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Re: How can I respond?
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Published: 14 years ago
This is a reply to # 888,284

Re: How can I respond?

To Soulful Survivor: I just saw your post from '07 so I hope you still read this. First I want to applaud you for seeing beyond your professor's speech disability and recognizing that he is "fantastically gifted". I've been married for 25 years to a kind,intelligent,handsome man who happens to stutter. Perhaps because I was always interested in learning language (I took 4 years of French and 3 of Spanish simultaneously in high school), I was able to see past the different speech pattern and get to know this wonderful man. Several times he has shared with me stories of his humiliation (in school, especially--and made worse by having moved many times during his school years. It seems just when the other students had gotten past it, he was forced to move again.) His parents were Christian ministers who believed that if God didn't heal him, it was because he didn't have enough faith. Hence, no speech testing or therapy. As an adult he became an alcoholic, and I truly believe it was because he was trying to hide from his disability. Now the good part. First, he's a recovering alcoholic of 17 years. Second, after seeing an article on Discovery Channel about an ear feedback device to help stutterers, I asked if he would be interested in pursuing it. (The device featured was called Fluency Master, however, we eventually purchased a similar device, called a "SpeechEasy",in part due to the availability of a technician in our area). This device actually echoes the speaker's own words back into his ear, but at a different pitch. It is not a cure, but it has helped my husband's speech, and more than that, his confidence. It's drawback is the price. Insurance paid for a hearing test by an audiologist, and a consultion with a speech therapist. However, insurance does not cover the cost of the device, which is approximately $5000, payable in advance. (The therapist who reps these for the maker did take plenty of time before and after fitting him with the device, but we still had nagging doubts of spending that much money for something "iffy". But it turned out to be a Godsend to my husband.) Before seeing the Discovery Channel we had never heard of this device. Perhaps you could suggest it to your professor, or if that might create an embarassing situation, you could request info from these companies--you can find them on the net--and mail a brochure to him. It would then be his decision whether to pursue this. Good luck to you and to your friend and to all of those out there who suffer these problems. And don't be too hard on your classmates, one day they or someone they love may be stricken with something beyond their control, and thoughts of this prof. and his bravery may cause a little squirming in their conscience. Age and hard knocks will bring them wisdom one day!

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