Joseph S. Kalinowski, Ph.D. and Tim Saltuklaroghu, Ph.D. have written an excellent titled Stuttering. Kalinowski stutters, and he is an Associate Professor. Communication Science, East Carolina University, Greenvillle, NC. Saltuklaroghu stutters and is an Assistant Professor, Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
For a person who stutters who is looking to know more about stuttering, its history, its impact on his or her life and the multiple contemporary treatments of stuttering Stuttering is the book for you.
Stuttering is the most personal book I have read on stuttering. It is personal because I can relate to so much of the material in the book because I have stuttered for 54 years. Because the three of us stutter, I can feel the authors pain in Chapter 1 (Stuttering and the Person Who Stutters) as they describe the internal personal and social challenges a person who stutters deals with daily.
You have to stutter to experience the repeated rejection associated with it. You have to stutter to know the fear associated with using a telephone, and the lengths you choose not to use it. The authors describe very well these and other negative fears associated with stuttering. As I read this chapter, I felt as though I was reading my biography.
I have never met a person who stutters the same way I do, and therefore I agree with the authors when they say "everyone who stutters exhibits an individual pattern of stuttering."
I am not sure that I agree with Kalinowski and Saltuklaroghu when they say the cause of stuttering can't be determined. I started stuttering after a horrific experience as my second grade teacher forced me to switch from writing left handed to writing right handed. I believe that was my cause. Still, I know people who stutter who can't attribute any cause.
In the chapter on Contemporary Methods of Treating Stuttering, I somewhat agree with the writers that "no method of treatment works for everyone who stutters." I know people who stuttered for years and then suddenly stopped. They tell me it was sheer will power. I believe that sometimes it takes shear mental determination to control stuttering.
I support both writers belief that, "Because no single approach stands out as being superior to others, it is imperative that clinicians become skillful in being able to identify methods and treatment that work for a given individual. This ability often comes with experience, knowledge of an individual's patterns of stuttering, and sometimes repeated failures."
I have been taught a variety of therapies - hypnosis, self-hypnosis, slowing my speech, the rhythm, slowing my speech and good eye contact with the person I am talking to. I have even used the SpeechEasy. I use the SpeechEasy often, and it works most of the time.
The simplest way to describe choral speech is to imagine your self singing in a choir or reading simultaneously with others. Many people who stutter do not stutter when singing in a choir or when reading out loud with others. As the writers point out, "The listener hears natural free-flowing reading, and the speaker (with the assistance of a second speaker) produces relatively natural, free-flowing speech without fear of failure."
For a person who stutters eliminating the risk of speech failure is part of the idealized notion of becoming indistinguishable from the person who does not stutter.
Stuttering is pure knowledge, knowledge, knowledge. I have never read a book that has provided me with so much information on communication and stuttering. My knowledge surrounding stuttering and communication has increased, and I am richer for it.
This book could not be so powerful if it was written by two men who did not stutter.