Words of Advice from Past HCRI Clients to Incoming Stuttering Therapy Participants

Following are insights provided by stuttering therapy clients who completed their 12-day intensive treatment at Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI – stuttering.org) in Roanoke, Virginia.

HCRI therapy adviceAt the end of their HCRI therapy program, clients were asked to write a few words of advice for individuals who are preparing to come to the national stuttering therapy center. Here’s what they shared.

Advice from Past Clients

“Leave the past behind. We all have a new life in front of us. We all have the ability to move forward. This is going to change your life forever. No one is worth it more than you. Believe in the program and in yourself, this will lead to a lifetime of success.”

“We may not choose to stutter but we choose to be fluent. Realize the choice and invest in yourself.”

“Take these 12 days to disconnect from the rest of your life and focus on the one aspect that has troubled you for so long. It will take 100% of your effort but… you are one step closer to commanding your fluency.”

“We didn’t say it was going to be easy. We said it’s going to be worth it.”

“You have already made the effort to change your life by coming [to HCRI], that right there shows so much in yourself. Don’t give up you can change your life.”

“The journey to fluency may not be easy but there is light at the end of the tunnel. That light is called fluency!”

“Focus on where you are now going, the possibilities ahead of you, not where you have been.”

“This can be a turning point in your life. For me I know it will be because I will practice as much as the clinicians tell me. If you make the same wise choice, you will be limitless.”

“This program works, I know. I was once where you are. I beat stuttering and here’s what it takes: Practice – Patience – Perseverance – Payoff!”

About HCRI Stuttering Therapy

HCRI’s program is a science-based, immersion therapy that teaches individuals  how to control stuttering by replacing faulty muscle movements that give rise to stuttering with new muscle behaviors that generate fluent speech.

For 12 days, therapy participants work in a small group setting and are guided by specially trained clinicians who teach skills that help individuals overcome stuttering and speak fluently. HCRI’s therapy technology is used in the treatment process to help individuals acquire fluency with greater ease and precision. Therapy takes place in the clinical environment, as well as in real-world settings.

By the end of 12 days, research demonstrates that 93 percent of participants achieve fluent speech. Follow-up studies reveal that 70 to 75 percent of clients maintain their fluency skills when evaluated one and two years post therapy.

Watch before-and-after therapy videos >>

To learn more about HCRI’s  stuttering therapy approach, send an email or call us at 855-236-7032.  

To begin your journey to fluency with HCRI, complete a therapy application.  Then, a member of HCRI’s team will reach out to discuss next steps and schedule your therapy session. 

 

Why HCRI for Stuttering Therapy?

Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D.
Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D.

This article by Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D., president of Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI), discusses why individuals who stutter turn to HCRI to treat their speech condition and achieve fluency.

Most of our clients are weary of stuttering when they first reach out to HCRI for help. They are tired of the frustrations, the uncertainties about the impact their stuttering has on others – and for many, the persistent lack of success they have experienced with previous therapies. They are just normal people who sometimes have trouble speaking. And, by the completion of our 12-day stuttering therapy, they became normal people who can speak fluently and spontaneously.

HCRI offers a better than 90% chance that new clients will achieve fluent speech by the end of our 12-day program. And, at one- and two-years post HCRI, 70% and 75% respectively are retaining normal fluency. Just as importantly, they experience normal reactions to everyday speaking situations.

Focus on Therapy Excellence

At our Virginia-based center, we developed and administer our stuttering treatment program called Hollins Fluency System III: High Definition Speech Reconstruction for Stuttering. We have learned that for a person to be successful in learning and locking in the behavioral details that actively generate fluent speech, it takes a close-up and personal form of instruction. It also takes an intensive therapy schedule to accomplish the training goals for our program.

We constantly study our program structure, the instruction sets, the electronic components of our system, and the clinician instructions and interactions with our clients. If we find weaknesses in performance within any component of our system, we isolate it, study it, and make corrections. When we discover opportunities that elevate the therapy experience and outcomes, we make enhancements. Our focus is to continually strengthen our therapy for the benefit of the clients we serve.

Our program is validated by the positive results obtained with literally thousands of persons who stutter. We believe that our therapy offers each person who demonstrates developmental stuttering a solid opportunity to become a fluent speaker. After all, we know from direct experience that most individuals who come to HCRI have the motivation and willingness to learn that make them successful within and beyond our program.

Comprehensive Post-Therapy Support

HCRI provides an excellent, multi-faceted package of post-therapy support for each participant. While most program graduates do not require additional help, some benefit from taking advantage of our offerings. For example, there are clinical contacts offered on an as needed basis. We also offer support group participation for persons who benefit from practicing their fluency skills with each other.

We provide each therapy graduate with FluencyNet, a computer-based speech monitoring system for use on their home computer. FluencyNet helps habituate fluency skills taught during therapy by providing users with real-time measurements of speech utterances and immediate, accurate feedback that guides client practice of correct responses. HCRI’s Voice Monitor app for the iPhone puts a “clinician in your pocket” that can be used by clients anywhere to evaluate and practice their fluency skills.

Unmatched Quality and Sophistication

We are not aware of another treatment for stuttering, anywhere in the world, that operates at the levels demonstrated by HCRI’s program. Our clinicians work each year with more persons who stutter than most clinicians are likely to see in a professional lifetime.

For a direct path to improving both your fluency and the quality of your personal life, HCRI provides a comprehensive and successful treatment for stuttering that is:

(1) Delivered within a fixed time frame;
(2) Provided with a known cost; and,
(3) Presented with a known probability of both short-term and long-term positive results.

We provide a unique, comprehensive system for bringing robust, fluent speech to individuals who stutter. We have extensive data that validates the effectiveness of our treatment for stuttering. We can say, with critical accuracy, that we have learned a few important facts about stuttering – and we have assembled them in a solid manner to help people improve the realization of their personal potential through fluent speech.

HCRI Therapy Impact 

The work we do each and every day is designed to achieve the ultimate objective of improving lives through fluency. A recent client survey revealed the following.

  • 96% said our therapy program was worthwhile to them.
  • 79% said their personal happiness and satisfaction increased post therapy.
  • 69% said they improved their social life and relationships after their HCRI experience.
  • 84% reported increased confidence after participating in HCRI stuttering therapy.
  • 78% said HCRI therapy participation helped enhance their quality of life.

Your Choice, Your Future  

If you believe that you can find a more objective and effective treatment for your stuttering, then we recommend you take it. In fact, we encourage individuals to compare therapy programs side-by-side. If you recognize that HCRI offers an important set of advantages, we invite you to come to the institute, do the work, and generate a better quality to your life through fluency.

We always welcome inquiries and questions. We talk with persons who stutter every day and encourage you to reach out at 855-236-7032 or info@stuttering.org. If you would like to submit an application for our therapy program, please click here: Apply to HCRI.

HCRI is located at 7851 Enon Drive in Roanoke, Virginia. All therapy is adminstered in Roanoke at our national center.

6 Reasons to Choose HCRI Stuttering Therapy

6 Reasons to Choose HCRIIf you are looking for an effective stuttering therapy where you will acquire lifelong skills to speak confidently and fluently, we invite you to learn more about Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI).

Here are six reasons to choose HCRI’s 12-day stuttering therapy program.

1. UNMATCHED EXPERIENCE
We’ve treated thousands who stutter with our award-winning, science-based therapy. We know precisely what works and what doesn’t when it comes to helping you achieve lasting fluency.

2. PROVEN RESULTS
HCRI therapy has proven, documented fluency outcomes. That means you know your probability of success before therapy: 93% achieve fluent speech in 12 days and 75% retain fluency after two years.

3. WORLD-CLASS CLINICIANS
Our clinicians are the only speech professionals in the world who complete a rigorous, 500-hour training before administering HCRI therapy. That means you benefit from the highest standards of clinical excellence to maximize your fluency results.

4. LIFETIME OF SUPPORT
We are your partner in fluency for life. After your therapy, you benefit from a lifetime of personalized clinical support and practice tools to help you maintain your fluency.

5. REMARKABLE VALUE
At HCRI, you receive 100 hours of therapy for a cost that is about half that of traditional speech therapies. In addition, your path to fluency takes just 12 days.

6. ENHANCED CAREER POTENTIAL
After participating in HCRI therapy, the majority of clients say they were able to advance their careers and earnings.

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More than 6,500 people from across the U.S. and 50 countries have come to HCRI for stuttering treatment. Clients represent all walks of life and include teachers, business professionals, athletes, broadcasters, engineers, musicians, students, doctors, military personnel, police officers, actors, a Supreme Court nominee, and even royalty.  

Founded by Ronald L Webster, Ph.D. in 1972, Virginia-based HCRI is an international leader in stuttering research and the development of scientifically derived therapy approaches.

For information about the one-of-a-kind, behavioral therapy offered at HCRI, visit www.stuttering.org and/or contact us by email or phone at 855-236-7032.

 

The Cost of Your Stuttering vs. the Cost of Stuttering Therapy at HCRI

Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D.
Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D.

In this article, Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D., president of Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI), offers a quantitative perspective to help individuals evaluate the cost that stuttering imposes on people’s lives compared to the cost of attending HCRI’s 12-day stuttering therapy program. 

HCRI’s immersion therapy is a powerful, proven behavioral based treatment that works across stuttering types and severities. During therapy, participants systematically learn how to replace the distorted contractions and movements that give rise to stuttering with new speech-muscle behaviors that generate fluent speech.

Looking at the Numbers: Is HCRI Stuttering Therapy Worth the Investment?

It has been estimated that individuals who stutter, compared with those who do not stutter, are likely to earn approximately $7,000 to $8,000 less per year. The simple fact is that stuttering is generally viewed as a negative in the world of work. Typical business hiring practices and promotion policies do not provide accommodations for persons who stutter.

Cost of Stuttering1

Over the course of a working lifetime of 45 years, the anticipated personal earnings of the person who stutterers is approximately $335,000 less than for a person who does not stutter. That represents slightly over one third of a million dollars of lost earnings. And, in a significant number of potential high achievers, the lost earnings could be much higher.

Now, contrast that number of lost wages with the cost of stuttering therapy at HCRI, with its high probability of a successful, fluent outcome. The present HCRI stuttering therapy fee of $4,285 provides an intensive 12-day program involving 100 hours of direct treatment. That means that the actual cost of this program is under $43 per clock (60-minute) hour. Contrast that with other therapies that may well be $80 to $120 per 45- to 50-minute clinical hour. The lifetime cost of HCRI stuttering therapy comes to 1.8 cents per day.

Your Return on Investment with HCRI

Considering the potential of lost wages over a working lifetime, the investment in HCRI stuttering therapy delivers impressive returns.

Cost of Stuttering2The therapy-fee investment of $4,285 can help individuals reach their full potential through fluency and realize the above noted $335,000 in estimated earnings that would otherwise be lost.

Therefore, the return on investment of your therapy fees has the potential to be a meaningful 77 to 1 over a career.

Beyond the Money

You may also wish to learn that 78% of program graduates surveyed indicated they had increased their quality of life after participating in HCRI therapy.  In the same survey, 79% said their personal happiness and satisfaction increased and 84% reported greater confidence after participation.

There are genuine personal and economic factors to be considered when you are selecting a stuttering treatment program. Our program at HCRI provides exceptional value to our clients.

Proven Results

Research demonstrates that 93% of HCRI stuttering therapy participants achieve fluent speech by the end of their 12-day program. When evaluated one and two years after therapy, 70 to 75% maintain their ability to speak fluently. These numbers represents among the highest documented outcomes of any stuttering therapy.

Therefore, there is a strong likelihood of success with HCRI stuttering therapy. Your commitment to the therapy process at HCRI plays a key role in your outcomes, as well.

We invite you to learn more about our approach to stuttering therapy and how our science-based treatment can benefit you. For more information, contact us at 855-236-7032 or via email. Our website at www.stuttering.org also offers extensive information on our program and what you can expect.

HCRI Alumni: Do you need to get your fluency skills back on track?

Join us for an HCRI Alumni Refresher or Target Tune-up before the end of 2018

HCRI Stuttering Therapy Headquarters
HCRI headquarters is in Roanoke, Virginia.

If you want to work on your fluency skills and build speaking confidence before the end of the year, we encourage you to participate in one of our upcoming Alumni Refresher or Target Tune-up programs. You will find these HCRI alumni programs productive and beneficial.

Alumni Refresher
October 22-26 or December 10-14

During this five-day refresher, you will join other HCRI alumni and engage in an in-depth review of the fluency skills taught during the institute’s 12-day stuttering therapy. Led by HCRI’s skilled clinicians, this program is designed to help you recapture the ability to control your stuttering and speak fluently in everyday situations.

Target Tune-up
December 17-19

HCRI’s Target Tune-up runs two and a half days and focuses on finessing target production to optimize your fluency. You will work on your speech in HCRI’s small group setting and benefit from one-on-one clinician support.

There are a limited number of spots for these program dates. Therefore, please contact us right away if you are interested in participating.

Next Steps

Holly Humphreys
HCRI Clinical Supervisor Holly Humphreys

To determine which alumni program is best suited to your needs, contact Clinical Supervisor Holly Humphreys at 540-265-5659 or holly@stuttering.org.

Holly will also assist you with registration and answer any questions you have. We look forward to welcoming you back to HCRI.

If you have not attended HCRI stuttering therapy and would like to learn more, please contact us at 855-236-7032 or info@stuttering.org.  We also encourage you to visit us at www.stuttering.org to learn about our science-based approach to stuttering therapy, see therapy outcomes, and watch before-and-after videos.

Ambition and Hard Work Enabled Sean Griffin to Achieve Fluency – and Land his Dream Job

Sean Griffin of Princeton, New Jersey had his sights on a career in broadcast journalism when he entered Rutgers University four years ago. To help accomplish his career ambition, he double majored in journalism and sports management.

Adding practical experience to his studies, he volunteered as a play-by-play sports announcer for the university’s radio station, as well as served as an intern for a nationally syndicated morning news show and at SiriusXM.

Sean Griffin
Sean Griffin

Through steadfast motivation and hard work, Sean was on his way to attaining his goal. There was only one thing that stood in his way. His stuttering. Sean characterized his stuttering as a mild-to-moderate condition.

To proactively address his stuttering and prepare for his future career, Sean enrolled in two different speech therapy programs while at college. He experienced some improvement in his fluency after each; yet, the results were not lasting.

Then he learned about Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI) and the center’s unique approach to stuttering treatment. HCRI’s 12-day immersion therapy utilizes science and principles of learning to help individuals who stutter acquire skills to control stuttering and speak fluently.

According to HCRI President Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D., “HCRI’s therapy approach is systematic and rigorous. Our specially trained clinicians teach participants step-by-step how to retrain their speech muscles to produce sustained fluent speech.”

Sean found his experience with HCRI stuttering therapy to be challenging, yet rewarding. “I went into the program with the attitude of giving it my all,” he said. “I found the therapy to be intense, but extremely effective.”

What was unexpected for Sean was the welcoming atmosphere at HCRI and all the relationships he made. In addition to connections with HCRI clinicians that continue today, he noted the benefit of getting to know other program participants.

“Meeting other people who stutter gave me a sense of comfort and reinforcement because they were experiencing the same issues as me. I wasn’t alone,” he said.

Sean added, “Since my therapy six months ago, I have become more confident in myself and my speaking abilities. I continue to practice the fluency skills I learned and check in with my clinician regularly.”

Ongoing clinician contact and post-therapy practice are important elements of the HCRI experience. They help clients habituate fluency skills learned during therapy. HCRI provides clients with a comprehensive package of practice tools and support once they complete their 12-day program. This kit includes fluency-practice software, therapy manuals, and a proprietary mobile app that help keep fluency skills on track.

“Finding HCRI has been a true blessing for me. I’ve learned how to manage my stuttering and that has helped me move forward in life,” he added

Since graduating from Rutgers and attending HCRI, Sean started a new chapter in his life. He landed a new job after an extensive interview process that involved face-to-face meetings and testing. He is now working for ABC News as a producer, fulfilling his career goal to work in broadcast journalism.

About HCRI

HCRI was founded by Ronald L Webster, Ph.D. in 1972 to investigate stuttering through scientific discovery and treatment innovation. Virginia-based HCRI, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, has become an international leader in stuttering research and the development of scientifically derived therapy approaches.

More than 6,500 people from across the U.S. and 50 countries have come to HCRI to achieve fluency. Clients come from all walks of life and include teachers, business professionals, athletes, broadcasters, engineers, musicians, students, doctors, military personnel, police officers, actors, a Supreme Court nominee, and even royalty.

HCRI is located at 7851 Enon Drive, Roanoke, Va. 24019. For more information, visit www.stuttering.org or contact HCRI at 855-236-7032.

Stuttering Therapy Questions and Answers with HCRI President Dr. Ron Webster

At Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI), we always welcome calls and emails from individuals who stutter and look forward to answering questions about our 12-day stuttering therapy program. To help those who want to learn more about our treatment, we also offer extensive information online at stuttering.org and provide helpful information packets on request.

Our team has compiled a list of HCRI Frequently Asked Questions that we include in our nonprofit center’s materials and on our website. Recently, HCRI President Dr. Ron Webster was asked some additional questions we felt were important to share. Following are those questions and Dr. Webster’s responses.

Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D.
Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D.

Question: 

Is your proprietary stuttering therapy program offered only in Roanoke, Virginia?

Dr. Webster’s Answer: 

Yes, our 12-day treatment program is administered only in Roanoke. Why? HCRI’s facility is designed for the specific purpose of administering stuttering therapy, researching the condition, and developing treatment innovations. Our building is equipped with customized electronics and therapy technology that facilitate the learning of lasting fluency skills. In addition, our treatment tools and protocols enable our team to constantly monitor therapy procedures to always deliver the highest standards of clinical excellence.

In addition to administering our therapy program, HCRI’s expert clinicians continuously evaluate the details and effectiveness of our methods. Constant scrutiny of our work is a necessary component of keeping quality standards where we think they have to be to deliver powerful, effective stuttering therapy. At HCRI, you can count on benefiting from our focused approach to your therapy. You can be assured that the quality of your experience at HCRI will be worthwhile for you.

Question:

Is your HCRI stuttering therapy available on the web?

Dr. Webster’s Answer:

Could we conduct our program via the internet? Yes, but we don’t – and for good reason. Our work on distance therapy has shown that, at the present time, we cannot meet the same standards of excellence that are met when clients come to HCRI. There are too many variables at work that compromise the quality of fluency training.

If you wish to receive our highest standards of therapy delivery, you will travel to Roanoke. We will not offer convenience in place of quality. In addition, when you attend therapy here, you will receive careful, direct attention from our clinicians that guides the quality of your training in ways that are unique to your learning style. You will benefit maximally from the powerful experience of being here.

Our therapy program involves 100 hours of instruction and guided practice of fluency skills, skill sequences, and error recognition and correction. Your speech is complex. It takes time and precision learning to change the detailed way in which you understand your speech, alter small details of speech-muscle activity, and use fluency skills in your daily life. One hundred hours is the minimum time that we have found to be effective for most of our clients. There appears to be no good shortcuts to this proposition.

Question:

Is HCRI stuttering therapy a good value for me?

Dr. Webster’s Answer:

If you look at the cost of therapy, which totals $4,250, there is no argument that a significant amount of money is involved. However, if you look at the cost related to the number of therapy hours you receive with HCRI, then our therapy cost comes in at $42.50 per hour.

In contrast, many therapists charge $90 per clinical hour (a 50-minute period). If it takes you 100 clinical hours of such treatment, you will need to pay roughly $9,000. And, you likely never received upfront information about the success rates of such therapies.

When you consider HCRI’s fluency outcomes, then our program is likely to be more effective and cost less than most therapies available today.  An old physician friend once said to me, “The most expensive medicine is that which does not work.” You might wish to think about that idea as you consider selecting a therapy for yourself.

HCRI stuttering therapy has a record of producing excellent fluency results for most of our clients. Research shows that 93 percent achieve fluent speech by the end of their 12-day program. Seventy to 75 percent of clients maintain fluency when evaluated one and two years post therapy.

As one of our clients said, “In fact, the HCRI stuttering therapy program is not expensive – in my view, it is priceless!” We think that says it all.

Question:

Does HCRI offer any follow-up assistance in the event I need it?

Dr. Webster’s Answer:

Yes, our post-therapy support is comprehensive. Yet, most of our clients report that they do not need continuing follow-up treatment to retain their fluency. The reason for this is that HCRI stuttering therapy relies on new ways to train speech-motor skills that use the correct application of fundamental principles of learning. Our research results demonstrate that our clients learn robust fluency skillsnot fragile fluency skills that breakdown soon after therapy is completed.

For those who want additional assistance after their therapy program, we provide direct clinical instruction via telephone or computer video conferencing. Often, a quick clinical insight from one of our clinicians puts a client back on track.

Every client receives a take-home package that includes HCRI’s fluency-practice software, therapy manuals, and the use of our proprietary app that help keep fluency skills on track. We host refresher programs and an annual retreat for our clients.  In addition, alumni-led practice groups via phone are available year round. At HCRI, we are your partner in fluency for life.

If you have additional questions about our nonprofit center or HCRI’s science-based approach to stuttering therapy, please contact us at 855-236-7032 or info@stuttering.org.

Click here for more Frequently Asked Questions >>

HCRI Announces New Staff Clinicians

Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI – www.stuttering.org), a national center for stuttering research and treatment innovation, welcomes two new clinical team members: Amy Finch and Kristin Stanley. Both professionals bring to HCRI excellent behavioral therapy experience and a passion for helping individuals overcome challenges.

Kristin and Amy have just completed HCRI’s rigorous 500-hour training that certifies them to administer the nonprofit center’s advanced stuttering therapy program. Certification is required of all HCRI clinicians to ensure clients benefit from consistent, precise delivery of HCRI therapy and the highest standards of clinical excellence.

As staff clinicians, Kristin and Amy join current clinical team members Holly Humphreys, Candy Smith and Courtney Stackhouse to serve HCRI alumni and new therapy participants.

Meet Amy Finch

Amy FinchAmy Finch came to HCRI after extensive experience serving as a clinician and director of human resources for a private mental health facility in Virginia. She is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University.

Amy was drawn to HCRI because of the dramatic impact that the therapy has on the lives of clients. She says it is so rewarding to see the smiles on clients’ faces when they leave the program speaking fluently.

In her free time, Amy spends time with her husband and son enjoying the array of outdoor activities that the Roanoke Valley offers.

Meet Kristin Stanley

Kristin Stanley

Before joining the HCRI team, Kristin Stanley worked as a psychiatric case manager at Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare. Her experience also includes serving as a social worker for a senior living facility.

Kristin graduated from Johnson University with a bachelor’s degree in counseling. She has a gift for encouraging people to achieve their goals, which she has applied throughout her career.

Kristin says the best part of her job at HCRI is watching the incredible transformation that takes place when clients achieve fluency and gain confidence with their speech. In her spare time, Kristin enjoys traveling and painting.

About HCRI

HCRI was founded by Ronald L Webster, Ph.D. in 1972 to investigate stuttering through scientific discovery and treatment innovation. Virginia-based HCRI, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, has become an international leader in stuttering research and the development of scientifically derived therapy approaches.

More than 6,500 people from across the U.S. and 50 countries have come to HCRI for stuttering treatment. Clients come from all walks of life and include teachers, business professionals, athletes, broadcasters, engineers, musicians, students, doctors, military personnel, police officers, actors, a Supreme Court nominee, and even royalty.

HCRI is located at 7851 Enon Drive, Roanoke, Va. 24019. For more information, visit www.stuttering.org or contact HCRI at 855-236-7032.

Learning from Nature and Science to Address Stuttered Speech

Creating effective stuttering therapy involves understanding specific events in nature that give rise to stuttering – and then developing a solution through science to address the problem.

HCRI President Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D.
HCRI President Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D.

The one-of-a-kind stuttering therapy at Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI – www.stuttering.org) is grounded in science and successful with thousands of stuttering cases at all levels of severity.

The therapy was invented by HCRI President Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D. and his research team who demonstrated that characteristics of stuttering are produced by misbehaving contractions within the muscles of the tongue, lips, jaw, and vocal folds. The result is that the speech organs during stuttering incorrectly move into positions that are not correct for the intended sounds.

This discovery dispelled long-standing assumptions that stuttered speech is derived from emotional or mental issues. Dr. Webster’s findings changed the way stuttering is viewed and needs to be treated. His research led to defining specific behavioral patterns that occur naturally in fluent speakers. Correct use of these patterns replaces the distorted contractions and movements that produce stuttered speech.

These muscle-movement patterns are called “targets.” Targets include clearly specified speech behaviors and feature permissible ranges of variation. Science shows that targets can be readily learned and retained with the right type of therapy. HCRI’s experience treating more than 6,500 individuals who stutter demonstrates that proper training and use of targets yields fluency in 93 percent of cases.

During a recent presentation at HCRI’s annual retreat, Dr. Webster explained the foundation of the institute’s comprehensive stuttering therapy system, which delivers among the highest documented fluency outcomes of any speech therapy. He shared that it is the job of science to:

  • Create methods that help us understand nature
  • Describe essential features of events in nature
  • Define causal relations between and among events in nature

“The good thing about science is that it is true, whether or not you believe in it,” Dr. Webster explained. “When considering the problem of stuttering, the events that happen are also true, whether or not you believe in it.”

Targets learned in HCRI’s 12-day stuttering therapy program are based on what nature has taught us. They are real and they work if done correctly and consistently when speaking, according to Dr. Webster.

HCRI’s comprehensive therapy system involves detailed instruction, practice and support on the use of targets to help individuals who stutter become fluent speakers. The nonprofit center’s therapy program includes:

  • One-on-one guidance by specially trained HCRI clinicians who teach participants how to produce targets when they speak
  • Use of computers in therapy to measure target production and help participants lock in fluency skills
  • Fluency training in the clinical setting and in real-world environments
  • Extensive post-therapy support that includes HCRI’s FluencyNet practice software, a mobile app, program materials, access to fluency practice groups, and HCRI events
  • Clinician follow up after therapy through phone contact and emails

Dr. Webster shares that we all are creatures of nature and our bodies obey natural laws. “Individuals stutter because a physical mechanism within their body forces speech muscles to contract in usual ways. The vocal tract is forced into positions that are not right for sounds that need to be produced,“ he said.

At the same time, Dr. Webster emphasizes that, because of the laws of nature, speech-muscle activities can be reconstructed and retained. Vocal tract shapes and shape changes can be normalized. When therapy participants apply precise standards of performance to targets when they speak, reliable production of fluent speech can be achieved.  Then, a world of new possibilities becomes a reality through fluency.

To learn more about HCRI’s approach to overcoming stuttered speechs using the laws nature and principles of science, click here: HCRI Stuttering Therapy.

About HCRI

HCRI was founded by Ronald L Webster, Ph.D. in 1972 to investigate stuttering through scientific discovery and treatment innovation. Virginia-based HCRI, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, has become an international leader in stuttering research and the development of scientifically derived therapy approaches.

More than 6,500 people from across the U.S. and 50 countries have come to HCRI for stuttering treatment. Clients come from all walks of life and include teachers, business professionals, athletes, broadcasters, engineers, musicians, students, doctors, military personnel, police officers, actors, a Supreme Court nominee, and even royalty.

HCRI is located at 7851 Enon Drive, Roanoke, Va. 24019. For more information, visit www.stuttering.org or contact HCRI at 855-236-7032.

HCRI Stuttering Therapy: A Mother’s Experience

Annette Tepper of Birmingham, Michigan began stuttering when she was six years old. Her speech condition was not pronounced; yet, it inhibited her from speaking up in class and feeling comfortable with herself. She always worried that she would stutter when she spoke.

As she progressed through her education and grew into adulthood, Annette was able to manage her stuttering in most circumstances. Yet, she remained concerned about her speech and how stuttering can hinder an individual’s potential in life – professionally and socially.

mother and sonAnnette went on to marry and have a successful career as an engineer at Ford Motor Company. When she and her husband started their family, Annette watched for signs of stuttering with their two young children. She read that stuttering, in some cases, may have a genetic predisposition.

When her older child, Stephen, reached the age of six, he began to stutter. It was the same age that she started stuttering. Yet, unlike Annette’s mild case of stuttering, Stephen’s condition was severe.

The Teppers enrolled Stephen in speech therapy at school to help treat his stuttering. When that didn’t work, they took their son to private-practice speech therapists in the years that followed.

“There was some improvement with one of the therapists Stephen saw, but the results were not lasting. So Stephen moved forward with his young life, surrounded by accepting friends and supportive teachers,” Annette said. The Teppers continually encouraged their son and did everything possible to build his confidence so his speech would not get in the way of his aspirations.

When he entered his teens, Stephen became more self-conscious about his speech. He was ready to try a new type of therapy offered by Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI). Annette learned about HCRI early in her career when she was investigating therapies for herself. The Virginia-based nonprofit center is recognized for its groundbreaking work in stuttering research and therapy innovation.

HCRI’s stuttering therapy is an intensive, 12-day behavioral program, which is designed for teens and adults who stutter. Invented by HCRI President Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D. and his research team, the therapy teaches individuals who stutter how to control misbehaving muscles that give rise to stuttering. At the same time, they learn new ways to use speech muscles to generate fluent speech at will.

“HCRI stuttering therapy is powerful and practical. Individuals receive one-on-one instruction by specially trained clinicians who guide them through each step of our fluency program.” Webster explained. “Participants also utilize our advanced technology and a proprietary mobile app that make fluency acquisition easier and exacting.”

Stuttering treatment takes place in HCRI’s clinical setting, as well as in real-world environments. When participants return home, they are provided with a comprehensive package of post-therapy support and practice tools to help maintain fluency.

Stephen worked hard throughout his 12-day program and was dedicated to the therapy process. According to Annette, by the end of treatment, Stephen’s speech had transformed from stuttering 90 percent of the time to speaking fluently 90 percent of the time.

When Stephen returned home, he practiced his newfound fluency skills each day. HCRI clinicians emphasize the importance of practice after therapy to habituate speech-muscle movements that generate fluency.

Two years later, as Stephen prepared for college, he asked to return to HCRI for two days to hone his fluency. With ambitions to study for a career in politics and public speaking, he wanted to ensure his speech was perfected for his future.

“As a parent, it feels so good to know Stephen has the tools to manage his stuttering and has achieved a high level of fluency. HCRI was the right decision for Stephen and I highly recommend it,” Annette said.

More than 6,500 people from across the U.S. and 50 countries have come to HCRI for stuttering treatment. Clients include many students like Stephen, as well as individuals from all walks of life, including television journalists, business professionals, teachers, engineers, doctors, military personnel, police officers, actors, a supreme court nominee, and even royalty.

HCRI is located at 7851 Enon Drive in Roanoke, Virginia . For more information, visit www.stuttering.org or contact HCRI at 855-236-7032.