SAA’ dealings with many PWS have taught it that PWS typically fall into three categories:
- Those who do not wish to improve their speech at all.
- Those who wish to improve it “a little” but not entirely.
- Those who want to eliminate stuttering to the maximum extent possible.
SAA was created to help any and all PWS who wish to be helped, to whatever degree is desired. To date, most PWS who come to SAA fall into category (3) above. (SAA notes that many who come to it do so because they have difficulty obtaining and keeping jobs due to their stuttering, and reduction of stuttering is often a financial necessity to provide for themselves and their loved ones. Speech improvement is of CRITICAL importance to these PWS.) Let us not attack such individuals over semantics.
The fact that SAA wants to help PWS, who literally “cry out for help” to it in myriad ways, does NOT mean that SAA does not RESPECT ALL PWS, including those in categories (1) and (2) above. There is no shame in stuttering, just as there is no shame in being born with one arm, or blind, or deaf. SAA might be likened to the company that creates a mechanical arm, a device to allow some or all sight by the blind or some or all hearing by the deaf. SAA should not be criticized for trying to help those PWS who desire help, and those who wish to continue to stutter should, in all fairness, respect SAA’s good faith efforts (which demonstrably ARE now working) to provide as much relief as is possible to those who view stuttering as painful, ghastly and even life-threatening.
SAA believes to its core that most stuttering can be managed or eliminated to the point that the PWS will no longer be detectable as a PWS, and that remains SAA’s raison d’être. Surely those PWS who do not wish to eliminate or even materially reduce their stuttering will have the kindness to respect those PWS who wish to reduce their stuttering to the maximum and who chose SAA to provide help (and at no cost to the PWS).