Sunday, March 26, 1995

Comments on list dialog and invitation to BTF

In response to a message from Janet Ackerman in which I was invited to join the board of directors for the Birch Tree Foundation (BTF).

Thank you very much for your kind words on my contributions. Like many
others, I am sure, I have been tempted to give up in frustration, but
I can't let misleading statements get to the stuttering community unchallenged,
and, curiously, I came to the realization that the fact that I am not a SLP
has given me an advantage in that nobody can accuse me of touting "rival"
therapies for personal gain! You and Woody have been very careful in mantaininga low key objective approach, but I am sure it must be hard at times NOT to
intervene more forcefully and become "censors". I am very glad you have been
able to trust that the PWS and SLP populations would be better served by lettingall opinions be expressed. There would be nothing worse than turning misguided
people into underground heroes.

The silver lining is, I hope, that even long, circular and unresolved
discussions are revealing how the "players" think and are educating people
on facts and methodologies. People who start off with radical positions will
rarely change their view, but I think there is a "silent majority" out there
who has been learning a few useful things.

A suggestion I have is, perhaps, to be a bit more proactive in getting issues
to the fore, so that new interesting issues get to be discussed instead of
being compelled to react to the old ones again and again. Sometimes the best
way to eradicate weeds is to plant a lot of "good stuff" around!

Now, to your offer. I am truly deeply honored that you would invite me to
work with people such as yourselves and the present members of the board!
With the caveat that, at this point, coming by travel money would be a
hardship for me, I would be thrilled to contribute to your endeavor. It
would eventually kill my "neutrality" but what the heck..

Fortunately a lot can be done nowadays with email, faxes etc. and I am
well equipped for long distance collaboration both in my office and at
home, so, let me know what you have in mind!

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