High Point Enterprise Newspaper Archives Jul 18 1976, Page 118

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High Point Enterprise, The (Newspaper) - July 18, 1976, High Point, North CarolinaTheir enemy elusive stutterers must suffer shame of silence by John Barbour a new features writer there is a terrible pain involved an excruciating he says choosing his words carefully. A stutterer Dies when he the last six words Are punctuated with half As Many Small silences the Man at the other end of the phone takes a breath and goes on trying As he has every Day of his life trying for fluency. Stuttering ranges All through time through every race religion and culture through All the phalanges of intelligence and with Little variation in frequency. Although there is More research underway today than 10 years ago most experts see Little Hope for Long lasting cures. There Are countless theories on Why a person stutters. But the theories often argue with each other. In the end most therapies treat the symptom the cause or causes remain elusive. If anything there s a problem of hav ing too Many approaches to treatment says or. David Burns a University of Pennsylvania psychiatrist who treats stutterers. But a number of them have Promise he said and this is a particularly Good time to be a stutterer in Moses stuttered they say. So did Winston Churchill. Marilyn Monroe. Fred Astaire Jimmy Stewart. Gary Moore. Jack Paar. And even Raymond Massey whose voice never faltered when he played Abe Lincoln but always did when he played himself. Demosthenes the Silver tongued greek orator cured his stuttering by practising his speech with a Mouthful of pebbles. That technique today would be called distraction a Way of drawing a per son s attention away from the act of speaking Long ago. Doctors designed braces for the Teeth which served As a distraction for the speaker. Today there Are rhythmical distractions stutterers Are taught to speak to the beat of a metronome. Some find they can avoid their stuttering by swinging their arms and talking a syllable or two with each swing. Remarkably almost All stutterers lose their Slammer when they sing. One stutterer was told to spar with himself and talk to the movement of his fists. But As he laughingly told a Friend he could not see himself asking a policeman which Way to the Public Library while he jabbed with his left and fainted with his right. For All the pain and shame associated with their disability most stutterers have a defensive sense of humor about it. Seven out of every 1.000 people stutter experts in the Field estimate some studies show that they Are perhaps a bit More intelligent than the average population but there Are stutterers among the severely retarded As Well As the exceedingly Bright. Says or. Richard Curlee of the University of Oregon a leading authority there Are people in mental hospitals who Are diagnosed As psychotic who stutter. There Are people who Are neurotic who stutter. In Short it appears that personality As Well vanes independently with the stutter ing symptom itself most stutterers first encounter difficulties at about the age of 4 when they Are trying to achieve fluency. Researchers have tried to find differences in their nervous systems in the linkage of nerve and speech mechanisms even in the biochemistry of their cells. Some contend that one or More of these things Combine to bring the stutterer to a threshold and stress pushes him Over some have tried to show that it is the differences in the Speed at which peo ple hear their own voices that causes it. For instance we hear both by air conduction and by sound conveyed through our Bones which is Why our voices sound different to us when we hear ourselves Over a tape recorder these researchers contend that the sound of d stutterer s voice reaches his ear several microseconds faster than it does with a non stutterer in a sense he hears in a stutter another theory is that stutterers Sut Ler a vocal Cord lock or spasm one of the More popular theories is that of Wendell Johnson who blamed parents for holding up standards of speech that were too High. He said hat stuttering is what people did in an attempt to speak fluently As the child begins to struggle with his fluency it turns into stuttering and in a sense he learns his stuttering by adulthood the disability has become a habit. Not everyone agrees and Johnson a University of Iowa therapist stuttered to Iii last Days. People who stutter View the stutter ing As something that happens to them almost like an enemy says Curlee and they embody it with some kind of separate existence they share almost across the Board the common feelings of guilt remorse embarrassment and shame. The severity differs some people try for five or ten minutes to say their name and then give up. One of Curlee s patients tried for 50 minutes in each of three or four therapy sessions to get beyond one particular word in a Book. She finally found a Way around it. You la Lind some who go into a drugstore and they find Curlee says Many stutterers have a great Deal of trouble on the phone Here at the University it s not unusual for a stutterer to come by the office to cancel an appointment rather than Call on the High Point sunday morning july 18, 1976 Section d features a stutter reveals his secret each time you die a Little by Ben Patrusky for the associated press like most people. I be got a secret a shameful one. Unfortunately unlike most. I can t keep mine. I stutter stammer whatever the term is for what i do. What i do is Block. A word becomes a Wall and i m unable to scale it. I m suddenly momentarily pinned to that Wall caught in a Frozen scream. Over the years. I be Learned How to keep my secret better How to hide it More effectively. But it is. Nevertheless my constant grim com Panion always danger lurks. Somewhere that dread mocking Imp crouches Ever ready to pounce and deliver an exquisitely timed kick to the shins cer Tain to screw things up. Then to Dis appear so i remain a Shade off balance. I can never be sure Well almost never give me a Chance to sing and you 11 never hear a stutterer s pause out of me. Don t ask me Why. I know a lot of tricks to Cut Down on the chances of my secret getting out. For example will sometimes Tell jokes with visual rather than verbal punch lines More Marcel Marceau than Henny Youngman. Will postpone a phone Call until the danger is past and i feel my secret is Safe within me again. Won t accept guest spots on the Johnny Carson. Merv Griffin or today shows mind that they be never asked me to appear. If you met me you would t necessarily find out i stutter or whatever it is i do. I be fooled people i know How to camouflage. A dangerous word coming up Quick use another one. Experts say some stutterers have pretty Good vocabularies. Surely the dodging substituting is the reason. If speaking were Tennis. I d dance around my weak backhand 10 favor my More sure forehand. What s it like to think of yourself on the Highway it s dark you re in a hurry no traffic you squeeze on the Gas suddenly out of no where directly in front of you. Looms the terrifying Back of a huge truck. Horror slam on the brakes. Spin the wheel swerve Pray. Anything anything to keep from colliding the truck is the word that looms ahead of a stutterer you can t always Tell what word it will be. But suddenly you see one thai could spell trouble. Is it too late to Dodge the collision does t kill but you die a Little because it produces the worst godawful feelings of shame that the worst of it the shame time stops. You re stranded. Breathless eyes agog Throat Muscles taut Mouth contorted a demonic be ing fighting strangulation struggling to rediscover the sound of its All this time you Are acutely aware of the eyes of others watching you and you have no place to hide and this Breeds in the mind of a stutterer the latent terror the fear you May blow in a critical moment like blocking on i or losing valuable time reporting a fire or a burglary or a homicide or choking on the Call you May have to make when your wife s in labor or your child is feverishly ill or when someone is hav ing a heart attack or freezing on Duck or watch out you worry about other things about How others perceive in your perplexity. Especially those who Are new to your secret is it pity0 sym a see each on 2d Busy youngsters Don t have time for trouble by Lee Mortimer Enterprise staff writer the problems of Public housing youngsters can be More Complex and troubling than those of most other youth they re in Public housing in the first place because of coming from disadvantaged backgrounds. The absence of a Mother on welfare with a lot of children High crime abuse chronic unemployment these Are realities that confront Public housing youth More frequently than kids from other segments of society. They pose difficult obstacles to Young teenagers who must eventually face a world that demands a lot even from those reared in More favored Circum stances recognizing that the High Point housing authority has established a youth program to address the specific needs of teenagers since february Walter Gould a former recreation worker with the City Parks and recreation dept., has headed up the program As youth director. I wanted someone to be the voice of youth someone to look after their needs and said housing authority director Ken Martin. He added if the youth Are Happy and have things to do it will reduce vandalism reduced vandalism will More than pay for Waller s salary and it s already showing Gould agrees that youngsters need something More than a basketball goal or an activity room. I often have to Deal with the problem kids. I try to get them invoked in some activity. These Are the ones who feel they be been let Down the Gould said. Since taking on the duties of youth director. Gould has concentrated his efforts toward getting youngsters involved in activities any activity. I think if you keep a kid Active it will give him something to feel Good about. Then he s not As Likely to skip school or do something else he Gould said. But recreation is not the sole objective of the youth program. Work sex youth perform maintenance chores on Clara Cox apartment grounds photo by Sonny Hedgecock penance is equally important. Gould coordinates the work of 86 youngsters hired for the summer to do maintenance chores in Public housing grounds the jobs for teenagers is part of the Federal emergency jobs program which provides work for unemployed adults through the year. It is administered and supervised by manpower employees. Gould has not limited his efforts to coordinating government sponsored jobs he continuously contacts employers in the Community looking for jobs for teenagers. I be got them doing everything from sweeping floors to cutting grass anything to keep them off the Gould said. He has placed youngsters on jobs at the Exxon car Wash. Cedrick s restaurant the furniture Market. Food world and mrytle desk co but jobs Are scarce so every time i see someone. I say that i have a Young boy or girl who needs a Gould said. Among activities that Gould has initiated Are youth clubs outings to places like carom is athletic com petition skating parties and picnics. Walter has so Many activities going that i can t even keep up with All of Martin commented. Gould and housing authority staffer Julia Harmon Are co organizers of the youth clubs and Gould is now in the process of organizing boy scout troops in the various projects. He has set up car washes and rum Mage sales so the teenagers can raise Money to finance the outings their clubs Plain. A basketball team made up of youngsters from Carson Stout apts. Has already distinguished itself. They won five trophies and have Defeated teams like Cone Mills and u s furniture industries. Only the High Point College Basket Ball team has beaten the Carson Stout netters and then Only by a slim margin of three Points other kids from Public housing have distinguished themselves on the student Council and club activities in school it just goes to show you that there Are some great athletes and some great Talent among these Gould said when Gould s program can t provide a boy or girl an activity he works on getting them into something through the Parks and recreation dept. Myca. Owca. Area Day Camps. Boys club or other Community group. Gould arranged for Courtesty tickets for Public housing residents both Voung and Oldi to City Lake Park. The tickets allow them free admission any monday to swimming fishing or rides. The activity was so popular that 300 tickets were used up in Short order. Gould apparently has achieved celebrity status among teenagers living in the apartment areas his status has some disadvantages like not allow ing him much free time but Gould does t mind the kids have my phone number and Are always calling me but once you gel involved with kids it s impossible to say you Don t have time to do he said. Walter Gould discusses project photo by Art Richardson

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