Iceberg of Stuttering

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Re: Iceberg Analogy

From: Russ Hicks
Date: 10/20/03
Time: 1:10:44 PM
Remote Name:


Hi Jerrie,

I absolutely LOVE speaking to groups of university SLP students! They EXPECT you to stutter! If you don't, you're not giving them what they most desperately need - the chance to HEAR someone stutter for real. And to ask you questions that are absolutely VITAL to their education.

A kinda funny story... Several years ago I was on a panel of people speaking to an SLP class at TCU over in Ft. Worth. There were five of us, four stutterers and one mother of a child who stuttered. The cast of characters were... (Maybe you know some of them.)

Lee Reeves, a very mild stutterer and an accomplished public speaker. He was totally fluent that night.

Joseph Diaz who is maddeningly fluent up in front of an audience. He was fluent then also - of course.

The mother who is fluent.

Russ Hicks (me), who was having a "lucky fluency day" and was also nearly fluent. (I couldn't believe it!)

Mike Long, who stutterers severely but got lost on the way over there! Oh no!!!

So there the FOUR of us were talking completely fluently and teaching the class almost nothing. "Trust me, I stutter" we were saying. I could see eyes roll in the audience, "Yeah, sure you do..."

We talked for what seemed like forever and I could sense we were losing the audience. I could see a catastrophe in the making. Then all of a sudden Mike bursts in the door! "S-s-s-s-s-sorry g-g-g-g-g-guys! I g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-got l-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-lost!"

We all stood up and cheered!!!! Finally our credibility arrived!!! The class perked up and the discussion took on a whole new meaning! I was never so glad to see anyone in my life as I was to see Mike that night! Credibility is EXTREMELY important! Without credibility, you may as well stay home. Truly, Mike saved the day for us!

When did you start to stutter, Jerrie? And do you have any idea what caused it? It obviously wasn't the standard developmental thing that most of the rest of us grew up with. (Joseph Diaz began stuttering when he was about 15 however.)

Also what chapter of the NSA do you belong to? Have you ever been to an NSA conference?

I hope to meet you one day! Email me at and I'll send you the big iceberg picture.

Take care - and good luck!


Last changed: September 12, 2005