What I have learned (so far):
1. Reality always has the last word. (However one's perception of reality may be filtered through one's prejudices, judgements and hopes.)
2. I'm a clinician, not a magician. You can
modify your accent but you probably
won't completely lose it. Unintelligible speech can transform to "listener friendly" and a mild, listener friendly accent can move closer to standard English if you work on "linking," intonation and prosody
3. We (all of us) have to start from where we are. The question I have always tried to answer with the wide variety of tests and observations I've used over these 50 years (starting with nonverbal three-year-olds) is, "Where is this person in his or her ability to communicate?"
4. We (all of us) need each other and can help and learn from each other.
5. We have all heard the expression, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."
I have learned that "When the teacher is ready, the clients will appear."
6. "P" is an important initial as in: Positive attitude and patient, persistent practice. "Practice" is an active verb. Speech habits change slowly over time WITH practice.
7. We (all of us) are NEVER too old to learn, grow and change.