November 17, 2011

Tamso Ma jyotirgamaya (Lead us unto light)

When I want to think deeply, I go on solo-treks. Just came back from Nag-Tibba. Cold? O my God, it was fffffreezing on the top.. Well, as I was walking alone, I was thinking about this cure business: so many people wanting to take us out of the “darkness” (=Acceptance) towards the light (of what?), without even caring to find out what does TISA actually mean by that word! I dont want to deny the possibility of cure out of hand. As a doctor, I have known "exceptions". But for every one true exception there are a thousands of imitators, frauds and charlatans unfortunately.
I do think there is a real but VERY rare case of cure; Among children (under 14 years), about 10% stammer and by the time they become adults (early twenties), only ONE percent are still stammering- like you and me. So, what happens to others? These 9% children do recover spontaneously, without any therapy. This is one reason, why success rates of many therapies meant for children (like Lidcombe) have been questioned. Are you reporting as cure, what is happening normally anyway?
This spontaneous recovery is the outcome of natural maturation of speech centers and nerves. I wont be surprised IF these natural processes may continue in RARE individuals even in later adult life: a rare case of genuine “cure” without therapy or external help. But can such individuals claim to know the trick and help others? Obviously not. This is why British Stammering Association says: there is no UNIVERSAL cure for stammering (link). In other words, somewhere someone sometime may EXPERIENCE a cure, but it can not be generalized to others. Check that link for more.
Such spontaneous cure is known in other conditions too- like cancer. Someone was told that you have 3 months to live. But he survived and a blood test showed that cancer had MIRACULOUSLY disappeared. Can such men go around sharing their cure? Can other people suffering from cancer give up proper therapy or self-help and start taking such “Chinese miracle water”?
So, that was about 0.1 percent of cases- the rare and genuine case of cure. Now let us turn to the rest 99.9 % claiming CURE; My understanding based on research is:
1. These majority of cases claiming CURE have only developed good control- not cure; Last time, I was talking to one such guy- he was talking carefully and slowly. I could sense the fear behind each word. Is he going to propose to his girl like this- I genuinely wondered (and smiled)! He had been told: Dont get excited. Speak slowly- and voila, you are cured! Now, he wants to take us out of the darkness, towards such a cure! You can easily imagine what would happen to him in a group discussion, in an argument on road, in a stressful interview. But right now, he is “cured”!
2. Many of these “cured” people have developed a water-tight comfort zone around them: it could be a “cure center” or a change in status, a job where they can not be challenged or questioned. In the comfort zone, their own little world, they can go around claiming that they are "cured". What happens when they step out? Here is a true case study: A “cured” IPWS who runs a stammering cure center, decided to join local politics and stand for elections. For the first time, he stepped out of his cocoon, as he began addressing public meetings. His “problems” were back at once! He actually phoned me: All my fears have come back; I am having difficulties. What should I do?
3. Many of them claim a cure for some ulterior motives : It boosts up their EGO. While other poor guys are hunting for solutions, I have “cured” myself- wow! and now I can help others. You can see it in their on-line comments and often desperate requests: Here is my number, please call me. This is plain and simple ego-trip. If they were genuinely interested in helping others, they would start a PHYSICAL self-help group in the city they live in, the college they study at or join an existing SHG. Instead, they claim: I am too busy, I can counsel only on phone! Second motive is money. One such guy, who had no training or background in speech-therapy, actually an IT hardware guy, was charging Rs 1000 per one hour session in Kolkata from 5 pws.
We all can hide our dis-fluencies and act as "cured" for some time, under some situations - I can do it - and motivation will be very strong to do so, if we can get paid Rs 1000 per hour for just chatting up some desperate pws. Remember the Spasht group on FB? Where are they today?
4. Interestingly, all these people who claim cure and question TISA's philosophy of acceptance, never do their homework properly; they put on their web page under causes of stammering, hilarious stuff like this: any fear in childhood, Jaundice, running out of breath... (Imagine, 100 meter dash or climbing stairs to your office can lead you to stammer..and People with asthma, they too will be stammering at this rate!).
5. So, what is TISA's take on CURE? Yes, we too say that there is a cure: you can cure stuttering mindset, with a little hard work, and without spending thousands. Above all, you can overcome the FEAR! A little biological dis-fluency, which may still be left behind, hurts no one. It only makes you human - and rather cute..
To, close on a melodious note- click the link, sit back and listen- to the words carefully.. TISA too has lit up a lamp in the darkness of distrust, misgivings and ignorance.. Light your little lamp and come to Bhubaneshwar..


kshitiz said...

great and truly inspiring ...........

Er. Umesh 9068322345 said...

Really inspiring post! I am so lucky guy that I got TISA very early instead of wondering and wasting money on speech therapist.

J P Sunda said...

Sachin sir aap to kafi kuch soch ke ayain hain! Thanks for writing such a holistic post about cure, acceptance and stuttering. Was expecting a lot more pics though ;-)

mitesh said...

sachin sir ka javab nahi .. Wonderful post .. ;-)

lalit said...

beautiful pic.. wish i could be part of ur trip :-).

sir i like(inspired) the way u live ur life..thanks for post and keep tracking

sachin said...

Thanks Mitesh and Lalit.
We all have choices. You too. Just use them. And you will do better than me in life..because you have an early start in life..