Media

An Academy Award-Winning Movie, Stuttering and Me

Why my stuttering is no longer the obstacle it once was

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Because The King's Speech, a movie about King George's effort to overcome stuttering, won the Oscar for best picture, reporters have been interviewing me about my stuttering.

Some ask why they don't hear me stutter on TV. Others wonder why a stutterer is on TV in the first place. Here's my explanation. Since I was a child, my stuttering has come and gone. Sometimes I was sure the problem had disappeared—then it would return with such a vengeance I'd fear saying anything. I'd stay silent in class. I avoided parties. When I was old enough to date, sometimes I'd telephone a girl and try to speak, but nothing would come out. I'd just hang up. Now, because of caller ID, stutterers can't do that.

I never planned on a career in TV. After graduating from Princeton, I was accepted by the University of Chicago's graduate school in hospital management. But I wasn't eager to go to grad school. I hated school. Princeton bored me. I thought that if I took a real job, that would make me appreciate school. I went to every job interview I could get and took the offer that gave me the longest free flight: researcher at KGW-TV in Portland, Ore.

Work turned out to be better than school! And instead of paying tuition, my employer paid me! So I kept working at the TV station.

I never thought I'd have to speak on TV.

I was wrong. One day, my boss told me to cover a fire and report—on the air. "I can't," I said. "I stutter!" My boss said my stuttering wasn't that bad and ordered me to cover the story.

In truth, my stuttering was pretty bad, but I concealed it by using synonyms for words that I knew would make me stutter (mostly those beginning with plosive sounds—d, g, and b). That made it tough to do consumer reporting because words like "better" and "different" are basic to product comparisons. I got around that problem by using clumsy phrases like "works well," "is superior to," etc. When I did stutter, I'd go to the edit room and cut the blocks out.

Then the station told me to announce election expenditure totals—live. I thought I might pull it off because many of us stutterers (James Earl Jones, for example) can be fluent when we act or read out loud. But my stuttering returned.

It was a stomach-turning shock when, live on the air, I realized there's no workable synonym for "dollar." (There's "bucks," but that isn't dignified, and it begins with a plosive sound, too.) I was still in mid-sentence—saying a politician had "spent 95 thousand d-d-dol-"—when they simply cut me off the air. I felt humiliated. I avoided live TV after that.

I went to speech therapists for help, but I still stuttered. Hypnotists, acupuncturists, psychologists, and transcendental meditation gurus promised they could cure me. None of them could.

On days when any live work was scheduled, I'd wake in a cold sweat anticipating the humiliation that might come hours later when people would watch my mouth lock. That fear made me decide to quit.

But then I tried one more stuttering treatment. I heard about a three-week clinic in Roanoke, Va., called the Hollins Communications Research Center. It re-teaches stutterers how to make every sound. Apparently, stutterers, even when we don't block on words, initiate sounds more abruptly, and that often leads to stutters. In Roanoke, they had us sit in little rooms reading words into a microphone, concentrating on beginning each sound gently. When we hit a word too hard, a red light came on. The therapy is tedious, and it doesn't work for everyone, but it worked for me. After three weeks, I felt like a cork had been removed from my throat. Years of speech poured out. People couldn't shut me up.

I'm not "cured"—I still stutter sometimes—and I still must practice the techniques I learned. But my stuttering is no longer the obstacle it was. For more information about stuttering therapy, consult the Stuttering Foundation at www.stutteringhelp.org.

John Stossel is host of Stossel on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of Give Me a Break and of Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity. To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at johnstossel.com.

COPYRIGHT 2011 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS, INC.
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  1. So now Stossel has the nerve to compare himself to the King of England? Give me a break.

    (This thread is going to be a challenge for the Stoss-haters.)

    1. As one of the local Stoss-haters, I’ll take a stab at your challenge. His stuttering would have been less of a challenge to treat if he had had early intervention services from his local school district. These publicly funded services actively seek out children who need help so that they can get early intervention that is far more cost effective (and in the case of stuttering, just plain more effective). Stossel would, of course, oppose these programs for children facing the same challenges he faced.

      http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/healt…..ml#treated

      1. Porky Pig made a career out of his stutter (and not wearing pants).

        1. I thought his success came from carrying a gun.

          1. Re: Neu Mejican,

            I thought his success came from carrying a gun.

            That was Yosemite Sam, you silly goose!

            1. Or Elmer Fudd, who didn’t have a stutter – his speech impediment was pronouncing his “R”s as “W”s.

              As in “you wascawwy wabbit!”

      2. And to preempt some arguments against public funding of these programs, I will note that on a pure profit basis, there is a disincentive for private companies who provide stuttering treatment to catch the kids early. Catching them early leads, typically, to a quick cure. If you wait until they are 7 or 8 yrs old, you can count on a life-long client.

        The public interest works in the opposite direction as the commercial interest in the case of stuttering.

        1. They get you on the comeback.

        2. Re: Neu Mejican,

          And to preempt some arguments against public funding of these programs, I will note that on a pure profit basis, there is a disincentive for private companies who provide stuttering treatment to catch the kids early. Catching them early leads, typically, to a quick cure. If you wait until they are 7 or 8 yrs old, you can count on a life-long client.

          HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!

          Only a statist fuck would believe providers would not jump at an opportunity to make an early buck.

          YOU’RE AN IDIOT!!! (like Judge Judy likes to say)

          1. And the service certainly doesn’t need to be provided by a for-profit entity. Ever heard of charities?

        3. Surely they would just charge more for younger patients. Daycares do this. it seems like it works as a business model. Your argument is unsound.

          1. Re: Spencer,

            Your argument is unsound.

            Neu Mejican’s argument is not just ‘unsound’, it’s absurd: He either believes providers do not compete with each other and follow these strange profit models, or he’s LYING.

            I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt and just say he is just plain dumb as a post, a halfwitted fool – I don’t want to call him a liar, no way!

            1. Dude, they’re all this stupid. This is the statist mind at work.

        4. …on a pure profit basis, there is a disincentive for private companies who provide stuttering treatment to catch the kids early. Catching them early leads, typically, to a quick cure.

          There’s a disincentive only assuming a monopoly. So long as there are multiple providers, there will be some who point out the greater efficacy of early treatment to parents, so they can get the clients their less forthcoming competitors eschew.

          1. There’s a disincentive only assuming a monopoly. So long as there are multiple providers, there will be some who point out the greater efficacy of early treatment to parents, so they can get the clients their less forthcoming competitors eschew.
            An important factor is the supply and demand profile in this particular market, which is skewed so that the competition involves finding a slot with a limited number of providers. Providers, both public and private, typically have waiting lists making the competition between parents/patients to find the provider rather than between providers to find customers. This is one of the reasons, I believe, that early intervention has not been as actively marketed by providers…they don’t need to actively market their services…the customers come seeking them. And those with chronic stuttering are more active in their search for services than parents worried that their child might develop stuttering in the future.

            The high degree of training needed to be an effective providers creates a shortage.

            1. Okay – even if I accept all of your statements as true, we are still going to wind up arguing over why competition is skewed in this particular market, and why it might be the case that there is a shortage of adequately trained providers.

              Based on past experience, I don’t think we will come to an agreed upon conclusion about those issues.

              1. That seems to be a pretty likely prediction.

            2. “The high degree of training needed to be an effective providers creates a shortage.”

              UH, And that is helping your own argument.. how?
              And its not like.. you know.. people go to school for those high-paying, in-demand jobs, right?

              1. They do indeed.
                There is, however, a shortage in both people to do the job and people to train people to do the job. In fact, one of the challenges in increasing capacity is that once people are trained, they can make more money as service providers than they can in academia training the next generation of providers. As a result the capacity of programs for training is limited. It is not unusual to have 20 or 30 applicants for each slot in a university SLP program.

                1. Even if I accepted that this couldn’t be solved by for-profit entities (I don’t), you’re ignoring a lot of other possible outcomes. People obviously care about helping these kids early – your comments are evidence of that. What would stop them from doing this type of work with no intention of earning a profit? Individuals and other private entities do pro bono and reduced fee shit all the time simply because they have a desire to help people. You seem to think that the only alternative to government funding of services is corporations which hope to gouge people. Simply not true.

        5. And to preempt some arguments against public funding of these programs, I will note that on a pure profit basis, there is a disincentive for private companies who provide stuttering treatment to catch the kids medication early. Catching them early leads, typically, to a quick cure. If you wait until they are 7 or 8 yrs old the organs start to fail, you can count on a life-long client.

          The public interest works in the opposite direction as the commercial interest in the case of stuttering.

          Fixed to show how silly this argument is.

          1. But, if you wait until the organs start to fail “life long” isn’t terribly long, probably.

        6. @New Mejican: There is a 3rd alternative that you failed to mention: charity. Unlike gov’t programs, charity is truly based on the principle of compassion, that is, *voluntary* kindness, generosity, and helpfulness.

          As an aside, I believe welfare statists fail to acknowledge charity because they believe most people to be inherently unkind, unhelpful, uncaring, etc. except themselves, of course, and the politicians who are so generous in spending other people’s money.

          Stossel already “replied” to your criticism by posting a link to the Stuttering Foundation that is “the largest nonprofit charitable organization in the world working toward the prevention and improved treatment of stuttering, reaching over a million people annually.”

          And wouldn’t you know it, the charitable organization “offers extensive training programs on stuttering for professionals.”

          But back to the heart-warming nature of the article, Stossel’s story is inspiring. All the more important that his his voice has been spreading the ideas of liberty for many years.

          Walter

        7. FFFFUUUUUCCCCKKKKKK YYYYYYOOOOUUUUUU.

        8. Glad to see this sparked a debate.

          Re: charity. Yes an important source of funding for this kind of thing. Why would this preclude a role for publicly funded programs to identify those in need of services?

          Re: incentive to wait…yes, there would be (and are) ethical (and smart) providers who would go after the early clients, but if you look at the industry, the concentration of for-profit providers has historically targeted the chronic stutterers that did not get early intervention. Better evidence-based early intervention is changing this, perhaps, but there certainly continues to be more money in treatment for chronic patients.

          In addition, I will point out that my argument was based on the public interest in identifying these individuals early. I did not argue for a public monopoly on treatment (no one size fits all).

          @BS,
          School-based interventions are typically very effective for stuttering when it is caught early enough. I have no idea about the details of your case, but there is not a “one-size-fits-all” intervention model in the schools.

          1. “Glad to see this sparked a debate.”

            There’s no debate. You’re showing off your stupidity. Debate over.

          2. But if someone in the market offers a better product (ie, early stutter stoppage) with better results, the buyers in the market will pay a premium for that service and flock to it. This will drive other market sellers to move to the more requested and paid for service. A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush… or rather a group of people paying more for a service for a short time is better than a group paying less over the longterm, given that they can quit paying anytime and go to a competitor.

            I’m not trying to be insentitive, but do you get how markets actually work? It’s not simply what the company wants to do that gets done- the damand of the consumer drives policy and helps determine what is profitable also- in such cases as this.

            Your argument is still unsound.

            1. Just think. His vote counts as much as yours.

            2. But if someone in the market offers a better product (ie, early stutter stoppage) with better results, the buyers in the market will pay a premium for that service and flock to it.

              Again, I am talking about the incentive to find the children who would benefit from this early treatment. (see comment below) Often, parents do not seek the help until this treatment-critical period has passed. Public “child-find” programs aimed at prevention and early intervention have an incentive to find them before they would typically seek the services. Public education about early signs are a big part of this and will, eventually, drive parents to private providers early. For-profit providers have not historically targeted this population. Instead, historically, they have marketed to the more profitable chronic population of older individuals.

              This will drive other market sellers to move to the more requested and paid for service. A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush… or rather a group of people paying more for a service for a short time is better than a group paying less over the longterm, given that they can quit paying anytime and go to a competitor.

              I’m not trying to be insentitive, but do you get how markets actually work? It’s not simply what the company wants to do that gets done- the damand of the consumer drives policy and helps determine what is profitable also- in such cases as this.

              Your argument is still unsound.

              1. Sorry about the cut and past failure there…

                This will drive other market sellers to move to the more requested and paid for service. A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush… or rather a group of people paying more for a service for a short time is better than a group paying less over the longterm, given that they can quit paying anytime and go to a competitor.

                See above.

                I’m not trying to be insentitive, but do you get how markets actually work? It’s not simply what the company wants to do that gets done- the damand of the consumer drives policy and helps determine what is profitable also- in such cases as this.

                But the company will target their marketing efforts toward certain segments of the population based on their perception of “bang for the buck.”

          3. Re: Neu Mejican,

            Re: incentive to wait…yes, there would be (and are) ethical (and smart) providers who would go after the early clients, but if you look at the industry, the concentration of for-profit providers has historically targeted the chronic stutterers that did not get early intervention.

            Let me decrease the gain on my bullshit detector, because it went off the scale.

            First of all, what the FUCK are you talking about? What concentration of “for-profit” providers?

            Second, you seem to assume that these services are manned by people using sniffing dogs to find stuttering toddlers so they can tell the parents “fuck you, he’s too young for me!” and move on. YOU’RE AN IDIOT!!!!!

            It is THE PARENTS – THE PARENTS – the ones that seek these services, and they do it when the MARGINAL UTILITY of giving their kid help in their speech is low enough compared to the level of impediment, which is normally when the kid is OLD ENOUGH to feel impeded by the disability, NOT BEFORE! It is a JUDGEMENT CALL from the parents, not the suppliers!

            The fact is that you’re straining TOO DAMNED HARD to find fault in profit seeking, going al the way to being a GOD DAMNED LIAR. FUCK YOU!

            1. you seem to assume that these services are manned by people using sniffing dogs to find stuttering toddlers so they can tell the parents “fuck you, he’s too young for me!” and move on.

              Nope. I am assuming that they will target their marketing energies at the group that is most likely to bring them the most money…those with chronic stuttering. This has, historically, been the case. Nothing in what I said implies that they would turn away potential clients who are younger.

              As for your point about marginal utility…you are, actually, arguing FOR my point. Getting these kids into treatment before the impairment becomes problematic will increase their long-term chances of success.

              1. Re: Neu Mejican,

                Nope. I am assuming that they will target their marketing energies at the group that is most likely to bring them the most money…those with chronic stuttering.

                Which leaves the door open to the possibility that your assumption is wrong.

                This has, historically, been the case.

                Oh, my bullshit detector is off the chart, again! I thought I had lowered the gain to zero, but I guess there’s a lot to shovel around.

                ‘Historically’ my left foot.

                As for your point about marginal utility…you are, actually, arguing FOR my point. Getting these kids into treatment before the impairment becomes problematic will increase their long-term chances of success.

                YOU’RE DISHONEST!!! And, an idiot.

                the concentration of for-profit providers has historically targeted the chronic stutterers that did not get early interventionhas NOTHING to do with this: “It is THE PARENTS – THE PARENTS – the ones that seek these services[.]”; they’re CONTRADICTORY, yet you claim my comment makes YOUR POINT???

                As Judge Judy likes to say: YOU’RE AN IDIOT!!!!

                Since it is THE PARENTS that pay for these services, they will consider them when the benefit outweighs the cost, and not before. Arguing for having EVERYBODY ELSE pay for these services “early on” is a WASTE OF RESOURCES, because the primary receivers WOULD NOT WANT THEM OTHERWISE!

                Getting these kids into treatment before the impairment becomes problematic will increase their long-term chances of success.

                What it it doesn’t become problematic? YOU JUST WASTED A SHITLOAD OF MONEY FOR NOTHING.

                But, that is the statist’s mantra: Steal, and throw away.

        9. “And to preempt some arguments against public funding of these programs, I will note that on a pure profit basis, there is a disincentive for private companies who provide stuttering treatment to catch the kids early. Catching them early leads, typically, to a quick cure. If you wait until they are 7 or 8 yrs old, you can count on a life-long client.”

          Do you work to be this f’n stupid, or were you born that way. I mean, you’re mind-bogglingly dumb.

          Why the fuck would a parent want to wait until their kids are 7 or 8, if doing so means it’s going to be a lifelong issue? Obviously, they would act earlier. So how the fuck does it matter when this private company wants to supply the treatment? What matters is when their customers want the treatment.

          Do you even have a clue what consumer demand is? How can you possibly be this f’n stupid?

          Probably public education.

          1. Why the fuck would a parent want to wait until their kids are 7 or 8, if doing so means it’s going to be a lifelong issue? Obviously, they would act earlier. So how the fuck does it matter when this private company wants to supply the treatment? What matters is when their customers want the treatment.

            The public programs to identify kids who would benefit from early intervention includes parent education programs. This public money can help to increase the number of parents who know that they should not wait. You are assuming that parents already know that waiting is a bad idea. They frequently do not. In fact a large effort has had to go into re-educating doctors to stop giving the “he’ll grow out of it” advice that so often delays treatment for these kids. Public efforts (supplemented by charities like the one JS links to) have done most of the work to get the word out about this aspect of the issue.

            1. Re: Neu Mejican,

              You are assuming that parents already know that waiting is a bad idea. They frequently do not.

              “Parents are idiots”

              “When in doubt, assume it”
              Old Statist Proverb.

              1. “Parents are idiots”

                “When in doubt, assume it”

                No. Parents are not idiots. Why do you assume that?

                Stuttering is a relative rare condition and good information on it is not a part of most people’s general knowledge base. You, for instance, seem to know very little about the condition. That doesn’t make you an idiot.

                Not knowing something that most people don’t know does not make them an idiot. But the fact that the information is not widely available/distributed (yet) is the reason that public programs designed to identify at-risk kids and disseminate the information are a reasonable use of public funds.

            2. “You are assuming that parents already know that waiting is a bad idea”

              100% pure proganda bullshit.
              Most, MOST, MOST parents get batteries of tests done on their infants to catch things as early as possible because most ailments grow more expensive and problematic the longer they wait. So, find me ten parents that think along the lines of “It’s a good idea to wait to test for these things until my child is older”
              Please find some numbers or stop trolling because this is grade F material.

              1. Sy,

                I have been doing this a long long time. Just doesn’t ring true. For stuttering, the majority of the work we do in educating the public has to do with the importance of not taking a wait and see attitude. And, as I have already said, this comes in large part from advice from pediatricians who typically advised parents that “most kids outgrow this…let’s wait and see.” This attitude is changing among pediatricians thanks to organizations like the one linked in the article. It is also due, in large part, to publicly funded research on stuttering that has shown the clear benefits of early screening and intervention. But historically parents have deferred to this advice (and still get it from their parents…and around it goes).

                As for citations. Try the nidcd link above and learn something about the issue. It’s a good place to start. As is the link Stossel provided.

        10. “And to preempt some arguments against public funding of these programs, I will note that on a pure profit basis, there is a disincentive for private companies who provide stuttering treatment to catch the kids early. Catching them early leads, typically, to a quick cure. If you wait until they are 7 or 8 yrs old, you can count on a life-long client.”

          And my mechanic has a disincentive to fix my car. If he doesn’t do a second of work on it, I’ll have to bring it right back to him and he can charge me again!! And then again!! And then again!!

          Nationalize mechanics NOW!!

        11. The public interest works in the opposite direction as the commercial interest in the case of stuttering.

          Come on, we’ve covered this. More stuttering kids (or anything else) is one more excuse to demand larger budget funding from the state during the next fiscal year. Nobody ever got more powerful in government by reducing their funding demands.

          1. The public interest is distinct from what you describe. Sometimes the self-preservation drives of bureaucracies in government do indeed work against the public interest. It is one of the challenges of designing effective government programs.

            1. It is one of the challenges of designing effective government programs.

              Effective government programs are about as credible as cryptozoology. And again, everyone with a hope of winning their policy argument claims their position is clearly in the public interest.

              I have yet to hear anyone successful advance an argument of “I’m going to screw people over and line my pockets. Vote for me.”

        12. OK, let’s actually think this one through. Suppose there are several speech therapy businesses available. Mom takes little Johnny in for advice. All drool in anticipation of big bucks in a couple of years if they refuse to provide therapy now.

          So two years go by … Mom randomly picks up one of the business cards and spends her big bucks there.

          Is that how you imagine it?

          I’ll tell you what would really happen in a real world of competition. Those therapy businesses will all start sending her reminders months before the optimum wait is up because they know the others will be doing the same; better to grab a partially baked pie than miss a fully baked one. In fact, since all of them know that is how the game will be played, they will all take her business right away. None of them will tell her to come back in two years, unless they could get her to sign a contract NOW for therapy two years later, or if they could keep her on the hook with fake therapy for the intervening two years. And if one of them goes the fake therapy route, the others will too, and the fake therapy will be found out pretty quickly, if not by Mom then by one of the businesses whose ethics are slightly less corrupted than the others.

          The free market is amazingly good at efficiency and coming to the right conclusion.

          1. The issue you are ignoring is this. Speech Therapy clinics typically have waiting lists. They don’t typically have to go out looking for clients. They are more likely to have a waiting list. That waiting list will be made up of people who are looking for their services. This will be biased towards families with chronic stuttering as the issue. No one has claimed that SLP’s are turning away or refusing to treat parents interested in early intervention.

            But, when SLP’s do marketing to capture a client population, they will typically go for the easier sell. That is the chronic stuttering population. More motivated to get into therapy by far. The additional work needed to screen and find children who are at risk for long term stuttering is a project that few private SLP clinic will undertake.

            1. If clinics have waiting lists, then they will expand, or other clinics will open. The only way ANY of your scenarios make sense is if every human activity is controlled by central planning.

              The free market is damned easy to understand. Why are you trying so hard to pretend you are too stupid to understand it?

        13. Companies will use the fact that starting sooner is better as a way to compete with other established outfits that treat stuttering. Why do “you people” always assume a static universe filled with greedy, plotting companies? Real people start businesses for a variety of reasons. What about former stutterers who want to work in a field where they can make money and make a difference at the same time?

          You created several strawmen there but it’s typical of your kind.

          1. Who assumed a static situation. I have, indeed, mentioned that the situation is changing based on better evidence base. But the reality is that the cost-benefit of screening to find at-risk children is lower than simply letting chronic stutterers know that you provide services. Currently most screening for at-risk kids is done by public programs created because the market had not filled that niche.

        14. If this is a problem, start your own, and run it right.

      3. Re: Neu Mejican,

        His stuttering would have been less of a challenge to treat if he had had early intervention services from his local school district.

        HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!

        Stossel would, of course, oppose these programs for children facing the same challenges he faced.

        And I agree with him, as I would not want to pay for either HIS treatment or anybody else’s. That’s the parent’s problem, not mine.

        1. Not only that, these programs are usually a joke. Why are so many people afraid of the private sector? It just boggles my mind when people driving Escalades are bitching about not getting enough services through their public school system. Not only do these children get less services than they need, their parents often talk like they are helpless (“He really needs more than a few minutes of speech therapy a month, but what can I do but call another IEP meeting….”)

          The public sector is never going to meet the needs of the thousands of children who need some sort of early intervention. They are almost certainly not going to solve something like stuttering through early intervention programs.

          1. The public sector is never going to meet the needs of the thousands of children who need some sort of early intervention. They are almost certainly not going to solve something like stuttering through early intervention programs.

            I am not sure what you mean by “solve something like stuttering” here. If you mean that they are not going to wipe out chronic stuttering completely, you are, of course, correct. If you mean that they are not able to reduce the incidence of chronic stuttering, you are incorrect. If you mean that they can not provide effective intervention for individual’s with stuttering, you are incorrect.

          2. Not only do these children get less services than they need, their parents often talk like they are helpless (“He really needs more than a few minutes of speech therapy a month, but what can I do but call another IEP meeting….”)

            Free appropriate education does not guarantee an optimal level of services. Special education services are there to provide the child with fair access to an appropriate education in the context of an impairment. Often people who use “not enough services” are confusing the public role in their child’s education. This is true whether or not the child receives special education services.

            The public sector is never going to meet the needs of the thousands of children who need some sort of early intervention. They are almost certainly not going to solve something like stuttering through early intervention programs.

      4. My school district offered those early intervention services and I went but it didn’t help one bit. A one size fits all approach just doesn’t work.

        1. BS,
          I am not dismissing your comment here, but I am not sure as an adult you have a good recollection of what early intervention services you participated in and how effective they were. We are talking about before kindergarten here. Do you really feel like you have an accurate memory of your before and after level of impairment?

          1. “We are talking about before kindergarten here. Do you really feel like you have an accurate memory of your before and after level of impairment?”

            Well, you obviously remember how to reason on a kindegarten level.

          2. Alright, Mr. Omnipotent statist jackass.
            Now you’re being a clear-cut fucking idiot.
            He said:
            1.My school district offered those early intervention services,
            Then
            2.I went but it didn’t help one bit.

            I think he would be the expert in recognizing the effectiveness of his speech development, not you.

            “Do you really feel like you have an accurate memory of your before and after level of impairment?”
            Well, I would imagine, as you argued yourself above, that a child with a severe impairement is quite aware of his or her own stuttering, and would notice any significant changes.

            Calling everyone a liar is making you look pretty fucking stupid.

            1. Who did I call a liar?

      5. “Stossel would, of course, oppose these programs for children facing the same challenges he faced.”

        Wrong! Idiot.

        Stossel would say they should be provided privately.

        1. “These programs” refers to publicly funded programs.

          1. Well you’re a genius Neu. I guess they have stuttering completely beaten in the public schools that these kids can go straight to failing math, english and science classes.

            And having seen both private and public special education classes at work for a number of years now, my wife has worked for both, I gotta torpedo your stupid premise. Public school special education programs are terrible in comparison, they suffer all the same problems that plague regular student programs… too much concern for bureaucratic procedures & ass covering and not enough with getting results. The only trick is availability in a region (but we have a monolithic monster of a public education program to thank for that). I suggest you spend some time familiarizing yourself with NAPSEC and their track record of results with students before you go spouting off on nonsense.

            I’m guessing you’re not a Stossel fan and just thought you invent a ‘gotcha’ to help your cause.

    2. Why shouldn’t he compare himself to the King of England? I’m a stutter. Let me tell you. Me, Stossel, and the King of England feel, felt the same way about being afflicted with a speech impediment.

      1. Thank God you’re not afflicted with a sarcasm impediment.

  2. F-f-f-f-first?

  3. What is this heartwarming stuff doing here? I come to Reason to get angry or depressed.

    1. I come to Reason to get angry or depressed.

      Me, too. Have you seen either of them lately? angry, in particular, is now deemed an Enemy of the State.

  4. Mr Stossel, I had no idea you are a stutterer. I’ve always admired your calm, confident speaking voice. I’m even more impressed now. Plus you’ve got that bitchin’ stache.

  5. Inspiring and impressive. Thanks for sharing.

  6. G-G-G-G-G-Goddamn that was a mediocre movie.

    1. My wife and I enjoyed it. I thought both Firth and Rush did excellent acting jobs.

      1. Admittedly, there was a noticeable lack of gunplay, things exploding, eye-popping CGI effects, or tits, but still, it kept my attention through good storytelling.

        1. There was also a noticable lack of originality.

          1. You mean it was a remake of all those other movies about the stuttering King George?

            1. It was a remake of every movie involving a British monarach and a war.

        2. it kept my attention through good storytelling.

          Good…what?

          How can you call a movie good without CGI and titties?

      2. Your wife and you don’t have tiger blood or Adonis DNA. Hence, you are easily entertained by mediocrity.

      3. You probably both “enjoyed” Hurt Locker too.

        I rest my case.

        1. Hurt Locker. What a waste of time that was. And I watched it on an airplane too! I would have been better off just taking a nap…

        2. Never saw it. I actually don’t know a thing about it, other than I’ve heard the title.

    2. I agree. Blah blah, british royalty, blah blah, people with refined upper class accents, blah blah let’s celebrate British solidarity in the face of World War II.

      Barf.

  7. Princeton sucks!

    1. Don’t be jealous you couldn’t enter the glorious institution Brooke Shields and Donald Rumsfeld hit the books.

  8. Or you could take the alternate approach and embrace the stutter. My father has a friend who has a stutter and he makes an excellent salesman/negotiator. I’d guess it’s because the stutter makes him seem less threatening.

  9. Bullshit. As the parent of two kids with learning disabilities and the brother of a stutterer, I can tell you the public school system will do less than the minimum if you let them. To get the minimum, my wife and I have had to hire people to advocate for us.

    The schools did nothing for my sister. Her siblings put some funds together and she went to the Hollins program, which did wonders.

    So take your public school statism and shove it.

    1. Stupid nested comments- that was for Neu Mejican…

    2. Bullshit. As the parent of two kids with learning disabilities and the brother of a stutterer, I can tell you the public school system will do less than the minimum if you let them. To get the minimum, my wife and I have had to hire people to advocate for us.

      Schools are locally controlled. Results will vary.

      The schools did nothing for my sister. Her siblings put some funds together and she went to the Hollins program, which did wonders.

      At what age did she start treatment? This matters. If she was already a chronic stutterer by the time she was identified, then treatment is much more difficult. Often people do not find an effective method until they are older and have more self-motivation and executive control to fully participate in a program like Hollins.

      So take your public school statism and shove it.

      Have a nice day.

      1. Re: Neu Mejican,

        Re: incentive to wait…yes, there would be (and are) ethical (and smart) providers who would go after the early clients, but if you look at the industry, the concentration of for-profit providers has historically targeted the chronic stutterers that did not get early intervention.

        Let me decrease the gain of my bullshit detector, because it went off the scale.

        First of all, what the FUCK are you talking about? What concentration of “for-profit” providers?

        Second, you seem to assume that these services are manned by people using sniffing dogs to find stuttering toddlers so they can tell the parents “fuck you, he’s too young for me!” and move on. YOU’RE AN IDIOT!!!!!

        It is THE PARENTS – THE PARENTS – the ones that seek these services, and they do it when the MARGINAL UTILITY of giving their kid help in their speech is low enough compared to the level of impediment, which is normally when the kid is OLD ENOUGH to feel impeded by the disability, NOT BEFORE! It is a JUDGEMENT CALL from the parents, not the suppliers!

        The fact is that you’re straining TOO DAMNED HARD to find fault in profit seeking, going al the way to being a GOD DAMNED LIAR. FUCK YOU!

        1. OM,

          You are just showing that you don’t understand the topic. People tend to seek clinical interventions once the problem has become critical, is having a large impact on their life. In the case of stuttering, that is very often after the problem has become chronic and is resistant to interventions. The point, again, is the need to seek out the kids that would benefit for early intervention services to get them into treatment before they are resistant to treatment. This requires active work by the service provider. The majority of for-profit marketing of stuttering treatment is aimed at chronic stuttering in older children and adults…historically.

          1. Re: Neu Mejican,

            You are just showing that you don’t understand the topic. People tend to seek clinical interventions once the problem has become critical, is having a large impact on their life.

            They tend to seek clinical interventions when the benefit of receiving it outweighs the costs. Who determines that? NOT YOU – that’s the answer. So fuck you.

            In the case of stuttering, that is very often after the problem has become chronic and is resistant to interventions.[?????]
            Shit! My bullshit detector just exploded! Man, there’s a lot to shovel around here!

            The point, again, is the need to seek out the kids that would benefit for early intervention services to get them into treatment before they are resistant to treatment.

            You cannot know when a problem like stuttering will be “chronic” or if at all and, if it’s not chronic now, how can you know there’s a problem that needs fixing? This is the reason why your argument is absurd – it calls for sage bureaucrats to sniff out toddlers with potential stuttering problems as to justify throwing money at them, when they may NOT even BE stutterers!

            The majority of for-profit marketing of stuttering treatment is aimed at chronic stuttering in older children and adults…historically.

            Even if that were true, Neu, the reason is simple and logical – BECAUSE IT IS PARENTS and STUTTERERS that seek these services! Just like “for profit” TIRE REPAIR SHOPS, “historically,” only repair blown-out tires and not new ones! The customers come to them with BLOWN TIRES, not NEW ONES! If you find something sinister about this, YOU’RE AN IDIOT!!!!! (like Judge Judy likes to say)

            Your crass and clumsy attempt at innuendo by relying on the adjective “for profit” works very little to make your argument sound, Neu. It just serves to advertise your irrational dismissal of people’s quest for improving their lot through voluntary and mutually beneficial exchange.

            1. Old Mexican|3.3.11 @ 6:41PM|#

              Re: Neu Mejican,

              NM: You are just showing that you don’t understand the topic. People tend to seek clinical interventions once the problem has become critical, is having a large impact on their life.

              OM: They tend to seek clinical interventions when the benefit of receiving it outweighs the costs. Who determines that? NOT YOU – that’s the answer. So fuck you.

              In the case of stuttering, the average customer is operating with very incomplete information. Their determinations are often not optimal in terms of assuring that intervention is as effective as possible.

              NM:In the case of stuttering, that is very often after the problem has become chronic and is resistant to interventions.
              OM:[?????]
              Shit! My bullshit detector just exploded! Man, there’s a lot to shovel around here!

              Your bullshit meter is clearly broken.

              NM: The point, again, is the need to seek out the kids that would benefit for early intervention services to get them into treatment before they are resistant to treatment.

              OM: You cannot know when a problem like stuttering will be “chronic” or if at all and, if it’s not chronic now, how can you know there’s a problem that needs fixing? This is the reason why your argument is absurd – it calls for sage bureaucrats to sniff out toddlers with potential stuttering problems as to justify throwing money at them, when they may NOT even BE stutterers!

              It is well within our ability to distinguish between children at risk of developing chronic stuttering and those who are not. Your incomplete knowledge of the subject notwithstanding.

              The majority of for-profit marketing of stuttering treatment is aimed at chronic stuttering in older children and adults…historically.

              Your crass and clumsy attempt at innuendo by relying on the adjective “for profit” works very little to make your argument sound, Neu. It just serves to advertise your irrational dismissal of people’s quest for improving their lot through voluntary and mutually beneficial exchange.

              WTF are you talking about? There are two classes of providers in this field. For profit and not-for-profit. Those who are not-for-profit do not have a profit driven incentive and we are talking about profit driven incentives.

          2. Since there have been early intervention services for years in the public schools, the existence of these large groups of people who still stutter are an argument against using the public schools.

            Are there any services provided by government that progressives will ever say “well, that didn’t work”, rather than insisting that if we just throw more money at the problem, this time it will work?

            How did that War on Poverty go for you?

            1. Wiping out stuttering is hardly a realistic metric of success for these programs. Reductions in incidence of chronic stuttering would be how this would be done. I don’t know if the study has be done specifically for stuttering, but overall early intervention programs have a good record with research going back about 30 years.

  10. Lord Vader’s voice had a stuttering problem.

    1. N-N-N-N-OOOOOOOOO!

    2. The F-F-F-F-F-F-Force is s-s-s-s-s-s-sstrong with th-th-this one.

    3. I find your lack of faith d-d-d-d-disturbing.

  11. Hey Stossel, can you give my husband some tips on speaking? He’s stammering like a mofo at his presser with Calderon right now.

  12. my dad stutters and was still a big success in the business world. I suffer from it too but to a much lesser degree. It has gotten less worse that older (and calmer) I have gotten. I find if I effect a voice or sing, it completely disappears. Now if only I could sing during business meetings.

    I also used to have problems saying “R” and “F” properly but I grew out of that. Years of public school speech therapy did nothing – it just went away on its own.

    1. Just do your presentation in your best Bugs Bunny voice.

  13. I’ve always thought your use of “works well” was just a trademark part of your delivery in your repudiation of competitive services vs. state ones, I had no idea it came from avoiding certain words due to stuttering.

    You, sir, are a testament to overcoming obstacles and becoming a success. Great column.

  14. ‘The King’s Speech’ was a mediocre conventional piece of Oscar bait.

    Why the hell does any movie involving British people, particularly royalty, automatically have to be an Oscar contender? Especially if the main character gives a rousing speech about war at the end.

    Fuck that shit.
    The movie that should have won was Black Swan. First of all, Aronovsky hasn’t won an Oscar yet. Secondly, it was a creative adaptation of the classical ballet Swan Lake. And thirdly, it had some of the most innovative use of special effects since ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’. Just because a female actress gives a great performance doesn’t mean it’s ONLY an actor’s vehicle.

    1. I enjoyed both movies but Black Swan was more originally and more of a stretch for several of the actors.

      And it was a bit disturbing. Sounds like Oscar material to me.

  15. A stutter is still better than having a lisp, for somebody named “Stossel.”

  16. Stossel isn’t fooling anyone. He overcame his stutter with that irritating sing-song delivery.

    Stuttering is God’s way of telling you to shut the fuck up.

    1. “Stuttering is God’s way of telling you to shut the fuck up.”

      Much more sedate than the old-school lightning bolt. I miss Zeus…

  17. I’m always reminded of the Richard Pryor bit about going to the guy at a Chinese restaurant stuttering…in Chinese.

    “And if you argue about your bill, they bring that stutterin’ motherfucker back to explain it to you….”

    R Pryor GOLD, that one…

  18. Also, Howard Cosell stuttered –

    THAT’S WHY HE DEVELOPED
    THAT DISTINCT CADENCE
    THAT HE HAD
    EMPHASIZING CERTAIN WORDS
    AND SPEAKING IN BURSTS

    DOWN GOES FRAZIER! DOWN GOES FRAZIER!

    No more stuttering. Interesting…

    1. Fuck Cosell, he was an obnoxious Steelers fan-boi. I hated watching games he called w/ the Steelers, especially when they played the Raiders (my tems) or the L.A. Rams (my dad’s tesm) (back in the day).

      1. Umm, that’s “team.” Jesus, as a lawyer you’d think I’d be able to proofread.

        1. HE

          COULD

          GO

          ALL

          THE

          WAY!!!

          I loved Cosell on the boxing, especially. His calls were epic. He loved Ali, I loved Ali…it was all good!

  19. F-F-F-F-F-F-FOOOOOOLIN’! F-F-F-F-F-FOOOOLIN’!

  20. F-F-F-F-F-F-Ffooolin’! Yeah! FF-F-F-F-F-F-FF-FFFOOOOLIN’!

  21. Talkin’ ’bout m-m-m-m-my g-g-g-g-g-g-generation…

    1. Sh-Sh-Sh-Sh-Sh-She was shakin’…[whoooa] snappin’ her finger [whoooa] Sh-sh-sh-sh-sh-shakin’…

  22. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet
    Here’s somethin’, here’s somthin’
    You n-n-n-n-never gonna foget
    y’know y’know y’know y’know
    ya just ain’t seen n-n-n-n-n-nothin’ yet

    1. Foolin’

      F-f-f-f-f-fooolin’!

      Foolin’

      F-f-f-f-f-foooolin’!

    2. Oh-f-f-f-f-f-fooolin’.
      Oh, yeah….f-f-f-f-fooolin’

      1. Ch-ch-changes

  23. Sk-sk-sk skyr-ra-rockets in fa-fa-fa-flight

  24. Re: Neu Mejican,

    Re: incentive to wait…yes, there would be (and are) ethical (and smart) providers who would go after the early clients, but if you look at the industry, the concentration of for-profit providers has historically targeted the chronic stutterers that did not get early intervention.

    Let me decrease the gain of my bullshit detector, because it went off the scale.

    First of all, what the FUCK are you talking about? What concentration of “for-profit” providers?

    Second, you seem to assume that these services are manned by people using sniffing dogs to find stuttering toddlers so they can tell the parents “fuck you, he’s too young for me!” and move on. YOU’RE AN IDIOT!!!!!

    It is THE PARENTS – THE PARENTS – the ones that seek these services, and they do it when the MARGINAL UTILITY of giving their kid help in their speech is low enough compared to the level of impediment, which is normally when the kid is OLD ENOUGH to feel impeded by the disability, NOT BEFORE! It is a JUDGEMENT CALL from the parents, not the suppliers!

    The fact is that you’re straining TOO DAMNED HARD to find fault in profit seeking, going al the way to being a GOD DAMNED LIAR. FUCK YOU!

    1. You posted this word for word three times. Like it was a magic incantation or something. Responses are above.

      1. Maybe OM’s a stuttering typist?

        Just a thought…

      2. Re: Neu Mejican,

        Nope. I am assuming that they will target their marketing energies at the group that is most likely to bring them the most money…those with chronic stuttering.

        Which leaves the door open to the possibility that your assumption is wrong.

        This has, historically, been the case.

        Oh, my bullshit detector is off the chart, again! I thought I had lowered the gain to zero, but I guess there’s a lot to shovel around.

        ‘Historically’ my left foot.

        As for your point about marginal utility…you are, actually, arguing FOR my point. Getting these kids into treatment before the impairment becomes problematic will increase their long-term chances of success.

        YOU’RE DISHONEST!!! And, an idiot.

        the concentration of for-profit providers has historically targeted the chronic stutterers that did not get early interventionhas NOTHING to do with this: “It is THE PARENTS – THE PARENTS – the ones that seek these services[.]”; they’re CONTRADICTORY, yet you claim my comment makes YOUR POINT???

        As Judge Judy likes to say: YOU’RE AN IDIOT!!!!

        Since it is THE PARENTS that pay for these services, they will consider them when the benefit outweighs the cost, and not before. Arguing for having EVERYBODY ELSE pay for these services “early on” is a WASTE OF RESOURCES, because the primary receivers WOULD NOT WANT THEM OTHERWISE!

        Getting these kids into treatment before the impairment becomes problematic will increase their long-term chances of success.

        What it it doesn’t become problematic? YOU JUST WASTED A SHITLOAD OF MONEY FOR NOTHING.

        But, that is the statist’s mantra: Steal, and throw away.

        1. What it it doesn’t become problematic? YOU JUST WASTED A SHITLOAD OF MONEY FOR NOTHING.

          There are pretty sensitive screenings for distinguishing between children who will and will not develop chronic stuttering. Not perfect, surely, but the risk analysis IS for the parents to make. But they can’t make it without the information. That is what the active education and screening programs (typically public) are all about. Providing parents with the information they need to make an informed choice.

          “the concentration of for-profit providers has historically targeted the chronic stutterers that did not get early intervention” has NOTHING to do with this: “It is THE PARENTS – THE PARENTS – the ones that seek these services[.]”; they’re CONTRADICTORY, yet you claim my comment makes YOUR POINT???

          You are making a claim about a hypothetical market. But there is a an actual market with a history. The history suggests that providers who actively market their services are far more likely to market to those with chronic stuttering. Since the shortage is on the provider end, rather than the customer end, this makes sense. Those with chronic stuttering are looking harder (out competing) those seeking early intervention services. But the profile you describe (parents waiting until it is a problem) is part of the reason that this is true. Clinical interventions are PROTO-TYPICALLY sought after the problem has peaked. But interventions for many things are more effective if done PRIOR to the problem peaking. Public programs designed to identify these kids help to correct this failure in the way the customer/provider dynamic manifests in the real world.

  25. The Stuttering Foundation is where we found help for our son.

    1. They are a great organization. They deserve everyone’s support.

  26. Early intervention doesn’t work for those of us who didn’t begin stuttering until adulthood.

    1. Very true.

  27. Whoa, that woman definitely looked like a government employee.

  28. Ethan looks like he’s in Stossel’s cloak room.

  29. Don’t blame Ethan on your poor investment choices, John.

  30. Rick had something else he wanted to say.

  31. A commercial for something called Soccer Talk?

  32. Rebecca wants to break their back, John. She’s a union buster! It’s sport for her.

  33. The Lieutenant Governor is really sticking it to public school teachers. Removing the voucher cap, holding firefighters and police far above teachers in collective bargaining, etc.

  34. If mesothelioma is so damned rare, why am I constantly seeing commercials for lawyers leeching off it?

  35. Finally, in studio guests.

  36. You’ve won, Sideburns. Olbermann is off the air.

  37. Ha, David doesn’t recognize that high taxes are causing an exodus of New York?

  38. David in the span of 30 seconds admits that California is the highest taxed region and also that the taxes there aren’t high enough.

  39. Stossel just admitted he’s wealthy! Get thee to a tax shelter!

  40. Well, if a bipartisan commission said it, then it must be a good thing.

  41. Stephen just called Malou out. That’s what she gets for writing for Cato where your enemy can read it.

  42. 9/11 referenced! And not by the Weekly Standard. Boom.

  43. The road to hell is paved with Middle Eastern democracy?

  44. Holy shit, Rangel is still pushing the draft?

  45. A “privilege of serving this country” that every one should be forced to enjoy.

  46. Rangel does love his class warfare.

  47. Ha, Stossel nailed Rangel quite nicely.

  48. I thought Estonia was a fake country Scott Adams made up.

  49. Oh no! It’s k-k-k-ken c-c-c-coming to k-k-k-kill me! Don’t call me stupid.

  50. Stossel may think stuttering isn’t an issue anymore, but who can trust that crazy libertarian? He probably also thinks libel tourism isn’t a problem in the UK anymore either. Just a note, it still is no matter what some might say: http://lawblog.legalmatch.com/…..l-tourism/

  51. Palin: CCCCAAAAAA….CCCCAAAAAA…
    Cleese: Cathcart Towers?
    Pailn: Yes, Cathcart Towers

  52. Stossel may think stuttering isn’t an issue anymore, but who can trust that crazy libertarian?

  53. Whoa…since when did you guys start doing game commentary?

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