Fereydoon Tafazzoli, Ph.D.
In 1973, because of Laryngitis and vocal misuse due to my career as Professor of Economics at the National University of Iran, my vocal cords gradually became weak in such a way that I could hardly speak. In the beginning, I contacted an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor in Tehran and he gave me Antibiotics to use. I did not get better and in the summer of 1973 1 went to England in order to see a voice therapist. This trip was of no use and my problem became worse.
In summer 1974, 1 went to the United States and consulted my cousin who, as a medical pathologist, was making research at medical school at that time. She said that I should first see Dr. X ... and if his treatment might not be useful, I should go to Los Angeles in order to see Dr. Hans Von Leden. Dr. X's prescription was funny, as he told me to chew a golf ball and for this matter one of my teeth broke apart.
In September 1974, 1 went to Los Angeles in order to see Dr. Von Leden. He, for the first time, diagnosed my problem as Spastic Dysphonia and after extensive examinations referred me to Dr. Morton Cooper. Needless to say, before seeing Dr. Von Leden, I went to see Dr. Shapoory who is a Nose, Ear and Throat specialist in Burbank. After different examinations, he also referred me to Dr. Von Leden.
On September 12, 1974, 1 saw Dr. Cooper in his office, He said that I suffered from spastic dysphonia and should undergo vocal rehabilitation. The length of time needed for the treatment was stipulated as 1 to 4 years in the initial session with the possibility that one year may be sufficient.
I stayed in Los Angeles from September 1974 to July 1975. During this period, I used to see Dr. Cooper twice a week and in the beginning a few times a week. His treatment was a new experience in my life as I regained my natural voice and also my career. In the beginning, I was pessimistic towards the outlook of the treatment, but after a few months, while exercising Dr. Cooper's methods and reading his book, I found out that my voice was going to its natural level without slipping back to a low level. I still remember Dr. Cooper's statement. namely: "Since you are a theoretician and teach economic theory, you would be able to learn the right methods of speaking." This was proved, as his treatment became fully effective and after eleven months, I was back to my real voice, without losing ends of words and sentences.
Personally, I owe my regained natural voice to Dr. Cooper. I admire his patience and kindness. Of course, I worked very hard during the period of rehabilitation, exercising his methods of humming words first and later sentences and breathing correctly.
Finally, I have been able to teach regularly every semester since September 1975, carrying a full load of 15 hours per week on the average. Thanks to Dr. Cooper for his rehabilitation program.
Fereydoon Tafazzoli, Ph.D.
Shahid Beheshti University