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Full text of "Stamering And Cognate Defects Of Speech Vol - Ii"

170      SYSTEMS OF TREATING STAMMERING

syllable is read. The pupil takes breath beforehand and reads
to the next pause, where he inhales again. Should the pause,
however, come after a few words the inhalation is omitted, for
every overfilling of the lungs excites unduly. On the other
hand, if the air is consumed before a pause is reached, the pupil
stops and takes in breath, quietly and not hastily, and before
he feels distressed for air. Every syllable is accompanied with
a downward beat of the hand. Very severe stutterers, in the
first weeks, are allowed to speak only by the metronome, which
they must always carry with them, or they must give the beat
audibly on some convenient object, as a table, desk, etc. From
the first day of treatment the pupil must observe the prescribed
measure, and inhale at every punctuation. Whoever fails to
observe the measure, does not beat with his hand, speaks too
rapidly, neglects to inhale at the right time, or stutters after
he once has control of his speech, keeps account of his various
shortcomings by tying knots in a string, and these are noted
every day.

"This measured talking, as just described, is of great im-
portance. It not only causes the organs to act synchronously
and more powerfully, but it has another effect, which 'cannot
be too highly valued, viz.: it divides the stutterer's attention
directing his thoughts elsewhere and not permitting him to con-
centrate his whole mind upon his impediment, as he is accus-
tomed to do. The effect ..of diverting the mind from an over-
powering idea is shown by Dr. Schrank, who alludes in his
book to the means used in Southern Germany to stop hic-
coughing. The sufferer thinks intently of a handsome, spotted
cow, and pictures her to himself clearly and minutely. What
happens ? In many instances the hiccoughing is gone ! Like-
wise measured talking serves as an escape-channel for the
anxiety a stutterer usually feels when he wishes to speak.
Even if his excitement be great, measured talking, though