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From: Russ Hicks
Date: 08 Oct 2009
Time: 22:55:11 -0500
Remote Name: 126.96.36.199
Hello Ross, Thanks for your kind words. Coming from you, I'm really honored! ... Confession time: I listed the URLs for the United States, but Judy Kuster helped me tremendously for the international sites. The Stuttering Home Page is FULL of that sort of information, and Judy and I have worked together closely for many years. I couldn't do this without her help. ... Your question about age of acceptance is very good. I wish I had a very good answer for you, complete with verifiable research. My answer, however, is more of a gut feel gathered by informal observations over the last 25 or so years. My initial reaction is similar to yours, that is, into adulthood. It seems the older you get (and therefore more human interaction you've gotten under your belt), the easier it is to accept your own stuttering. That's certainly the case with me, personally. I didn't begin the process of acceptance till well into my 40's. (I'm 69 now.) And the older people in our NSA chapters tend to have a greater level of acceptance than the younger people. ... HOWEVER I see possible evidence that that trend may be changing and sliding down into younger people. The NSA is focusing more and more on families and youth, and I see some really remarkable teens and 20-somethings who are really understanding that ACCEPTANCE and ACTION are the keys to ultimate success. I talk to lots of young people in my travels and I am almost envious of their grasp of what's really important in life. Why wasn't I that smart when I was their age? Their grasp of the situation at age 25 is what my grasp of the situation was at age 50! Golly...! ... All that being said, I know I'm seeing the cream of the crop. Can we extrapolate those observations out into the general population? I don't know, but I certainly have my doubts. But being the optimist that I am, I hope that's true, that the young people who stutter of today are really smarter than the young people who stutter of my time. ... I must say that the SLPs and adults who stutter of today are certainly more stuttering knowledgeable than the same group in the 1950s and 60's! And we work HARD to train the upcoming student SLPs of tomorrow. So maybe we ARE making some real progress. Maybe the youth of today are really listening to us old codgers and understanding what we are teaching them. I like to think that's the case. If that's true, the age of acceptance should continue to gradually go down over the years. And that's what we're all working towards, isn't it? ... Let's revisit this question in 20 years. We ought to have a much better answer by then. ... Thanks for your question and comments, Ross. I'm honored that you read my paper. Enjoy the rest of this wonderful conference!