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You Will Become a Superb Mechanic DR. WALLACE: Our son applied to attend Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and he is extremely disappointed that they did not accept him as a student. He is now saying that he doesn't want to attend any college or university and wants to …Read more. Our Father Is a Special Human Being DR. WALLACE: My father smokes over two packs of cigarettes a day. I love him more than any human being on earth. He's a single parent and is doing a superb job of raising me (I'm 16) and my younger sister (she's 13) and my younger brother (he's 9). …Read more. Living Together Is a Cop-Out DR. WALLACE: After reading your column about the guy who was confused about his live-in girlfriend's lack of desire to get married, I felt I had to write. These two had graduated from high school, but the girl didn't want to marry right away, so …Read more. Bid Him and His Father "Adieu!" DR. WALLACE: I've been dating this guy for about two months. He always picks me up at my house, so he has met my parents many times. Last night after he picked me up, we drove by his house because he forgot his wallet, which contained his driver's …Read more.
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One of My Students Stutters


DR. WALLACE: I teach high school speech and English. One of my speech students has a severe stuttering problem. I would really like to help him overcome this handicap. I have gathered some useful information, but I was told by my principal to contact you because he remembers reading about stuttering in your column. Is it possible that you might enlighten me on this subject? —Teacher, St. Louis, Mo.

TEACHER: Most of my information on stuttering comes from the Stuttering Foundation of America. This wonderful non-profit organization has an abundance of reference materials to help friends, parents and teachers with those who stutter. The following are recommendations they offer when working with someone who stutters:

—Refrain from making remarks like "Slow down," "Take a breath" or "Relax." Such simplistic advice can be perceived as demeaning and is never helpful.

—Maintain natural eye contact and try not to look embarrassed or shocked. Just wait patiently until the person is finished. You will be tempted to finish sentences or fill in words. Try not to do this. (You can relate to this one).

—Use a relatively slow, relaxed rate in your own conversational speech, but not so slow as to sound unnatural.

—Let the person know by your manner and actions that you are listening to what he or she says, not how they say it.

—Be aware that those who stutter usually have more trouble controlling their speech while on the telephone. Please be extra patient in this situation. If the phone rings and you hear nothing when you answer, make sure before you hang up that it's not a person who stutters trying to initiate conversation.

Please contact the Stuttering Foundation at the toll-free telephone number 1-800-992-9392, or email at Write to them at P.O.

Box11749, Memphis, TN 38111-0749.


DR. WALLACE: I will be graduating from high school in a few months with high honors. My parents want to buy me a car for my graduation gift. They said they will spend $15,000 for it. Both of my parents are lawyers, so they can afford it.

I would rather have a $5,000 computer system, a $5,000 car and $5,000 in a bank savings account. They insist that I should get the $15,000 car because they don't want me to have a lot of car problems. What do you think I should settle for? —Shelby, Philadelphia, Pa.

SHELBY: If you shop around, it's possible to get a decent automobile for $5,000. I prefer your 5-5-5 plan. You are a very fortunate young lady. I wish all the teens in the world had a similar problem.


DR. WALLACE: I have never been able to lean down and touch my toes without bending my knees. This sounds silly, but I'm beginning to wonder if I have a disease. Is it possible? Can you touch your toes with straight legs? —Teri, Columbus, Ind.

TERI: It's possible to have a disease, but I don't think so. I'd safely say that there are many people who cannot touch their toes without bending their legs, possibly because they are overweight, or they have very long legs. I gave it a try, and I couldn't touch my toes with straight legs — but my wife can!

Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at



4 Comments | Post Comment
$5,000 in the bank will pay for a lot of car repairs. Do your homework, and you should be able to get a reliable car for $5,000. (Hint: starts with "Hon" and I have no affiliation with them). But I wonder why anyone, even a filmmaker or serious gamer, really needs a $5,000 computer.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Carla
Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:55 AM
Oh - and learn to fix your own car and make emergency repairs. Any able-bodied person can. I did.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Carla
Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:57 AM
Re: Carla (#2)

Good advice if 1. The LW is mechanically inclined; 2. The car he/she is purchasing was made prior to the early 1990s. Otherwise, even attempting to make "emergency repairs" can turn into a ruined car. The car engines of cars made in the past 20 years or so are so complex, have computerized parts, etc. and can be ruined by an amateur.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Bobaloo
Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:02 PM
Re: Carla (#1)

The statement "But I wonder why anyone, even a filmmaker or serious gamer, really needs a $5,000 computer." It depends on what field the LW is going into. If he/she is going into computer programming, or even filmmaking (the field you scoff at), then given all the equipment needed ... yes, a $5,000 computer would be a very excellent buy.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Bobaloo
Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:04 PM
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