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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jeanne McHugh, M.S.(George Washington University)
Description: This book on stuttering combines "personal stories and informational chapters..., such as reading and understanding research, stereotyping, dealing with friends and family, and risk taking." Other essays and questions for discussion are included at the end of the book.
Purpose: According to the author, his goals were to "provide additional information on recovery-related issues" and to "stimulate discussion" on this topic. Attempts to provide additional information and stimulate discussion are always worthy objectives regardless of the field of study. Although the author admits "usable material on recovery had already been written but that more was needed," it is questionable as to whether significant additional information is actually provided. What is provided is a compilation of existing data and information.
Audience: The book is intended for undergraduate and graduate students, speech-language professionals, people who stutter, and significant others as well as anyone else with an interest in stuttering. The format of informational papers and stories makes it an easy, quick read for anyone. However, with the recent flood of stuttering-related books, this is not one I would consider as a "must have." Based on the author's life experiences, position, and standing as a board-recognized fluency specialist, he appears to be a credible authority on stuttering.
Features: Several different stuttering recovery-related issues are covered, such as stereotyping, teasing, risk-taking, and dealing with listeners and significant others. Other topics include what stuttering is not, shortcomings of published research, and support groups. One of the most noteworthy aspects of this book is the unbiased nature in which approaches to stuttering therapy are presented. Highlights include example goals and tasks when discussing therapy, descriptions of other essays addressing particular problem areas, and discussion questions for each chapter. The chapter on how to read research is written from a negative perspective and does not provide solutions to the problems faced when reading articles. Some of the stories that involve conversations between multiple speakers are a bit too wordy and not as interesting as the situational experiences.
Assessment: This book does not really provide any new information. There are numerous books available containing more in-depth information on stuttering and stories from people who stutter. Having said that, there is nothing wrong with more anecdotal books, since sharing successes and failures can be a powerful component of treatment.