Reader Writes Of Methods Used To Cure Stuttering
( Originally Published 1936 )
As a personal experience, for those afflicted with stuttering, the following letter from a reader may be of interest:
"I am writing a few facts in regard to my own cerebral dominance that may interest you.
"I was much interested in your articles on stuttering, walking in circles and eyedness, as I changed hands for all actions that are single-handed to cure stuttering some 22 months ago. My stuttering is slowly disappearing, as is also an associated tic. May I suggest that walking and swimming in circles, left and right-handed, is due to cerebral control. I was natively left-handed, and I swim to the right due, I believe, to my left arm being the stronger. I walk the same way. I did it when I was lost on a hunting trip a year ago.
"In regard to eyedness. I believe that the stronger hemisphere receives the stronger image, and hence it is dominant. Because of my ambidexterity the hemispheres of my brain are practically equal in strength, and I frequently see two images. This I know is due to changing to left-handedness after 27 years of right-handedness. It seems as if dominance in all acts, or nearly all, except speech had been developed in the left hemisphere, and speech remained `on the fence' so to speak.
"I thought you might be interested in a stutterer's views on these things. I made the change under L. E. Travis, Ph. D. of the University of Iowa, and Wendell Johnson, Ph. D., author of `Because I Stutter'."
This theory of stuttering has frequently been discussed in many articles. For practical purposes the treatment upon which it is based has better results than any other method of treatment known to me. The theoretical foundation is that the speech center is on the left side of the brain and the motor control of the right side of the body is on the left side of the brain. Now, if a person is born left-handed, it is assumed that the speech center is switched over to the right side of the brain. To compel this person to become right-handed seems in some way to upset the mechanism and result in stuttering. How the mechanism is upset is not very clear, but the facts remain.