226 SYSTEMS OF TREATING STAMMERING
time-beating, drawling, etc. He then speaks more
fluently; but by sing-songing, etc., he might have
spoken just as fluently from the first. The initial
silence-period is usually considered by teachers and
pupils alike to be highly beneficial; but their con-
clusions cannot be regarded as apodictic, since they
take no cognizance of many of the factors involved.
Subsequent periods of silence are often prescribed
by teachers of stammerers when pupils are meeting
with unusual difficulty.
A psychological exercise that is now and then
recommended is the practice of internal speech. The
student confines his thought as far as possible to
verbal imagery, thinking his words in a direct and
orderly manner. This measure might be beneficial
to the stammerer that thinks generally in visual
images, or that finds himself subject to multiple
thought during speech. On the other hand, it would
be of no benefit to the stammerer that invariably
thinks his words in orderly consecution.
The following "golden rule" is often commended
to the stammerer: "Never begin a sentence till you
[ know how it is to conclude." This expedient of
thinking out the sentence has already been discussed.1
It may be efficacious when no lalophobia exists (with
children, for instance); but in other cases it may
enhance the stammerer's fear. Here the proof of
1 Vol. I, p. 342.