Monday, March 14, 2011

A stutterer reads the news: Please support Alex's campaign!!

I got a request from Alex von Gudenberg, who created and leads the only healthcare-approved clinic for stuttering in Germany. They have launched a campaign for more public awareness. Please support his campaign. They have asked for the news to be read by a person who stutters! Luckily only one day! ;-)
Dear fellow stutterers,

I am the director of the Institute of the Kasseler Stuttering Therapy (KST) and was a severe stutterer.

By chance we created a campaign against discrimination of stutterers in Germany, which is becoming quite successful. The film maker Henning Burk, a stutterer himself, did a report for a TV station (3SAT) about stuttering in our institute when The King's Speech started. He had the idea to ask for stutterers to read the prime time news in the two major German channels to achieve more tolerance and attention for stutterers.

It started more as a campaign without real chances of realisation. But now a website with information and on-line signing of the petition exists: HERE.

Stutterers in major German cities supported this campaign by collecting signatures at the movie theatres, in addition to press releases and TV appearances in support of the idea. The German media (radio, TV, print media) jumped it.

About 1000 people have signed so far.

Therefore I wonder, if this might have potential for a worldwide campaign. It does not seem too ambitious to get Colin Firth and David Seidler and other as supporters.
What do you think of this idea?

Best wishes from Germany

Alexander von Gudenberg
(You can also email him: AWvGudenberg at


Gary UK said...

Just a suggestion for anyone commenting on this or any other article.

Rather than selecting the 'Anonymous' identity option, select Name/URL. The URL part is optional!!!! And you you don't have to give your real name. Just a name to be known by. It just makes it a little more personal and makes the comments threads easier to follow.


Pam said...

Great idea. I know a pws from Germany who feels there has not been enough awareness and support.
This is great news, and shows the power of grassroots stuttering support organizations!

Anonymous said...

Paper title: North-American Lidcombe Program file audit: Replication and meta-analysis.

Is there something wrong when a multi-million dollar company that sells the Lidcombe program does its own efficacy studies and conducts its own financial audits? A BIG CONFLICT OF INTEREST???

istutter said...

Pam, unfortunately it shows the power of comfortably off fluency shaping program that uses the awareness the movie, and the grassroot organisations had brought to stuttering for its benefit.
In my cinema you get a flyer from the KST when bying a ticket for the The King's speech, "for durable fluider speech", that's the message on the flyer. imo it's a tiny bit hypocritical to claim a stutterer should read the news, and to claim to speak in an odd manner instead of stuttering directly on the other side.
The TV report itself shows some clients of the course who proclaimed that sociaty should allow stutteres to read the news as the ruling elite in ancient rome allowed their slaves to be served at the Saturnalia...

Pam said...

Well, I must take your word for it, as I could not read the info on the web site. "for durable fluider speech"? really? and where are you from? it seems much more education is needed everywhere, and you are right, it needs to come from us, esp after the ovie hype dies down, which it already is. I did an interview on TV about a month ago, and I did stutter publicly, and quite well in fact. And I also did the same 2 years ago, long before this movie. It is up to us. You are right. It is odd indeed the hypocrisy you note.

Anonymous said...

The point is, as correctly observed by istutter, that Alex is simply advertising and marketing the stuttering treatment clinic for which he himself says he is the director. If they wanted a general campaign for stuttering in Germany, it shouldn't be led by someone who benefits from the advertising and who does in fact lists the business in the announcements. If it was just about providing information, why then list KST in the announcement? There was no need for that, other than business interests.

Anonymous said...

@Last Anon

Is there anything inherently wrong with people making others aware of stuttering do to their own interests? I know plenty of SLPs (even those who stutter) that attend NSA support groups exclusively to get clients, who they often help. I bet you would have a problem with that too. I would speculate that nothing important would never get done if there were purely altruistic motives.

Anonymous said...

"Is there anything inherently wrong with people making others aware of stuttering do to their own interests?"

Oh, I thought many people on this blog constantly criticize Onslow and Packman for making others aware of a very effective treatment program for stuttering in children (Lidcombe therapy) based on the argument that O&P do so for their own interest....

So if the stuttering director of a stuttering treatment program wants to bring stuttering in the news for the purpose of being able to mention his/her own clinic then it is okay but if a researcher publishes actual empirical data on the treatment's effectiveness then one should post on the internet that they are motivated by self-interest?

Anonymous said...

Onslow and Packman are treating an age group where the probability of recovery from stuttering is very high so their data is meaningless especially when the claim to cure the same percentage that recovers naturally. They also public very poor empirical data often from less than 20 people. They promoting information on stuttering that is wrong and misleading. That's what the problem is.

Unknown said...

Is there any way to have petition translated to English so that those who can't read in German can read it and potentially use for the similar purposes in other settings?
I am very much in agreement with the need to have publicly funded multidisciplinary clinics that provide help to PWS. And who else if not a stutterer himself will be be the most vested and enthusiastic supporter of that initiative as Dr.Wolf?
While we are all pondering the reasons of how and why stuttering initiated and propagated throughout adult life, PSW need qualified and affordable help now and not when we answer all questions and amass all the evidence to support THE right treatment approach.