• To Cure, Or Not To Cure

    Posted on June 16, 2012 by in Stuttering

    So I am sitting here on the airplane on my way to Las Vegas. I am meeting my friends Tim Flynn and Andrew Bowers. Andrew is a good friend of mine from the NSA. I met Andrew 5 years ago at the conference in New Jersey. I know Tim from the NSA conference as well. You all may know Tim from True Life: I Stutter, on MTV. On a side note, let me just say that I am very pleased with my choice to fly Southwest Airlines. This is one of my two free round trip flights offered to me for opening a Southwest Airlines credit card. Plus, for five dollars you can access their in flight wifi hotspot, which is why I am writing this blog post from 38 thousand feet. Good thing I bought this iPad a couple days ago!

    Lately, there has been a lot of conversation on Facebook about a cure for stuttering. There is an individual by the name of Anna Deeter, who is consistently posting on a popular Facebook group for pws, claiming that she can cure our stuttering in 3 days. I also heard from an inside source that she has charged people close to ten thousand dollars for her therapy. It appears that she does all of her therapy over Skype. Now, I do believe there is a place for speech therapy using Skype or Google plus. That isn’t the problem here. The problem is that she is claiming the she can cure stuttering. The last time I checked stuttering is not a sickness Or a diseaae. Let’s face it people, there are effective therapy techniques which can be be taught to pws. There are even some medications out there that doctors are prescribing to decrease tension and anxiety, but we all need to realize that thus far, there is no cure for stuttering. I am extremely displeased by Anna’s claim that she can cure stuttering. She has posted several youtube videos which show the progression of her therapy, and in every video her client seems to be speaking fluently. However, all of her therapy sessions are taking place in the comfort of her clients home. She does not appear to require her clients to practice speaking outside of their home in more stressful situations. Any talented Speech-Language pathologist couldamaze a client speak more fluently in three hours in the therapy room, but unless the slp brings the client outside of the therapy room as well to practice, the client will most definitely experience a relapse. As we know from the Iceberg Analogy, so much of stuttering is exacerbated by fear, shame, stress and anxiety. In none of these videos do I see Anna targeting any of these things and in my view these negative feelings should be dealt with before techniques are introduced. All I can say is that with Ms. Deeter charging that much money and claiming that she can cure stuttering, I am expecting some lawsuits coming her way soon.

    So, to all of my readers, beware of these people claiming that they can cure your stuttering. While there is no cure for stuttering, there are effective fluency techniques, and even more importantly, there is support out there. Contact your local NSA chapter and start attending chapter meetings. Better yet, come and meet me at the 2012 National Stuttering Association conference in St. Petersburg, Florida between July 4th and 8th. While the NSA won’t provide you with a cure for your stuttering, it will guide you along your path towards accepting your stuttering.

    Now we come to the almighty question. If there was a peer reviewed, valid and reliable research study in which a cure for stuttering was found, would I take that magic pill and become fluent? I can tell you all with complete confidence that I wouild not take it. My experiences throughout my life as a person who stutters have molded my personality. Through my experiences, stuttering has provided me with the ability to work hard, and show compassion for others. Stuttering is the reason why I chose to become a Speech-Language Pathologist. Stuttering is a permanent part of me. I would never change that. What has stuttering given you?

44 responses so far.

  1. mauruschka says:

    I am a recovering stutterer, I joined the mcguire program in february 2011 and it has helped me completely, I go to support groups and refresher courses, you become a member for life there. It’s all about your breathing, and we use a technique to control our stutter. There is no cure for stuttering, you can only control it. I feel much more confident now than I have before, I can recommend this course to every stutterer out there, it’s all about hard work and perseverance. You can stay in touch with me if you want to, we can even skype so you can hear the technique I am using.

    • Evan Sherman says:

      I am very aware of the costal breathing technique taught by McGuire. I think it is very important that you mentioioned that you do still stutter. It is not a cure, but a way to manage. I don’t think that it is for every person who stutters though. I can say that many people who stutter will choose to accept it and would not decide to change it.

      • mauruschka says:

        Sorry for the late reply. Yes, it is true that we should accept that we are a stutter it makes it easier if you tell people that you are a stutterer and even now I have to tell people that I am using this technique because I am working on my speech and they accept it.

    • shubhankar says:

      I want to join this community and share my experiences

  2. Anna says:

    Dear Evan Sherman!
    Thank you very much for your article. Although you did not talk much in favor of my Speech Education program that I have been using for ELIMINATION of stuttering, still, I appreciate the fact that you are AWARE of what is REALLY going on in the world of stuttering today.
    Below, I have addressed a lot disinformation that you included to your article. No hard feelings and nothing personal. I would like to have a straight conversation between two speech professionals.

    1. “The problem is that she is claiming the she can cure stuttering. The last time I checked stuttering is not a sickness Or a disease.”

    If I ever said that we cure stuttering, I meant that we CURE it with EDUCATIONAL tool, which enables us to ELIMINATE STUTTERING. If it is not a disease, then, there is nothing to cure.

    2. “…there are effective therapy techniques which can be taught to pws.”

    These techniques are effective in “reducing stuttering”, “shaping fluency”, or “decreasing stuttering”…. NONE of the programs offer ELIMINATION OF STUTTERING!!!

    3. “There are even some medications out there that doctors are prescribing to decrease tension and anxiety”

    All these drugs negatively impact human’s brain chemistry instead of addressing stutterers’ main problem, which is lack of CORRECT speaking skills. Drugs do not TEACH PWS HOW TO SPEAK!

    4. “we all need to realize that thus far, there is no cure for stuttering”

    We all need to realize that everything we believe in is based on our knowledge: anybody who would WANT to learn more about the TRUTH about our Speech Education ETALON, would understand that this is the beginning of a new era of stuttering treatment. This SCIENTIFIC program has freed from stuttering over 1, 000 people in Russia and three English language speakers. There are nearly 50 YouTube “Before and After” video reports (in Russian language), including interviews with former stutterers that have been through the program and have been stutter-free for the last 8-10 years. What other or BETTER proof do you need?

    5. “She does not appear to require her clients to practice speaking outside of their home in more stressful situations.”

    We do require our students to go out and practice their CORRECT SPEAKING SKILLS on the very first day of the class. They do not need our supervision for doing that because they are in charge for their own actions. They HAVE to do this on their own!

    6. “so much of stuttering is exacerbated by fear, shame, stress and anxiety”

    All these issues are a big part of the program. Working on stutterers’ mind (reprogramming the way they think about stuttering, speech, and themselves) has been included in every day of our Skype class.

    7. “In none of these videos do I see Anna targeting any of these things and in my view these negative feelings should be dealt with before techniques are introduced”.

    Our video reports do not intend to teach our techniques. There are only two “before and after” the class tests that we demonstrate there. In order to grasp this extremely REVOLUTIONARY APPROACH towards stuttering, one has to have an open mind, lots of knowledge in various areas of science, and professional skills.

    8. “I am expecting some lawsuits coming her way soon”

    Such an attitude is really not an encouraging one, but I do not take it personally because I understand it is caused by lack of knowledge and understanding. Why would people complain about being free from stuttering – once and for all? So far, our program has had nothing less, but a 100% success.

    9. “While the NSA won’t provide you with a cure for your stuttering, it will guide you along your path towards accepting your stuttering…”

    Yes, this is the goal for NSA: guide pws along their path in accepting their stuttering, make sure they KEEP ATTENDING program after program with no success, support them when they lose their self-esteem and some times their lives.

    10. “Stuttering is a permanent part of me. I would never change that.”

    This is the most painful statement and the root of the problem! People with such believe are lying to themselves and hiding behind this lie, afraid to learn the truth or simply have given up on their lives!

    11. “Better yet, come and meet me…”

    Is this the bottom line of the whole article?

    • Evan Sherman says:

      Thank you for your response Anna. I respect your opinion and I understand that you have your views. However, I do think it is important that the general population understand that there is NO researched cure for stuttering in any peer reviewed article I have ever seen. In my view, it is important to not give anyone the false hope that they will be able to eliminate their stuttering forever when you have no true research to report it with several authors and clinical trials. Me and 716 other people found out this past weekend that the true cure for stuttering is acceptance. I, alone with several others were cured this past weekend. We may still stutter, but our stuttering is now insignificant to our lives. We don’t let it bother us anymore. We are who we are and we are proud! Best of luck with your future endeavors.

      • Anna says:

        Would you like to talk to me on Skype? I am very open and ready to share my knowledge with anybody.
        You are saying that there is no information in ENGLISH – I agree! But there is a lot of scientific and experimental data in Russian language available today online! Anybody who has an open mind and compassion towards struggle of other people, is welcome to communicate with me!
        If you are afraid to even LISTEN and at least CONSIDER a new approach towards stuttering, then, thank you for your attention. You do not have to meet me! You are a very fortunate person who stutter as you have accepted your handicapped condition, do not struggle any more and even make leaving off it! But there are a lot of young people that have to go this way for years IF THERE WOULD NOT BE ANOTHER WAY, which is to ELIMINATE THEIR STUTTERING and become NORMAL humans right from the time when they are still young.
        If lives of teenagers and young adults that commit suicide does not bother you, if you still think that accepting that you are NOT a NORMAL human is easy for them – sorry for bothering you.
        Lots of luck, Anna Deeter
        My Skype name is annadeeter

        • Evan Sherman says:

          Are you telling us that we are not normal human beings? Are you telling us that we are handicapped? Also, why are your videos edited?

          • Sunjammer says:

            Well, any person who lacks an important ability other people have might as well be considered handicapped. I stutter to, and for me being a stutterer in the society where speaking is the best and most convenient way of communication is a bit like having a limping leg in the world where everybody dances instead of walking.

            Of course there’s no cure for stuttering because there’s nothing to be cured. If you think there’s some glitch in our brain that prevents us from speaking fluently, then why every stutterer has no problems speaking alone, to himself? And don’t write this down to being nervous. Fear makes stuttering worse, but it’s not what causes it. Many people, perhaps you too, who have accepted their condition, don’t feel embarrassed about it anymore and aren’t afraid of speaking in front of other people, yet they still stutter.

            As for research, there are billions of phenomenons that scientists are unable to explain, especially those regarding human mind and behaviour, but that doesn’t make them incurable. I’m positive a solution will be found in future. Science and medicine is constantly evolving.

            And what concerns Etalon method, I’ve read all the information available on the website. It does make sense. The only objection I have is that of the cost. First of all, the term “donation” is false and misleading. The difference between donation and price is that the latter is mandatory while the other isn’t. And besides, well I understand that such a discovery is worth money, but it makes me sad that so many people (including me) can’t get access to such a basic human skill like having full control of their speech because they’re too poor to pay 8000 dollars.

    • LifeGuy says:

      ”TEACH PWS HOW TO SPEAK!” ???

      Sometimes I wonder how someone can claim such diabolical things like ‘ELIMINATING/CURING STAMMERING IN 2-3 DAYS’ and that it’s simply a stammerers ‘STATE OF MIND’ and his/her lack of willpower.

      So if I am interpreting it correctly, Miss Anna wants to convey that A PWS CHOOSES TO STAMMER AND IT’S IN THEIR OWN HANDS TO CHOOSE WHETHER TO STAMMER OR NOT.

      I am afraid but you seem awfully WRONG and the way you advertise your ‘REVOLUTIONARY’ PROGRAM is too much EXAGGERATED. Sorry but We refuse to accept your claims unless you provide some valid proof of the results.

      I have looked into your program’s details and the only technical fact I found was that you advocate the CORRECTION OF THE TECHNIQUE OF MANNER OF ARTICULATION OF SPEECH. I agree that it can be helpful to some PWS (but that too will vary from person to person since evry PWS has a unique stammer) but it can’t Cure/Eliminate it completely or forever.
      It’s just like any other fluency technique and any SLP is trained enough to offer such techniques so we don’t need a ‘thousand dollar program’ for that.
      I tried that for a few months when I was young and it didn’t work too much for me.
      We are waiting for some concrete evidence. Why don’t you cure one of our representatives for free and prove it?
      Thank you and Good Luck.

  3. Cure = elimination.

  4. Lott Hughes says:

    Evan,

    As we talked in the past about the so call CURE that Mrs. Deter exploits for us PWS. The consensuses among the stuttering community are the same. We feel the services she is providing or offering are not proven. Let’s just look and break down the word CURE. What do cure really means?

    Restoration of health; recovery from disease..

    I never once heard that stuttering was a disease or unhealthy. I feel that when Mrs. Deter says she can cure stuttering, she referring to what? Since stuttering is not a disease and not contagious, I really don’t understand what she has to offer besides fluency shaping techniques?

    I feel that when people talk about Mrs. Deter, they are giving her just what she wants is the notoriety and ensures that her message will live on. Remember, everything that is put on the internet is there forever. I think her goal is to insight debate and to push her message.

    I’m not saying by any means we should censor her speech, however I would not give it the credit or notoriety she is seeking. If Mrs. Deter really had something serious to offer PWS, she would come and do a workshop at the NSA and really show her cards in front of the SLP community..

    This is the prime example of someone using the internet to gain the trust of the few PWS who are so desperate to find SOMETHING, That SOMETHING is better than nothing mentality.

    I can go on and on about my objections to Mrs. Deters claims. However for me, this is the last I will speak of Mrs. Deters and her money grab techniques on the desperate hearts of a few PWS. I would also add to anyone who is reading this, Please, I embolden you to please do your research and make an adult decision wehter to pay the fee Mrs. Deter is asking. If you need help or guidance, please contact someone at the National Stuttering Association ( NSA ) http://www.nsastutter.org , here you will get the guidance you need to make the best life changing decisions for your stutter.

    Lott Hughes

    • Evan Sherman says:

      Thank you Lot. It was great spending time with you at the NSA. Thank you for your support. We who stutter will be okay. We just need to make sure these people do not make take advantage of us. Thank you for your post!

  5. Kenny Koroll says:

    Stutters are NORMAL people. Some, not all, are ok with being stutters. The NSA provides a “cure” for those looking for acceptance and support. Anyone looking for an actual cure is more than welcome to try anything and everything to make it happen. Best of luck to everyone, whatever your goal!

    • Evan Sherman says:

      Thank you Kenny. Some people are looking for a cure. If there was a cure available, I wouldn’t go through with it, but many people would. It is a shame that Anna is trying to take advantage of these people.

      • Matt says:

        I know this is an old post, but I have been trying to research Anna Deeter. I don’t know if her methods are effective and helpful, but some of the things she talks about in her videos are intriguing. Evan, I don’t share your interest in continuing to stutter and I really have a hard time understanding your comment regarding not being interested in a cure. As you note, everyone is entitled to their opinion.
        Accepting one’s stutter is a wonderful thing, as we all need to love ourselves. But if a potentially long term cure for stuttering presented its self to me, I would jump on it. In my opinion, stuttering is nothing someone should live with on their own volition. I feel that stuttering is a disorder that, at least initially, undermines all other efforts to succeed in life. Sure we tell ourselves it’s made us stronger and a better, more compassionate person. I love myself, love my family and love my life… but show me a cure for stuttering or even a method to successfully control it in all situations? I would go to the ends of the earth to be “cured.”

        • Evan Sherman says:

          Hi Matt,
          You said “In my opinion, stuttering is nothing someone should live with on their own volition.”

          Again this is your opinion. There are many many many people who feel otherwise. I dont trust Anna Deeter. Nobody should. She provides nothing to back up what she says. The shows no research, really non-credible videos. She literally has nothing to back up anything. You cant offer a cure and not have any proof.

  6. Kenny Koroll says:

    If anyone does have a way to eliminate stuttering, I ask they present this to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) so that all SLP’s in the US are made aware!

    • Evan Sherman says:

      LIKE! If you have a cure, why would you not present it and benefit from it? I agree, Kenny. If someone has a cure, go ahead present it! It may change many peoples lives. Wouldn’t change mine though. I will continue to be who I am, a person who stutters.

  7. Kenny Koroll says:

    Make that anything and everything SAFE to cure their stuttering!

  8. Amir says:

    TEACH PWS HOW TO SPEAK! ???

    Sometimes I wonder how someone can claim such diabolical things like ‘ELIMINATING/ CURING STAMMERING IN 2-3 DAYS’ and that it’s simply a stammerer’s ‘STATE OF MIND’ and his/her lack ofwillpower.

    So if I am interpreting it correctly, Miss Anna wants to convey that A PWS CHOOSES TO STAMMER AND IT’S IN THEIR OWN HANDS TO CHOOSE WHETHER TO STAMMER OR NOT.

    I am afraid but you seem awfully WRONG and the way you advertise your ‘REVOLUTIONARY’ PROGRAM is too much EXAGGERATED. Sorry but we refuseto accept your claims unless you provide some valid proof of the results.

    I have looked into your program’s details and the only technical fact I found was that you advocate the CORRECTION OF THE TECHNIQUEOF MANNER OF ARTICULATION OF SPEECH. I agree that it can be helpful to some PWS (but that too will vary from person to person sinceevry PWS has a unique stammer) butit can’t Cure/Eliminate it completely or forever.

    It’s just like any other fluency technique and any SLP is trained enough to offer such techniques so we don’t need a ‘thousand dollar program’ for that.

    I tried that for a few months when I was young and it didn’t work too much for me.

    We are waiting for some concrete evidence. Why don’t you cure one of our representatives for free and prove it?

    Thank you and Good Luck.

  9. Grant Meredith says:

    I guess we have to put her into context. There are many other sites out there offering a 3 day’ish CURE. Anna at the moment is just aggresively marketing. She is marketing a business like the others are. She does always mention CURE and that is the lure for the desperate and uneducated to be hooked into her scam. It is all in the spin. She offers nothing new or exciting except for strangely unsupported views and notions. In Oz we are using Skype very successfully for treatment of adults and kids, but with accepted treatments.

    Anna is a classic example of a marketer. She clearly proves she is uneducated about stuttering and knows nothing of the current state of play in terms of research and direction. Perhaps she has found the magic pill but without any proof I fail to see it. She refers to no peer reviewed research at all and I think she would shy away from any form of academic presentation/conference or journal.

    But we have fallen into her trap. We are publicising her treatment for her. Stirring interest and conversation. Her Facebook pages have now many followers and people wanting to sign up. Caching $. What can we honestly do though? Not much except keep slient really.

    There is no long term proof of her treatments and she offers fluent speakers after 3 day intensives. That is not new. Most, if not all, programs achieve this. Hey I have said many times. Spend 3 days with me at home alone and I can get you fluent easily. Either through technique, pure comfort or the threat of a baseball bat. Not hard at all. But long term is the goal and also importantly change of attitude and view. She is simply one of many unsupported, uneducated and steadily growing scammers out there

    • Sunjammer says:

      At first I thought I thought it to be a scam as well, but then I compared it to a few other “magical stuttering cure” websites and realized there were a few differences

      1) Anna never states to CURE stuttering but to ELIMINATE it. There is a huge difference between these terms

      2) there is actually a lot of information on her website, and while it might not include any professional research, it is well developed and informative, and has much more effort put in it that those scam websites

      3) unlike the scammers, she has the certificates displayed online and her real name revealed and is available for contact

      • Evan Sherman says:

        Im sorry, but she is deceiving you. In fact, it is not even legal for her to be providing any of her therapy in the US without being a member of ASHA. She is offering a cure, any way that you look at it. And none of her methods are based on any peer reviewed research. If I was looking for therapy, I would want to make sure that my therapists techniques were actually proven to be effective.

  10. Tim Flynn says:

    Hi Anna,

    I wanted to take the time to respond to some of your comments. I guess the most striking part of your response is your insistence that your approach is scientifically proven. As Evan mentioned, there isn’t a SINGLE peer viewed journal article I have ever seen about a “cure” or “total elimination” of stuttering, nor is there one about your program. Your website claims that this has been around for 14 years. If this is so, why hasn’t anything been published? You cannot simply claim something is scientific without any evidence to back it up.

    Your website is full of frankly ridiculous comments and statistics such as,
    “Traditionally, stuttering is being treated medically as it is a disease.”

    -Not it hasn’t. You are the one preaching a “cure” or “elimination,” not us…and yes in your responses you are using the words “cure” and “elimination” synonymously.

    “In 99% of the cases, stuttering occurs in young children when their parents teach them early writing skills incorrectly. Normal speech development of the child becomes disturbed at the moment of the very first letter introduction done incorrectly.”

    -You have absolutely no scientific research to back this up and your website is littered with ridiculous comments like this. If you want to have your opinion that is fine but please show some professional responsibility and make a statement saying these comments are NOT based on statistics but your own skewed perspective.

    “We all need to realize that everything we believe in is based on our knowledge: anybody who would WANT to learn more about the TRUTH about our Speech Education ETALON, would understand that this is the beginning of a new era of stuttering treatment. This SCIENTIFIC program has freed from stuttering over 1, 000 people in Russia and three English language speakers. There are nearly 50 YouTube “Before and After” video reports (in Russian language), including interviews with former stutterers that have been through the program and have been stutter-free for the last 8-10 years. What other or BETTER proof do you need?”

    – Once again, show me your data over the last 14 years, or show me one peer reviewed journal article about the “success” of your program. I’m glad you brought up the “Before” and “After” videos, because they are heavily edited. I watched Natalie, age 19, from the US from beginning to end. There are several points where there is obvious editing or parts removed when she is telling the SAME story. Not editing from one topic to another, but literally talking about past experiences when she was younger then suddenly her body position/camera angle alters slightly. You have removed entire sections of a continuous speaking sample.

    “ Why would people complain about being free from stuttering – once and for all? So far, our program has had nothing less, but a 100% success. “

    Do you follow up with your clients of people you “help?” Have you monitored their total “elimination” of stuttering? Or are these people merely observed through your 3 day skype session in an extremely controlled environment. I can stare at my wall in my room and read from the dictionary for 5 minutes, does that mean I have eliminated my stuttering?

    “Yes, this is the goal for NSA: guide pws along their path in accepting their stuttering, make sure they KEEP ATTENDING program after program with no success, support them when they lose their self-esteem and some times their lives. “

    The NSA is a non-profit organization that has helps thousands of people who stutter, myself included. You provide a 3 day program that cost at least $7,000 dollars? I think your actions here are pretty clear.

    I agree with Lott, Kenny, and others that I do not want to give more attention to your claims but a lot of them needs to be refuted. I welcome you to supply all of us with your “scientific” research that I can only assume has been collected over the last 14 years and present it at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association conference that is held in November.

    Tim Flynn

  11. Emily Gurdian says:

    I loved your post! And I take serious offense to the fact that Anna Deeter claims that you saying that your stutter is a permanent part of you that you wouldn’t change is the root of the problem. I know that stuttering has made me a better person and teacher because I understand some of the hardships my students go through.

    I’m skeptical because I don’t like that it’s not researched, not peer-reviewed, and not verified by a third party…just to start!

    & I notice she didn’t claim your monetary information as “disinformation”.

    What a joke.

  12. Paul Goldstein says:

    Claims similar to Anna Deeter’s have a very long history in the speech pathology field – there is nothing at all new here. Quite a few fluency clinics have claimed to offer their clients an effective total lifetime “cure” (whether that exact word is used or not); that they and ONLY they have THE answer to stuttering; that no other speech clinic or approach has anything valid to offer; and that they and ONLY they were the first in the history of the world to discover how to (allegedly) teach those who stutter to speak fluently for the rest of their life.
    In all cases, they claim that they and ONLY they have this special knowledge and expertise to eliminate stuttering entirely for a lifetime. Typically such clinics charge their clients thousands of dollars to teach a set of fluency-enhancing techniques, or teach “correct speaking”, or “reconstruct” speech during a short time span, ranging from a day or two to several weeks.
    The terminology and exact techniques may differ slightly from clinic to clinic, but generally they offer a retraining in all aspects of speech production, including some form of fluency-enhancing diaphragmatic breathing, and incorporating some direct speech techniques such as slowed syllables, gentle onsets, etc.

    Here are some present and past clinicians over the years who have offered very similar claims to Anna Deeter’s: Benjamin Bogue, Martin Schwartz, Israel Goldiamond, Ronald Webster, and Morton Cooper, not to mention countless commercial “stammering schools” that flourished in the era before the required licensing of speech pathologists.
    I personally attended the clinics of Martin Schwartz, Israel Goldiamond, and Ronald Webster, who all essentially made the exact same claims as Anna Deeter has – which can be summed up as follows: We can teach you to speak fluently for the rest of your life, and it is ONLY WE who can teach you this – no one else around can do so. Furthermore, we are the first and only ones in the whole history of the world able to do so, because it is WE who solved the problem of stuttering for all time.

    There is at this time no known cure for adult chronic stuttering, despite many claims to the contrary, both now and in the past.

  13. Grillo says:

    I agree, this lady is just another classic scam artist targeting the desperate vulnerable pws. I wouldn’t change a thing about me, it has shaped me to be the person that I am today. So called “curing it” would probably change me for the worst, not best. I still struggle to accept it sometimes, but then i think how much better of a person I am cause of it.

  14. Sebastian Scala says:

    Evan,

    I really need to address your last paragraph in your blog. I do not believe for a second that stuttering has taught me compassion or confidence or sensitivity. I believe I have taught me these traits and these traits would be with me with fluency or not. Stuttering is not a person who we can thank and give honor to. She is not an ex-girlfriend or wife we thank on the stage for shaping us for who we are. It is something we do. To assign it these human characteristics is to empower it even more. If we give it credit we have to give it blame and I would rather give credit to my successes and failures than IT. You taught yourself sensitivity and compassion. You always had it in you.
    There are alot of mean spirited selfish people who stutter. Stuttering is NOT the holy grail for compassion, sensitivity and empathy. That grail is our own individual quest. And I guarantee you Evan Sherman if you took that magic pill tomorrow it would have no effect on your ability to love, feel and affect others.

    I have a great life maybe even a dream life. My goal is to solve this maze because 1) I know it’s solvable and 2) My life would even be better if I was fluent. I’m not waiting around in fact I’m kicking ass but I know it would be even better if I figured this out. And when I do I will cry and giggle like a baby because these emotions I have always had inside of me.

    Thank you for putting up this post Evan.
    Sebastian

    • Evan Sherman says:

      Hi Sebastian,
      Thanks you for your post. We all have different views. I for one, feel that stuttering has in fact shaped me. In fact, we learn from every experience we have in life. Our experiences shape our lives. My experiences I have had with my stuttering have shaped my life and I feel that many of my friends who stutter feel the same way about themselves….not all people who stutter. I stand by my final paragraph with pride, look forward to have more experiences as a pws. I will be a pws for life and I am proud! Everyone has different experiences and that what is what is great about this blog. This blog gives us the opportunity to voice our own experiences. This blog allows us to share experiences so we all can see everyone else’s perspectives. Thank you for reading, and I hope you will continue.

      Sincerely,
      Evan

  15. Paul says:

    I’ve been a stutterer for as long as I can remember (my mother says she noticed it starting when I was two). My relationship with my stuttering is one of aggressive defiance, not acceptance. I do not define myself by my stuttering any more than I allow my stuttering to define me. If I could swallow a pill and be fluent, I would do it in a heartbeat; not because I’m ashamed of stuttering, but because stuttering is a pain in the ass. What I find troubling, Evan, is that you seem to have defined yourself in large part by your dysfluency. You’ve given it too much power. You’ve even permitted it to dictate what career to enter into. I’m of the mind that Anna may have a point about the NSA not being as interested in eliminating stuttering as it maybe should be, because to do so would render it an obsolete organization. Kinda like organizations that were founded to combat racism actually have a perverse incentive to find racism where none exists in order to further justify their existence, could an organization like the NSA have a similar incentive to stop short of advocating for the elimination of stuttering?

    • Evan Sherman says:

      Hi Paul,
      Thank you for your post. The NSA is an organization which supports people who stutter. The NSA knows that there is no cure for stuttering. Stuttering is not a disease, it is a disorder. Ive never heard of being able to cure a disorder. Normally we can find ways to cure some diseases, not so much disorders. I can honestly say that I have in the most rewarding career anyone could ever ask for. Stuttering is something that I have dealt with for my entire life and I let it drag me down so much in my life, which I shouldn’t have. I no longer look at stuttering as a pain in the ass because I know that it is unrealistic for me to dwell on something like a cure, especially because nobody knows when or if it will ever happen. Why should I let stuttering bother me if I can do nothing about it. Sure I can use fluency techniques, but those arent full proof by any means, so why let it bother me. I am who I am and I am happy being a person who stutters. Paul, I can honestly say that 15 years ago, I would be all about taking the magic pill, but over the years I have learned to accept it. I have met hundreds of amazing people who stutter. Many of them I consider to be my best friends. I even met my girlfriend in graduate school and we are planning on getting married. So much good has come from my stuttering over the past 15 years. Now I can help others deal with stuttering.

      I now have the ability to empower others due to my career choice. To say that I have EVEN allowed it to dictate the career I have entered is true as well. In fact I have always wanted to be a speech pathologist from the time I was really young. However, I never had the courage to go back to school for it because of my stutter. After I finally became confident and my iceberg was finally chipped away enough, I went back to fulfill my dream of being an SLP. Paul, many people go into careers for reasons such as these. I have a friend who is a hear surgeon because his father has had heart problems in the past. I know people who have gone into social work because they were past around from family to family when they were younger. It is not uncommon to go into careers for these reasons. There is a reason why people are interested in certain things and why they go into careers based on their interest. This is my reason. I stutter, and I want to help others who stutter! My clients are successful because they know that I understand what they go through day in, and day out.

      As far as the NSA goes, Every year, the NSA has workshops on pharmaceuticals and in the past we have even had speech easy workshops. One of my chapter group members actually used a speecheasy and he says that is a great tool for him,, not a cure, but a tool. I actually just presented a workshop on methods of raising awareness of stuttering at the conference in St. Petersburg. It is simply an organization which provides support through conferences, workshops and support groups. I encourage you to join us in Arizona next year so you can experience it first hand so you can truly understand what the NSA is all about.

      Anna is simply providing a CURE that doesn’t exist because she hasn’t proven anything to us. Everyone is on their own journey with their stuttering and everyones journey is different. MY Journey has lead me to acceptance, and based on the hundreds of friends I have made through the NSA, the career choice I have made, and the ability that I now have to help children and adults who stutter, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

      Thank you for your post, Paul.

      Evan

      • Paul says:

        This is what concerns me, Evan. From your reply I discern that you are clearly in love with your dysfunction. That’s fine, I guess. To each his own. From my perspective that’s kinda like being in love with an abusive spouse, but whatever floats your boat. Now consider this; how can you help others overcome something that you’re in love with? That is the problem I have with your approach vs. Anna’s. Her approach is clearly about overcoming and eliminating stuttering. Yours seems to be more about making me okay with stuttering, because as you’ve already indicated, you’re in love with it. If a cure were found tomorrow, you’d be out of a job and the singular aspect of yourself (your stuttering) that you have allowed to become the dominant force in your life would be gone. How could I expect you to help me or my child overcome their stutter when you aren’t even the slightest bit interested in overcoming your own? When you say the NSA knows there is no cure for stuttering, that indicates to me that they have stopped looking for one and are more interested in improving my relationship with my abusive spouse then getting me out of it altogether. This is especially troubling because now whenever someone comes along who purports to have a cure, even an imperfect one, they are greeted with hostility by the NSA as well as speech therapists and pws who are perversely invested in preserving stuttering, rather than overcoming it.

        • Evan Sherman says:

          Paul,
          Thank you for your post. What Anna is doing is she is guaranteeing a cure. She guarantees fluency. There is no guarantee of fluency, Paul. I have stopped chasing a non existant cure. I have accepted me for me. This is why stuttering modification techniques are more successful than fluency shaping techniques in the long term. This is because with fluency shaping techniques, the goal is to stop stuttering all together, which you and I know is not proven. There will always be stressful situations where we stutter more, it is how we deal with these stressful situations that define us as people who stutter. The NSA has never looked for a cure for stuttering. The NSA is all about acceptance. Go ahead and work with Anna, I would love to learn how it worked for you. If it cures you, great!

          If someone finds a cure, good for them. I wont be out of a job though. Ill still have plenty of clients with articulation disorders, language disorders, swallowing disorders, aphasia etc. After all stuttering is only 1% of the general population. I love my job, I love what I do! I hope you love what you do as well!

          We are all on different journeys, where you are now is your own journey. It is not right or wrong, it is you! Just like my journey is my own. So keep fighting the good fight and do what you believe to be right for yourself. My best wishes to you, Paul.

  16. Nenad Rendic says:

    I should like to comment at least some aspects of the behavour of Mrs/Miss Anna Deeter and her advertizing that new method of “let us name it” getting rid of stuttering.I was present once when she was participating in one of the Google plus “Stutter Social handgout”. Since most people and Speech therapist do not believe in her three day long course of getting rid of stuttering without relapse why would she not try to treat a stutterer chosen by people who object her method and in that way stop all objection. Then there many stutterers would be willing to get free of stuttering no matter how much money they spent for that purpose. During that hangout she also stated why she would not make money in that way. It is her right to do so although I should allow everybody to use my usuful method free of charge.Finally I myself do not believe in getting rid of stuttering in only three days.

  17. Danish Mahmood says:

    Man, if this thing was real. I swear to God I would rob a bank and cure my stutering. But, I don’t really believe on Anna Deeter. She actually said that ALL the target are artificial and that why they don’t work outside but, it is working for me in every transfer situation. So, I think that targets like (Gentle Onset, Full Breath, Reduced Air Pressure and Amplitude Counture)are very effective if you work on them. Perfect speech doesn’t exist therefore, we shouldn’t dream about it. I think you can improve your speech by the help of targets. I agree, we should accept who we are!

  18. Osman Sadar says:

    Hi guys,

    Osman here.

    I haven’t attended Anna’s program yet but I have complete faith and confidence in her method. Because the explanation she offers makes 100% sense to me.

    With all due respect, I think none of you would say anything against Anna’s program if only it wasn’t so expensive. Isn’t it?!

    It seems to me that those who are demanding for a “peer reviewed” research are just trying to hide their “Oh I wish this program was affordable and inexpensive!” feeling.

    Yes her Live Stutter Free program is expensive, but that’s not the point here.

    The point is, there is a whole lot of explanation offered on Anna’s website. Have you read it fully? Did you do an extensive research about Roman Snezkho online, the guy who created the program? Have you spoken with those who successfully got rid of their stuttering by joining Anna’s program?

    I dont think anybody has the right to criticize without doing any homework.

    • Evan Sherman says:

      Omsan,

      Peer reviewed research is the basis of any speech/language intervention. Without research, you have nothing. The fact that she won’t provide us with any research what so ever to support her claims. It has nothing to do with the cost…in fact back when I was not accepting of my stutter, I went out and bought the speech easy for 4900 dollars. Its not about the money, its about the lack of research. You can’t make claims and not back them up. She has no solid proof to back up anything she says. I have heard from a couple people who have gone through her program and they are not 100% fluent. They were deceived by her. Do not fall into her trap. You said “there is a whole lot of explanation on Anna’s website”, Osman, a personal website is a personal website, if she doesnt have any proof to back her what she is saying on her website than she is completely not credible. Have I done my homework? If by that you mean reading her site, yes, I have. But again, where is the proof? She has none! Stay away from her.

  19. jemme says:

    hello guys , i just wanna say that i’m not severe stutter , but i read about etalon , and for the first time in my life i know why stuttering occur , i don’t know if etalon method is working but i swear they are right , it’s like you are trying to do two things at the same time , i always used to think it’s all about breathing and stuff , it’s like your mouth should move without thinking , to be precise you can’t say now i’m gonna move my lips and talk , when i speak without thinking everything moves perfectly jaw,lips,mouth,vocals flawless , but then it’s not that easy , and i think this is why we use substituent words because these words just came up to mind we speak them without thinking , i’m learning turkish language at the moment , so the teacher want me to read a like 15 new vocublary off the board , so because i stutter my heart start beat fast and i felt out of breath , but every words comes out perfect so now i really think it’s not breathing issue , and i think by time i will be better at that , it’s like skills, good luck all

    • Evan Sherman says:

      Hi Jemme,
      PWS substitute words because they are trying to find easier words to say. PWS actually substitute words to avoid the harder words. Definitely not a good tactic. It is great that every vocabulary word comes out perfect for you, but I want you to try and use the technique during conversational speech. I bet that it wont be as easy as you think.

  20. GN says:

    At the beginning, I was quite skeptical about the ETALON method, but I thought to give it a try and see it to myself if that works. I followed each and every steps she has mentioned how to eliminate stupor, and things started to work as expected. I even tried to use this technique in a very stressful situation, it kinda work. In fact, this technique can be learned in three days, but to apply in real life situation takes a while( depends on the level of stuttering ), and one needs to practice a lot speaking this technique in daily life. Failure to use this technique will paralyze you again, and you start thinking it is hot helping me at all.

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