Thursday, January 19, 2006

Pebbles Under the Tongue

In all of my online research of stuttering therapies and individuals who are dealing with stuttering in their own lives, I’ve never come across an individual who is as open and honest about their own journey and predicament as John MacIntyre, a self-employed software developer...and the author of the blog listed in my links section, Pebbles Under the Tongue.

The blog’s namesake, if you are familiar at all with the history of stuttering therapies, is an antiquated approach to overcoming stuttering by simply placing pebbles under the tongue before speaking (hopefully not the size of the ones in the photo!). Of course, the procedure does nothing for the stutterer, although I have read that it provides temporary relief, probably due to the speaker being distracted by the presence of the pebbles. The same phenomenon seems to occur when some stutterers speak with a foreign or regional accent. For myself, if I feign a southern drawl or a British accent, I am perfectly fluent. Or if I grit my teeth together. Go figure.

Anyway, apparently John is somewhat comfortable with himself (something I hope to get better at, given time), as he even posts videos of himself speaking, so that there is an accurate aural and visual record of his progress. I admire this particular element of what he’s doing a great deal because, I not only loathe hearing myself speak (recorded and played back), I am certain I would hate to see how I look while speaking. John, however, is so dedicated to his therapy and his journey that he is willing to put himself out there as a beacon for other stutterers who are also on the journey to fluency. Kudos to him.

When you read his blog, you quickly discover that John is very intelligent and articulate with the written word, notwithstanding his stutter. He writes with a very easy-to-understand style (a joy for the reader) and he comes across as very personable and honest. He also offers a wealth of information on stuttering and his own honest and open account of his therapy and experiences gives tremendous insight to what some stutterers actually face on a day-to-day basis. I particularly enjoyed his most recent entry on “Word Switching”…a trick I employ almost every waking hour. Because of it, most people don’t even know I stutter. I am what is called a “covert” or “closet” stutterer most of the time and only those who have known me for a time realize that I do it.


If you get the opportunity and time, go through his blog and read everything he has written. You will get to know John better, certainly…but you will also come away with a lot of knowledge about stuttering in general and, because of what John is doing...you may even gain some courage to be more open and honest about your own stuttering problem and journey toward fluency.

3 comments:

John MacIntyre said...

WOW!!! Thanks.

You know, I have spent a lot of time on my blog, and sometimes I wonder if I'm not perceived as being a little too self absorbed. ;)

But getting an endorsement like this is definitely rewarding, and makes the whole thing worthwhile.

Thanks again,
John

Zen Wizard said...

Is this the post you are talking about that didn't take?

Cause I'm seeing it fine, now.

Peace out!!

Law Student said...

You're welcome, John. :)

Zen, no, this is my second blog...my initial blog...the one you usually post to. This is weird, by I see my current posts here...but not on my law student blog. Ugh. :)