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Podgurski commended for advice

I stutter and would like to comment on Dr. Mary Jo Podgurski’s Jan. 9 “Ask Mary Jo” column, “Isolation isn’t the only answer for dealing with a stutter.” First, Podgurski made an excellent suggestion by recommending the support groups of the National Stuttering Association and the resources of the Stuttering Foundation of America. Both organizations are invaluable to the struggle with stuttering.

She claimed that “most believe stuttering is genetic.” While this belief has been widely held for decades, in 2010 it was validated when scientists discovered stuttering genes for the very first time, which compromise 9% of the cases of stuttering.

I applaud Podgurski for mentioning some famous names of people who stutter. The Stuttering Foundation website (www.stutteringhelp.org) offers a lengthy list of famous people who stutter and also many biographical articles on famous people who stutter. I know that the high school student who wrote the letter to Podgurski felt isolated. I would recommend that she look at the list of famous people and the articles because it will make him or her feel very positive to know that there are famous and highly successful people who also stutter and dealt with some of the same issues.

Ed DePhillips

Fort Lee, N.J.