This article was originally published in the Winter 2011 edition of CSAVoices.
I found myself laid off quite unexpectedly last year. My workplace of the last 9 years no longer needed my skills. As thoughts of what new adventure awaits ran around inside my head, I was also starting to worry about stuttering in job interviews. A worry I haven’t had for a decade.
Would employers discriminate against my stuttering? Would they think the usual myths about stuttering? That I am a person of weak character or low intelligence?
The CSA website has featured articles about the Kill Your Stutter website, a money-making scheme that makes an offer to eliminate stuttering in 10 minutes by following instructions in an e-book. If you are not familiar with this controversy, there are articles about it here and here.
It is the position of most of the stuttering community that this product is being sold by unethical means, by making unsubstantiated claims and preying on the weaknesses and desperation of people who stutter. The product offers a "guarantee" and those who purchase are allowed to return the product within sixty days. However, in the past five months the cost of this product has risen from $67 to $97, indicating that profits are indeed being made on this item, and those who purchase are not returning the product even after their disappointment at the lack of results.
Johnathon Boville is happy to shoot the breeze with anybody he meets - especially patrons at his new restaurant, Stuttering John's Bistro. The fact that he is a person who stutters has been no barrier to his social life, or to his entrepreneurial spirit. In fact, he believes that, as a memorable characteristic, his stuttering has helped him out as a successful local business person in the town of Oshawa, Ontario. People always remember meeting him.
This is a summary and review, not a republishing, of the article "Changing adolescent attitudes toward stuttering", by Ken St. Louis and Timothy Flynn. From the Journal of Fluency Disorders, 2011, 110-121.
This review was originally published in the 2011 Winter edition of CSA Voices.
For about as long as I can remember I have been a person that stutters. As a young boy my parents thought nothing of my stutter. They thought that, if anything, it would be something I would outgrow with time. When I entered school, my teachers right away identified that I had a stutter, and it was recommended that I take speech therapy, which I did, at the young age of five.
We are used to seeing some pretty ridiculous stuff on the internet, including more than a few outlandish get-rich-quick marketing schemes. It is easy to dismiss much of it as harmless, thinking, “who would fall for that?” But a closer analysis of how these marketing schemes work, and who benefits and who suffers, might stir different reactions – such as anger towards the insidious nature of unethical internet marketing. There are a few dubious offers on the internet about “cures” for stuttering. The most prevalent is the Kill Your Stutter offer, a program that guarantees to cure stuttering in ten minutes upon the purchase of an e-book.