The presenter of this paper has consented to have a personal email address
posted here if you wish raise further questions and/or comments. Contact Bob Quesal at
r-quesal@wiu.edu 


They never DO fit me

From: Lynne Shields
Date: 10/1/99
Time: 2:47:04 PM
Remote Name: 199.217.208.162

Comments

Thanks for reminding all of us about the some of traps that are so easy fall into (or set for ourselves). My graduate
students are required to read three papers during this conference. I hope some of them choose yours. We've talked about
some of the topics you discuss, but you say it so much more eloquently than I do! THANKS. 

Lynne

Re: They never DO fit me

From: Bob Q.
Date: 10/4/99
Time: 9:49:25 AM
Remote Name: 143.43.201.99

Comments

Thanks, Lynne! If your students do read the paper, let me know what they think. BQ

Universal, Invariants, and More..

From: Joe Kalinowski
Date: 10/1/99
Time: 7:54:52 PM
Remote Name: 150.216.147.209

Comments

In regard to therapy I would totally agree with you. "How can you have one therapeutic protocol for a pathology that has
an unknown cause or causes. This is similar to having back pain of unknown cause and always having major surgery
because all your doctor suggests for all back pain is surgery. 

But like Andrews et al. (1983), I think we must look at the commonality or invariance of this disorder. If not, we will get
lost in the minutiae or the idiosyncratic responses this communicative pathology. If we don't stand back and get the "Big
Picture"--I think we will be left with simple acceptance and heroic bravery as our therapeutic tools. (Although these are
great tools- not all of us are accepting or brave.) 

There must be a big picture because stuttering does has universal commonalties: 1) choral speech is fluency enhancing, 2)
singing causes fluent gestures (please note I do not call singing fluent speech), 3) more males than females stutter, 4)
adult stuttering appears to be universally resistant to long-term modification, 5) without speaking the disorder is
undetectable, 6) stuttering can be terminated immediately by the cessation of speech …..these appear to be a few of the
universals.. they will lead us to more.. (I think--) 

Be well 

Re: Universal, Invariants, and More..

From: Bob Quesal
Date: 10/4/99
Time: 11:39:48 AM
Remote Name: 143.43.201.99

Comments

I agree with your points, basically. However, as an example, I don't know if *ALL* people who stutter become fluent
when reading chorally. And if choral reading increased fluency, what does that tell us about all people who stutter? Is
choral reading "THE" answer to something? My paper is meant simply to suggest that we don't OVERINTERPRET these
commonalities. I'm so not suggesting we throw the baby out with the bathwater. 

Thanks for your comments, Joe. 

BQ

disfluency vs. stuttering

From: Jessica Schneider
Date: 10/4/99
Time: 11:15:59 PM
Remote Name: 209.32.248.88

Comments

I really enjoyed your article regarding several overgeneralizations about stuttering. At one point you discussed how your
status as a stutterer was questioned due to your ability to manage your speech. My question is, where does one draw the
line between simply being disfluent vs. stuttering? Is there a set criteria or is it more of a personal judgement call?

Re: disfluency vs. stuttering

From: Bob Quesal
Date: 10/5/99
Time: 8:27:46 AM
Remote Name: 143.43.201.99

Comments

That's a good question, Jessica. If we consider stuttering in its totality, I'd say that probably it comes down to a
"judgment call." Many highly disfluent speakers are not concerned about their speech, while many relatively fluent
speakers are concerned about it and consider themselves to be stutterers. We use things like types and severity of
disfluencies to determine a speaker's status as a "stutterer." I believe, however, that "stutters" are different from
"disfluencies" and a lot of what makes a "stutter" a "stutter" is not observable. 

I hope this long answer adresses your question. Thanks for reading the paper. 

BQ

disfluency vs. stuttering

From: Jessica Schneider
Date: 10/5/99
Time: 7:27:07 PM
Remote Name: 209.32.248.92

Comments

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. Your response was very helpful.

Great Paper!

From: Mike Hughes
Date: 10/6/99
Time: 7:59:37 AM
Remote Name: 142.166.254.9

Comments

Bob, 

I'm thinking of calling the police...can you tell me the date and time that you broke into my house and stole my exact
thoughts? I didn't know they were missing -- not surprising with my mind! 

Your paper is great. It brings together many of the misconceptions and belief-fostering practices of some in the stuttering
community. As I read through your paper, I could almost identify by name individual(s) with the attributes described by
each group heading. The paper is well-written and eminently readible. In fact, I'd like your permission to republish it in a
future issue of "Speaking Out," Speak Easy's monthly magazine. Please reply either to this post or by sending us an
email at info@speakeasycanada.com.

Faulty Speech Motor Systems?

From: April Harrison
Date: 10/6/99
Time: 2:05:43 PM
Remote Name: 150.216.146.167

Comments

Hello. I am a graduate student in Speech at East Carolina University. I just read your article and wanted to comment on
the statement that discussed whether people who stutter have a faulty speech motor system. In some situations where
clients feel relaxed, they have an increase in fluency. It seems that if stuttering was caused by faulty motor systems, there
would be absolutely no situations in which they would be fluent, correct? Thanks, April Harrison 

Re: Faulty Speech Motor Systems?

From: Bob Quesal
Date: 10/6/99
Time: 3:55:55 PM
Remote Name: 143.43.201.99

Comments

Hi April: 

I'm not sure if this is the case. A faulty motor system need not manifest itself constantly, and certainly there are
interactions between other factors and the motor system. For example, the "faulty motor system" may be "faulty" in the
sense that it tends to break down under less "stress" than an intact motor system. However, there would still be times
when the system would be beneath that "breakdown threshold." So, for example, a person may have a faulty motor
system and be able to speak just fine in situations where the "breakdown threshold" was not exceeded, such as talking to
oneself. (As Dave Barry would say, have "I" used "enough" "quotation marks?") ;-)>> 

I hope this is an adequate answer to your interesting question. 

Bob Q.

media portrayals of stuttering

From: Jeff Shames jefsha@aol.com
Date: 10/10/99
Time: 10:47:01 AM
Remote Name: 205.188.193.158

Comments

Great paper, Bob. You gave an excellent overview about the issue of stuttering. It varies so much among people that
making generalizations can be both simplistic and narrow. 

I was interested in your views about media portrayals of stuttering. In my work in progress documentary film, "Stutter
Step" I am going to have a section about how these portrayals affect attitutudes about stuttering, both among pws and the
general public. 

Here too it is difficult to make generalizations. I happen to think of Porky Pig in a positive way, yet I know many
stutterers who can't stand him. I was quite offended by "A Fish called Wanda"; in fact, it took me several years to forgive
Kevin Kline for that role! Yet I have known other pws who are not bothered by this at all. I was not at all put off by the
portrayal of stuttering in "Shakespeare in Love". I have a friend who saw the film in a crowded theater, where many
audience members laughed. She didn't walk out, but it ruined the film for her. 

I understand your point about "the media" (admittedly, a wide swath) making broad portrayals of various afflictions. But
it is true, too, that stuttering is seen as something that can be laughed at, in a way that many things cannot be. That most
portrayals are presented in a narrow, comedic sense does bother me. 

Yet I realize that there is also a film like "Paulie", which presented stuttering in a realistic, sympathetic way. 

I am interested in your views about this. Best regards.

Re: media portrayals of stuttering

From: Bob Quesal
Date: 10/11/99
Time: 11:50:59 AM
Remote Name: 143.43.201.99

Comments

Hi Jeff: 

Thanks for the comments. I think it's important for us to continue to "elevate the consciousness" of others re: stuttering is
*not* something to laugh at. On the other hand, my point is that "the media" rarely do a good job of portraying much of
anything. It should not be surprising that portrayals of stutterers are inaccurate, since so much of what is portrayed in the
media is inaccurate. I think rather than being offended by media portrayals of stutterers, we should be offended by the
media's dealing with just about any subject. 

The extent to which media portrayals give other people permission to laugh at stuttering is something worth investigating,
I suppose. My take on things is that most laughter at stuttering, whether it be in the media or in real life, is based on
people not knowing how to react. A nervous laughter, if you will, not a malicious one. 

Thanks again. 

Bob Q.

Re: media portrayals of stuttering

From: Jim McClure, Chicago
Date: 10/13/99
Time: 10:03:03 AM
Remote Name: 199.179.170.253

Comments

Media portrayals of stuttering may be a kind of Rorschach test of the extent to which we have come to terms with our own
stuttering. It's virtually impossible to get any consensus on whether a particular portrayal of stuttering is or is not
offensive because people who stutter have widely varying reactions. My own reactions have changed over the years:
Seeing someone stuttering in a movie no longer triggers the feelings of shame and guilt that I experienced years ago. 

Re: media portrayals of stuttering

From: Bob Q.
Date: 10/13/99
Time: 11:08:45 AM
Remote Name: 143.43.201.99

Comments

Excellent point, Jim. Perhaps this could be used as some sort of outcome measure for stuttering treatment. "Acceptance of
self" certainly would be reflected in "acceptance of inaccurate media portrayals," to my way of thinking. BQ

Great Paper II

From: Dale Williams
Date: 10/14/99
Time: 9:03:53 AM
Remote Name: 131.91.248.210

Comments

Excellent work, Bob. I especially enjoyed the part about the self-proclaimed iconoclasts who seem to feel that challenging
conventional thinking is enough to validate their theories. When I listen to this, I am always tempted to point out that for
every Galileo the human race has produced, there are millions of revolutionary theorists who missed the mark (and
probably several thousand who delivered their ideas primarily to padded walls). 

Hope you're having a good conference. 

Dale 

Re: Great Paper II

From: Bob Quesal
Date: 10/14/99
Time: 12:09:55 PM
Remote Name: 143.43.201.99

Comments

Hi Dale: 

Thanks very much. I always appreciate and respect what you have to say. 

Bob Q.


Re:ipso facto ceased to be a scientist" because he refused to
incorporate new evidence into his body of working knowledge.

From: Joe Kalinowski
Date: 10/15/99
Time: 9:09:46 AM
Remote Name: 150.216.147.209

Comments

New theories and new empirical evidence are "the stuff that dreams are made of"---- Bogart, Maltese Falcon 

Galileo (1564 - 1642) spent many years under house arrest and had to recant his proposal of a heliocentric solar system
(i.e. Sun centered solar system). The Church said it was an earth -centered system and the punishment for differing
thought might his untimely demise. The "Establishment" refused to be swayed by empirical evidence which supported
Galileo's theories . The "Establishment" relied on a "belief system" which was inflexible and intolerant of dissenting
ideas(i.e.,., Inquisition). 

Copernicus (1473-1543 --who preceded Galileo-- was more cautious in regard to retaliation from the "powers that be. His
heretical proposal of a heliocentric solar system was published while he was on his deathbed . 

Darwin was reviled hated (maybe because he stuttered). According to Darwin, man was not the predestined end-product
of evolution. Man was just happenstance of evolution (and a meteor allowed the human path of evolution to develop and
flourish-much to the dismay of the dinosaurs). 

We had the infamous "Scopes Trial" in Dayton Tennessee in which the resistance of the "establishment to this
"unconformable" new idea of evolution was prosecuted ( much like Galileo). The establishment has bypassed the
scientific method and rather incorporated preordained idea into a belief system which was impenetrable". 

As Thomas Kuhn said about Priestly. Joseph Priestly " ipso facto ceased to be a scientist" because he refused to
incorporate new evidence into his body of working knowledge. He worked not as a scientist but rather on a belief-system
which was unmovable and relied on passion. 

Let's hope future scientists don't look back on us with the bemusement that we look back on Priestly, Ptolemy,
Diffenbach, Bogue, Fenichel…. 

When we are looked upon by history, let our work--through some of it will be considered crude by future standards-- be
looked on as exemplary scientific work despite the limitation of knowledge and technology.. 


Re:ipso facto ceased to be a scientist" because he refused to...

From: Bob Quesal
Date: 10/15/99
Time: 9:40:21 AM
Remote Name: 143.43.201.99

Comments

Hi Joe: 

I'm a bit confused. Nowhere in my essay do I say that knowledge is a bad thing, or that new knowledge is a bad thing, or
that new ways of looking at things are bad. (If there is a place where I have said or implied that, let me know and I'll try
to clarify.) 

My point is simple. Stutterers have as many dissimilarities as they have similarities. I have the utmost respect for the work
you and your colleagues are doing at East Carolina University. Your work has given us considerable insight into how
auditory feedback affects various aspects of stuttering. Great stuff! If you were to say, "Our research has shown that
altered auditory feedback is beneficial for many people who stutter," I'd agree wholeheartedly. But if you were to say to
me, "ALL stutterers will benefit from altered auditory feedback (and those who don't are in denial)" I'd say we'd
probably disagree. 

The issue is not knowledge, new knowledge, heresy, or anything like that. It's simply a matter of the unfairness of you
forcing me to be you, or me forcing you to be me. We both stutter, but we're both different. We agree on many things,
we disagree on others. What works for me may not work for you. What works for you may not work for me. In essence,
one size does not fit all. It's a pretty simple concept. Maybe I haven't done a good job of explaining it. (Or maybe it's an
issue of deep thinker [you] dealing with shallow thinker [me].) ;-)>> 

Knowledge will continue to grow--that's a good thing. Open-mindedness will allow that to happen. "Pigeonholing" or
"stereotyping" will not. I'm all in favor of knowledge. 

I hope this clarifies things a bit. 

BQ

Re:The reply was to the comments that preceeded yours..

From: Joe Kalinowski
Date: 10/15/99
Time: 4:19:33 PM
Remote Name: 150.216.147.209

Comments

The reply was to the comments that preceeded your response- not to your acknowledgement. Sorry for the confusion. 

Re: Great Paper II

From: Steve Hood
Date: 10/19/99
Time: 10:05:26 AM
Remote Name: 199.33.133.50

Comments

GREAT PAPER -- Bob Q !!!! 

As you have said before, "One Size Doesn't Fit all." 

Stuttering certainly is a hereogeneous disorders. Albeit there are commonalities, there are marked individual differences.
Maybe stuttering is more like a syndrome than it is a single entity. As Van Riper said an an analogy to archery, to be a
good clinician you need to have lots of arrows in your clinical quiver. 

Thanks for sharing your significant insights. 

Steve Hood 

Re: Great Paper II

From: Bob Q.
Date: 10/19/99
Time: 11:59:07 AM
Remote Name: 143.43.201.99

Comments

Thanks, Steve. Your comments mean a lot to me, and I really appreciate them. 

BQ

Bob Quesal

From: Jerry Johnson
Date: 10/20/99
Time: 9:44:51 PM
Remote Name: 205.188.198.49

Comments

Jeeze Bob, I wish I had said that! One great paper and observations. You are a realist.


Thanks, everybody!

From: Bob Quesal
Date: 10/22/99
Time: 4:11:24 PM
Remote Name: 143.43.201.99

Comments

It's nearly time to go home, so I want to thank everyone who took the time to read my paper, and those who took the time
to comment. I have appreciated the opportunity to take part in this online conference, and I appreciate the generous
comments from the readers. 

Thanks to Judy Kuster and Michael Sugarman for asking me to be a part of all this. It's been great! 

If anyone has questions or comments after the end of the conference, contact me at  

Thanks again! 

Bob Quesal

Re: Thanks, everybody!

From: Woody Starkweather
Date: 10/22/99
Time: 5:09:14 PM
Remote Name: 155.247.229.217

Comments

And thanks to you Bob for a thoughtful and refreshing look, not just at the stuttering, but at the debate over it. It is very
useful to have someone looking at the debate, and I am grateful that you are the one doing it because of your fairness and
open-mindedness. Keep it up. We need it. 

Woody