
the right thing. Furthermore, it has been noted that the listener’s accom-
modations could be interpreted as condescension by the speaker. This
leads to a third listener issue.

3. Do speakers perceive reactions that aren�t there?

Each year, I give my graduate students pseudostuttering assignments,
whereby they engage in voluntary stuttering in a variety of settings. When
they report their experiences, many of them read like this:

I walked up to a salesperson in the mall and stuttered as I asked him where the
tennis shoes were. He showed me, but I could tell he was put out. He didn�t
smile or engage me in conversation (other than saying �Follow me�). I could-
n�t tell if it was because he didn�t want to hear more stuttering or because he
thought I was �slow.� Either way, I felt really embarrassed . . .

LISTENERS V 95

Page 226

M

Marriages, 120–121
Masking, 147
“Maverick syndrome,” 27–28
Media, portrayals of stuttering, 78
Media images, reactions to, 94
Medications, 154–155
Methods sections, in research studies,

20–21
Motivation to change, 153
Murray, Fred, 181

N

National Stuttering Association, 31, 63, 66,
183

Naturalness of speech, 159–160
Noise masking, 147

O

Occam’s razor, 29
Open stuttering, 41–42, 145
Overprotectiveness, 124

P

Pacesetters, 176, 183
“A Parable . . .”, 178
Parents, 121–124
Passing Twice, 177, 184
Pediatricians, 3
Peer pressure, 47
Personal accounts, critique of, 28–29
Personality traits, 154
Pharmacological agents, 154–155
Pseudostuttering assignments, 95–96
Psychogenic disfluency, 7
Psychological theories, of stuttering, 6–8
Public speaking, 155–156
Purpose statements, in research studies,

19–20

R

Recovery plans, 135–136

“Red Rabbit Ran ’Round the Room”
(Quesal), 182

“Reflection on Public Speaking, A”
(Ahlbach), 178

Relapse, 49, 157, 158
Research studies

how to read, 16–26
parodied, 32–35

Resentment, 120
Results sections, in research studies, 21–22
Risk taking, 130–134

stories about, 137–143
Role entrapment, 79
Role-playing, 47

S

Secondary behaviors, 3–5
open stuttering and, 41–42

Self-acceptance, 41–42
Self-disclosure, 144–145
Self-esteem, 78, 98, 124, 145
Self-monitoring, 45–46
Self-talk studies, parodied, 32–35
Sense of humor, 156–157
Severity of stuttering, 157–158
Siblings, 118
Significant others, 118–121
Skills, transferring, 46–48
SLPs, see Speech-language pathologists
“Some People Just Don’t Get It” (Quesal),

181
Speak Easy, Inc., 177, 184
Speakeasy Stuttering Association, 177, 184
Speech modification, 42–46
Speech naturalness, 159–160
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs)

counseling techniques and, 39
questions to be asked of, 51
self-monitoring techniques and, 45–46
stereotyping of clients, 79–80
stories about, 108–109
support groups and, 64, 65, 66
support systems and, 48
therapy goal setting, 37
transference of skills and, 46, 47

Spontaneous recovery, 8, 160
Stereotyping

based on speech, 76
effects of, 78–80

SUBJECT INDEX V 207

Page 227

Stereotyping (cont.)
of people who stutter, 76–78
solutions to, 80–81
stories about, 83–91

“Stutter” (Heite), 179
Stutterer�s Story, A (Murray & Edwards),

177, 181
Stuttering

characterized, 2
development of, 3–5
exposing the negativity of, 38–39
improving the understanding of, 39–41
misperceptions regarding, 5–9
self-acceptance and, 41–42
speech modification and, 42–46
stories about, 11–15
theories of, 6–8, 29–30
variability of, 9

Stuttering Foundation of America, 31, 184
Stuttering Home Page, 31, 67, 176
Stuttering ( Jezer), 177, 180
Stuttering modification, 43–44
Stuttering organizations, 176–177, 183–184
Stuttering recovery

author’s comments on, 161–164
definitions of, 160
notions of “recovery” and, 9–10
spontaneous, 8

Stuttering textbooks, 178
Stuttering therapy

completing, 49–50
goals of, 37–48
selecting, 50–51
tracking progress in, 49

Stutt-L, 31, 183
Suncoast Media, 184
Support groups

agendas and, 63
benefits of, 62–63
defined, 61

finding, 66–67
leadership and, 65
number of people attending, 63
practices for maintaining, 66–67
reasons for low membership, 64–65
stories about, 68–74, 109–112

Support systems, 48

T

Teasing and bullying, 97–100
stories about, 101–106

Tension Control Therapy (Dietrich), 44
Theories of stuttering

psychological, 6–8
simple, 29–30

“Thoughts on Recovery” (Chmela), 179
To Say What Is Ours (Ahlbach & Benson),

177
Treatment plans, 37

V

“Various Paths to Long-Term Recovery
From Stuttering” (Ramig), 182

Voices to Remember (Bondarenko), 97, 182
Voluntary stuttering, 49–50

W

“Wall of Silence” (Waggott), 182
“What Is ‘Successful’ Stuttering Therapy?”

(Quesal), 181
Withdrawal behavior, 132–133
Workplace, speaking at, 158–159
World Health Organization, 157

208 V SUBJECT INDEX

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