Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My book now fully online!

At last I've managed to place all the chapters of my book Coping with Stuttering online. Feel free to read the book, starting HERE. I must admit I'm feeling quite proud - I have used this opportunity to give the original 1996 version a bit of a facelift, updating it in many places.

Looking at stuttering from the 'stress-sensitive vocal cord theory' amounts to a different paradigm - an exciting way of thinking about stuttering. Those who think outside this paradigm and within traditional frameworks will continue to mystify stuttering - their fate is to remain in the old stuttering labyrinth.

 I've been involved with Prof. Schwartz's way of thinking since the early 80s, and after 30 years I am more than ever convinced that his vocal cord theory of stuttering is correct. In recent years I can even 'feel' my vocal cords constricting when stuttering, and 'opening' when using airflow, though critics could argue that this feeling could just be other throat muscles moving.

Since becoming involved with blogging and after beginning to place the book and video online, people have contacted me for more info and guidance; and it always amazes me how impatient we PWS are. We want results IMMEDIATELY; we would preferably take a pill - and be fluent! Unfortunately a quick cure doesn't yet exist. Learning to manage stuttering is like learning a new sport or a new skill - it takes LOTS OF PRACTICE. Adult PWSs have stuttered for many years, and the stuttering is probably well established - it will not loosen its grip on you easily. Most things that are of value take time, energy, willpower and perseverance.

In addition you may have to work on the psychological side. You may have stuttered for many years - if so, your subconscious is that of a stutterer. In stuttering management there is a golden rule: WHEN TRAVELLING ON THE ROAD TO BETTER SPEECH, YOU HAVE TO TAKE YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS WITH YOU AS A PASSENGER.

For this reason my book contains a number of chapters on self-image, assertiveness training, visualisation and other psychological topics. More and more stuttering institutions and clinics use similar principles in their programmes, as stuttering is increasingly seen as a problem which should be tackled holistically.

Stuttering is, in a sense, a childhood problem which can been carried into adulthood. Childhood is the time when it should ideally be stopped in its tracks, as it is so much easier to deal with it when young. For this reason I have added a chapter on how to work with stuttering children. I am, of course, not a therapist and have therefore leaned heavily on the work of therapists who specialise in childhood stuttering - but always while keeping in mind the basic principle of this book: that stuttering is caused by stress-sensitive vocal cords. Check out the chapter on stuttering children HERE.

In the chapter 'Breaking the Chain' I continue my own story, describing how I gradually improved my speech - and the discouraging relapses and setbacks. A major source of relapse is the subconscious reaction to improved fluency. The 'stutterer within you' will probably do its utmost to maintain the status quo. Once again the answer is not to lose hope. Not only will you have to be your own speech therapist - you may also have to be your own psychologist ... read this chapter HERE. Once again you need to be VERY PATIENT with yourself - real, permanent change takes time - it could take years.

Effectively coping with stuttering is not only a long-term project, it should also be a group project. DON'T try to go it alone! You really need external support: self-help groups and / or a therapist, or if unavailable, then a telephonic 'buddy system' or even an email group; or use your family as a support group. But don't try to do this all by yourself.

I hope that my book will be of assistance.

Kind regards, Peter


  1. Excellent. I will read it. You write in superb way. regards. Chata

  2. I am going to be 22 yrs old in novemeber, i am hugely stresses, MY stutter has increased in my last 7 yrs , i get rejected in job interviews bcoz of stutter, i hope some miracle happens and an actual cure comes up. i want to do so much but... my speech defect doesnt help my case. YOUR WRITING IS VERY GOOD - really better than what the therapist say --
    -- KB

  3. How can I download it? Because I don't use net everytime!

  4. Dear Danyal, you can download it from Google Books. Just go to the Google Books site, search for my book (Coping with Stuttering, by Peter Louw) and follow the download link. Or else you can download from Scribd - in my Coping With Stuttering blog you will find a link to Scribd. On the left side of the Stuttersense blog you will find a link to my Coping With Stuttering blog. I hope you enjoy my book. Kind regards, Peter

  5. Dear Peter, I downloaded it. It's fun to read. I live in Pakistan and there are not much speech therapist here who can help us so I mostly depends on Books and Self-therapy. I even share this with my friends.Thanks for Writing this book. :D