October 8, 2009
I am writing this letter to express my gratitude for the invaluable help you have given me.
I had been a lifelong stutterer until the age of 31. I had received speech therapy in grammar school and high school consisting largely of relaxation exercises—all of which did me no good at all.
I decided I just had to live with my stuttering. Of course this took quite a toll. I was not spontaneous and generally thought out in advance my precise wording. Also, I chose a profession in which the disadvantage of stuttering would be minimized. Thus, I chose the bookish field of tax law and went on to pass the C.P.A. exam, obtain a law degree and finally an advanced law degree in taxation. In that field knowledge is paramount and the importance of speaking fluency is minimized.
Fortunately, I decided to give speech therapy one last try I called UCLA and was referred to you. Your approach was incredibly simple to follow and effective. You taught me that the crux o my problem was trying too hard to be perfect. It was normal to have vocal pauses (“uuum”) and other influences.
Within a short period of time, I was able to speak without stuttering about 98% of the time. I have gone on these last 42 years since I first saw you to give many public speeches (usually on tax topics) without stuttering. I am able to speak spontaneously because I now know it is OK not to be perfect.
With much gratitude,