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I was predisposed to like this book. Wingate had a sharp, critical mind, and he cuts the BS and gets to the heart of the matter. He is sharply critical of the conjecture and sloppy thinking so often found in stuttering research, and demands rigor where he finds none. The author attacks the use of the words fluency and dis/dysfluency with vigor - and makes great sense to me (there's a whole story here that I had never thought of). If you nod when you read a quote from Wendell Johnson, you need to read this book. If your background is in psychology or learning theory, I highly recommend this book as an alternate view of stuttering.
I gave the book five stars, but that's like giving it an "A" grade - not necessarily perfect. Wingate is clear about his own beliefs throughout his criticism of others, but in the end, his summary of his own understanding of stuttering really isn't summed up particularly well. I can imagine him in his office thinking "Before I die, I'll show the world how much damage that ba$tard Johnson did!" While he certainly succeeded in at least the effort, he leaves himself open to the critical "So if you know so much..." question. He really didn't sew up the end of the book well enough.
I don't work or teach in the field, but if I did, this would absolutely be on the reading list. It's the kind of book that would pi$$ off a lot of professionals in the field, and that's a good thing - they need it.Foundations of Stuttering OverviewThere have been many theories about the cause of stuttering and many misconceptions exist. Currently, it is believed that a number of factors play a role in the development and maintenance of stuttering. These factors can be grouped and classified as constitutional, environmental, and communication factors. There is some evidence that stuttering is genetic; it does run in some families. There is also evidence that stuttering is due to a disorder in the timing of movements of speech muscles, a defect in auditory feedback, and a lack of cerebral dominance for language functions. Stuttering is not a symptom of emotional or mental problems, although it may become a source of stress and cause emotional difficulties. "Foundations of Stuttering" presents a new perspective on stuttering. A key aim of the book is to establish a rational and scientifically defensible foundation for the study and management of the stuttering disorder, based on the fact that stuttering is manifestly a disorder of speech.Central to this objective is the interrelation of findings from the fields of stuttering, psychology, psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics that support the analysis of stuttering as an intrinsic anomaly of speech production. The book presents critical analysis of much of the literature in the field to present a fully objective, scientifically oriented study of the disorder. Dr Wingate has made significant contributions in the area of fluency disorders. In 1969 and 1970, publication of articles that led to his Vocalization Hypothesis stimulated a great deal of research in the area of stuttering which underlies current theory approaches. This book: offers a new departure in understanding stuttering and a rational, non-theoretical analysis of the disorder; identifies a major principle central to the nature and management of stuttering; and, represents the culmination of forty years of study, research and clinical experience.
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