Helping stutterers

Published: 12/4/2020 1:17:55 PM
Modified: 12/4/2020 1:17:43 PM

I would like to respond to the column “My Turn: What Biden Being Elected Means to Me” by Delia West. I stutter, too, and can understand how she did not connect with the stories of stutterers who overcame the problem. Speech therapists and other people should not compare us to other people. Many self-help programs, like that of Tony Robbins, stress that a person should not compare himself to another person.

However, these many famous stories of successful stutterers can serve a great purpose in that people can know that others have achieved success and that there could possibly be light at the end of the tunnel. Trying to specifically copy a person’s path to fluency may not be the best thing for everyone. There is an article of the website of the Stuttering Foundation ( about Jack Paar, the late host of “The Tonight Show”, that relates that he copied the legend of how Demosthenes stopped stuttering by putting pebbles in his mouth and practicing his speech. Paar used the same method with buttons. Something certainly worked for him. Besides Jack Paar, there are many other biographical articles on famous stutterers in the “Celebrity Corner” part of the website such as Marilyn Monroe, Bruce Willis, Bill Withers, Marc Anthony, Peggy Lipton, and Charles Darwin.

It is my hope that Joe Biden will fund speech therapy and stuttering research. I hope that his vision for helping stutterers will extend to people with other types of speech problems as well.

Garfield Chamberlain



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