I wasn't interested. I remembered too well that graduate of Millard who'd been cured. The thought of having to undergo another of those treatments with their trick ways of providing some temporary fluency did not appeal to me at all. No, I was doomed to suffer from a tangled tongue and soul all my life. Mother understood my feelings but she wrote Dr. Bryng Bryngelson describing my stuttering and the experiences I'd had at the stuttering schools and asking if there was any hope. His answer was long and detailed. Yes, there was hope for me. His treatment was based on research; it attacked the cause of stuttering; it demanded that the stutterer learn to control the symptoms, to make the stuttering voluntary. There would be no breathing exercises, no abnormal ways of talking, no trick movements to time the moment of speech attempt. There were no fees but I might have to be a research subject as they tried to learn more about the disorder.
That letter impressed me and also my father. "Sounds like an honest man," he said. "He's no quack like the others were." So I wrote for an appointment and on the first of August, 1929, I was in Bryngelson's office being examined. Studying and analyzing my stuttering behaviors, he provided a running commentary that showed me he knew a lot about the disorder. It certainly didn't bother him a bit though I had a lot of very severe blockings. He explored my case history with skill and gave me various tests, including one in which I had to write words simultaneously with both hands on a blackboard. To my amazement 'my right hand, which I had always preferred, wrote the mirror image of the word while the left had wrote it correctly. I was left eyed, not right eyed. I could trace a pattern of dots better with my left hand. "Well, Van Riper," Bryngelson said. "The cause of your stuttering is that the dominant half of your brain which controls speech is on the right side but you've trained a competing language center on the left side to govern speech, and they fight each other."
Compared to the quacks I had known at the commercials schools for stutterers I had attended, Bryngelson seemed honest and his explanation of why I stuttered and what I had to do to overcome it made sense. At least it was the first scientific explanation I had known. . . . .
Bryngelson earlier had been the first to explore nonavoidance therapy for stuttering and the use of voluntary repetitions as a substitute for the real blockings, procdures that the Iowa Clinic had adopted by the time I arrived. He was a free soul with a gay spirit. Leter, when he became president of ASHA, he once came to a council meeting or main session with one shoe painted red and the other yellow." (p. 856)