I am the bearer of good news: The “science” of stuttering does not support the long-held dogma that stuttering and semi-muteness are “incurable” or need to be “accepted”. In point of fact, science supports the conclusion that stuttering and muteness can be converted into enjoyable fluency.
Throughout history, there has been a reluctance to accept new and different ideas. No one better capsulized this than Dr. John Bernal, a world-renowned Irish scientist (1901-1971), who, in one of his addresses, noted the historical unwillingness of the scientific community to accept new ideas. His poignant remarks were later dubbed, Bernal’s Ladder” — which became the most famous, humorous explanation of the reception so often accorded new ideas by scientists.
Bernal’s Ladder said that scientists react to new ideas thusly:
1) First, they say, it’s not true;
2) After a while, they say, well, it may be true but it’s not important;
3) Then they say, “Well, it may be important, but it’s not original;
4) And, finally, when they can deny it no longer, they finally concede, by saying, “Well, it may be original, but it’s what I always thought.
With the foregoing in mind, let’s address the question:
Does “science” support the dogma that holds that stuttering and muteness are “incurable” and must be “accepted”?
In the past six years alone, we have done massive research studies including: over 6,000 individual sessions with PWS, over 1,500 videos of these session; thousands of probative emails with PWS; a 700+ page book; video courses with dozens of video-lessons, forums and blogs on the topic, 80 meetings of a speech club for PWS; as well as countless group-speech-practice sessions. Our team and students include SLP’s, M.D.’s, PhD’s, university professors, school teachers and, most importantly, people who stopped stuttering (PWSS). Our team continues in-depth research of stuttering cases seven days a week. Some of our probative and encouraging findings and observations follow.
The Problem: There is a worldwide medical crisis regarding stuttering and its first cousin, severe speech anxiety (which causes many to be silent in many situations)! Many are sufficiently severe to border on suicide.
How many speech sufferers are there? An estimated 70 million stutter and likely hundreds of millions more are semi-mutes, who go through their lives being silent in many situations to avoid perceived speech-risks. Stutterers and semi-mutes are hereinafter referred to jointly as PWS or speech sufferers.
What is the long-held, erroneous dogma about stuttering? Stuttering (and its cousin, muteness) are “incurable” and must be “accepted”. The scientific fact is that there is no meaningful body of evidence to support “incurability” and/or “acceptance”, and, in the past decade, a mountain of scientific and contrary evidence has emerged to prove that stuttering and semi-muteness can and should be halted and replaced by loving to speak.
Before we examine the scientific evidence, let us first consider the world “science”. Often said to be the wisest philosopher in recorded history, Socrates taught us to begin all discussions by defining the key term(s). // Most laymen mistakenly think of science as something that comes from academia, especially those related to “the sciences” (chemistry, physics, biology, botonny, etc.) That is the wrong definition of “science”. The word ‘science’ is actually defined as “the intellectual and practical study of the systematic structure and behavior” of whatever is being studied. In simple English, science means “systematic study” of a subject.
Neither medical degrees nor academic credentials are necessarily required. Experts are created by systematic study. The more one studies, the more expert he/she becomes. Rational interrogation and convincing evidence are the sine qua non (pre-requisites) of scientific conclusions. Scientific findings are created by examination and experimentation. Science is trial and error. .Science is learned by experimenting. Experts and science are the product of systematically studying things.
What “science” is advanced to support the widely preached dogma of “incurability” and/or acceptance? Virtually none. Only pockets of individual speech language pathologists, psychologists, academics and others trained in some areas related to speech (hereinafter “speech professionals”) have provided therapy, in private sessions or clinics, which in nearly all cases has NOT enabled the PWS to stop stuttering. As result, they conclude, stuttering is “incurable” and must be “accepted”.Really? As we have learned from communicating with over 1,000 PWS, the huge flaw in these “studies” or data is that over 90% of the speech professionals never stuttered and the remaining 10% still stutter. These people can never understand stuttering, much less help others beat it. Would you take golf lessons/advice from someone who had never been on a golf course or who shot twice par? If 1,000 speech professionals who never stuttered or still do each treat ten PWS and fail to help the PWS stop stuttering, 10,000 failed cases are reported, BUT those cases prove only that those who cannot understand the problem cannot help solve it. As a result, the existing body of “evidence” to support stuttering’s “incurability” and “acceptance”, can and should be discarded.
Conversely, “What is the contrary ‘science’?”
As noted at the opening of this commentary, our mano-a-mano, one-on-one sessions with PWS, videos, thousands of emails, etc. have provided massive tangible evidence to support our conclusions, and more evidence is added every day. The results of these studies/research is supported by massive evidence, including the following seven things:
(1) the creation of a Stutterers’ Speech Hall of Fame, where we have posted almost 200 mind-training-based Success Stories (SS), in which EX-stutterers explain the stuttering and how they beat it, and more are added almost weekly,
(2) those SS done since mid-2018, also include videos of the person who stopped stuttering (PWSS) verbalizing their stories, and some of the more recent ones also include videos of them in their stuttering days,
(3) the creation of a definitive website offering services and programs to help PWS, including hundreds of videos explaining our methods and giving valuable “tips” to PWS,
(4) the creation of a speech club for stutterers (Speech Anxiety Masters/SAM) that has met some 80 Saturdays so far, which is typically attended by dozens of PWS worldwide,
(5) blogs, forums, weekly email updates with the latest suggestions to help PWS,
(6) creating the world’s first and still only community of EX-stutterers and those fast becoming same, and
(7) creating The World Stop Stuttering Association/WSSA, a 501c3-IRS-approved charity to help PWS, which stands as the world’s only community of EX-stutterers and those fast becoming same.
Conclusion: The only significant “science” that exists on stuttering has been provided by our community of EX-stutterers, and it demonstrates that nearly all PWS can stop stuttering. While some PWS will not work at our program, over 90% of those who have worked our program have stopped stuttering, and less than 5% have later revealed relapses. The exact numbers are not important, as there is a preponderance of successful results. This is a crisis that needs immediate attention. Let’s stop brain-washing millions of PWS to believe that stuttering is “incurable” and must be “accepted”, and begin helping them to stop stuttering immediately.
I leave you with our mantra: If you can say ONE word, anywhere anytime, you can say ANY word, anywhere, anytime.