CONTENTS This is a threaded discussion page for the International Stuttering Awareness Day Online Conference paper, A Model for Change from a Consumer's Perspective, by Michael Sugarman. Your journey From: Judy Kuster Date: 10/7/98 Time: 7:28:30 PM Remote Name: 188.8.131.52 Comments Thanks for sharing your interesting "journey," Michael. You mention that you were in "speech class" in grade school (and the teacher announcing to your class every Wednesday when you were to go to speech therapy with the yellow card on the blackboard). Do you remember anything that was effective for you in your therapy for stuttering when you were that age? It seems that you were in your early 20's when therapy started to be really effective for you, is that correct? I also found your description of how you used the tape recorder during that period very interesting. Re: Your journey From: Michael Sugarman Date: 10/8/98 Time: 8:59:55 PM Remote Name: 184.108.40.206 Comments hello judy, while in grammar school I never talked about my stuttering or what I wanted from life. In fact my parents did not talk about stuttering. The teachers did not talk to me about my stuttering. My slp did not talk to me about my stuttering. Nobody talked about it. However, I knew I had a problem. It wasn't until I started to "open up" about my stuttering that I began the process to change. And that was in my early twenties. In retrospect, I wished someone had talked about stuttering. Today, with nsp, friends, sfa, sid4, and school slp's i hope children can talk about stuttering. In talking with my taperecorder I began to unravel not only my speech but what I wanted to do with my life. I heard how and what I said. I feel its very important to recognize not to "make" stuttering a taboo subject. identity as a stutterer From: Jeff Shames Date: 10/16/98 Time: 5:13:41 PM Remote Name: 220.127.116.11 Comments Michael, much of your article resonates with me. Like Judy Kuster, I was moved by your description of the yellow card on the blackboard each week. I didn't have something that tangible, but remember feeling "different" and "weird" when I left the classroom for my not very helpful speech therapy. What also hit home with me was your description of becoming a person, not a stutterer. There are so many intertwining issues here: of hiding versus coming out and being oneself; of being a "normal" person, whatever that means. I, too, used my tape recorder for practice. But hearing myself on audio (and eventually video) tape helped me realize that I was a good communicator, whatever the fluency of my speech. Re: identity as a stutterer From: michael sugarman Date: 10/17/98 Time: 11:04:25 PM Remote Name: 18.104.22.168 Comments jeff thank you for your comments. Speaker-Listener paradigm From: Chuck Goldman Date: 10/18/98 Time: 10:53:08 AM Remote Name: 22.214.171.124 Comments Thanks for outlining so clearly your personal development of stuttering. Your detailing of the ways in which early developmental speaker-listener interaction shaped your feelings and behaviors was very revealing, not only about stuttering but about social learning as well. Re: Speaker-Listener paradigm From: michael sugarman Date: 10/18/98 Time: 2:16:20 PM Remote Name: 126.96.36.199 Comments Chuck, thank you for your comments A Model for Change From: Beth Hebert Date: 10/18/98 Time: 8:38:10 PM Remote Name: 188.8.131.52 Comments I truly enjoyed reading your model along with the personal stories that gave it meaningful life. I found the fact that you "learned about yourself" through taping your thoughts and feelings fascinating! One more comment - to apply to represent the University of California, Santa Barbara as a student intern at the age of 23 - Bravo! You were quite young to have come to such a realization about yourself. Re: A Model for Change From: michael sugarman Date: 10/21/98 Time: 10:35:59 PM Remote Name: 184.108.40.206 Comments beth, thank you for your comments A Model for Change From: R. Flicek Date: 10/19/98 Time: 4:45:58 PM Remote Name: 220.127.116.11 Comments You say that the first step in "breaking away" is to identify when, how, and with whom the stuttering occurs. Do you think that young stutterers (ages 12-14) are mature enough to handle this approach? Re: A Model for Change From: michael sugarman Date: 10/21/98 Time: 10:39:31 PM Remote Name: 18.104.22.168 Comments Thank you for your question. Much depends on the self esteem of the individual and family support systems to have the confidence to resolve personal issues. I hope that answers your question. The Process of Stuttering From: Woody Starkweather Date: 10/22/98 Time: 3:08:49 PM Remote Name: 22.214.171.124 Comments Thank you so much Michael for describing the process. I have been trying to tell people for years now that stutterers are in a recovery process right from the beginning, even though when the first begin to stutter, their process may well be more destructive than constructive. But there is a process, and when the clinician can learn to meet the client where he or she is in the process, very good therapy can take place, without the client feeling judged or shamed, and without fear of failure on the part of either client or clinician. We SLP's have always thought of ourselves as change agents, the people who make the change happen. We think this in spite of the fact that Van Riper and others have long said that it is the client who changes and who is responsible for the change. It seems to me that what we SLP's need to do is revamp our entire approach to the stuttering client. We need to bear witness to the stutterer's process of recovery, maybe help him or her from making a bad decision, offer suggestions for experiments that may teach, and celebrate the person's individual recovery. We need to be midwives not physicians. Or perhaps I should say that we need to be midwives, not God. Re: The Process of Stuttering From: michael Date: 10/22/98 Time: 10:14:32 PM Remote Name: 126.96.36.199 Comments woody, thank you for your insight and comments. KUDOS TO MICHAEL AND JUDY! From: Bob Quesal Date: 10/22/98 Time: 3:55:45 PM Remote Name: 188.8.131.52 Comments Michael and Judy: Thanks so much for this conference, and for allowing me to be part of it. I've learned so much from the papers posted, and have enjoyed (most of) the comments from the readers. This was a wonderful idea, and you carried it out very well. I certainly appreciate all your hard work. Bob Quesal Re: KUDOS TO MICHAEL AND JUDY! From: michael sugarman Date: 10/22/98 Time: 10:15:38 PM Remote Name: 184.108.40.206 Comments Bob, thank you very much for your thoughts NSP History From: Amy Johnson Date: 10/1/99 Time: 8:54:05 AM Remote Name: 220.127.116.11 Comments I really enjoyed reading about the history of the NSP. It is easy to take for granted that people who stutter have such a support system as the NSP and all the support organizations around the world. You have made an incredible difference to many people. Thank you for your vision. Recovery From: Dick Curlee Date: 10/8/99 Time: 6:27:59 PM Remote Name: 18.104.22.168 Comments Michael, I just finished reading the genesis of NSA, Woody's comments about recovery and you response. Although I use "recovery" more than I should to describe the changes that in stuttering that occur during the course of treatment or without treatment, it seems to me that in either case we are observing a healing process. I think of healing as an repairs of the body, mind, and spirit that result from innate, internal processes in each of us. As a clinician, I conceptualize my task as helping someone who wants to be healed discover how to heal and then supporting him/her doing it. I wonder sometimes if the use of words like disorder, treatment, recovery, etc. in connection with stuttering if that doesn't lead us to think about it as something that can be fixed by external agents like us. Incidentally, I seem to remember that George Bush the Elder described himself as being vision-challenged or words to that effect. Was he an example of chaos? If so, is vision-challenged inherited? Could George the Younger be the 2nd coming of Chaos? Cheers! History of the NSA From: Mary Ellen Jones,SLP Date: 10/22/99 Time: 6:20:55 PM Remote Name: 22.214.171.124 Comments Thanks for the great article Michael. You have been the brave pioneer to much "public awareness" of stuttering through the NSA. The NSP was truly an asset to me as a public school Speech Therapist in the 70's. I needed to be around and more aware of the person who stuttered, a person who was unknown to me with the exception of the speech therapy room or who I read about in the books from college. Thanks for all the knowledge I gained beyond the classroom or books. Thanks for making it possible. Thanks for the NSP. You've come along way.