HCRI Stuttering Therapy on ABC Prime Time Show

AstronautWivesClub1

The finale of the ABC series Astronaut Wives Club gave viewers a dramatic summary of the evolving personal and professional journeys experienced by the seven wives of the Mercury astronauts. The setting took place during a crucial era in U.S. history where the Cold War, gender attitudes and the country’s “space race” were intersecting. The show was based on the book by the same name, written by Lily Kopp

One of the wives showcased in the series was that of Annie Glenn, the impressive wife of astronaut and Senator John Glenn. Annie had a severe stutter and then came to Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI) for advanced stuttering therapy. She calls her experience at HCRI a life changer. As a result, Annie has been a long-time advocate of HCRI stuttering therapy and serves as a role model for people who stutter across the country.

Actress Azure Parsons played Annie. As each episode unfolded, Azure effectively depicted the multitude of communication challenges Annie faced because of her stuttering. In the season finale, Annie was interviewed and asked about the transformation of her speech. With eloquent, fluent speech, she attributed her ability to speak without stuttering to participating in the intensive stuttering therapy program at HCRI. As she has said many times in real life, on the show Annie’s character described her treatment as “life changing.”

At the end of the episode, Annie is shown speaking at a speech and hearing conference. She shared her personal experience going from stuttering to fluent speech – and advocated on behalf of people who stutter.  To watch the final episode, click here.

At HCRI, we are privileged to have helped Annie on her path to fluency. She and John are cherished friends and supporters of the Institute. We deeply appreciate all they have done to advance stuttering treatment and our mission to help people around the world achieve fluent speech.

For more information, contact HCRI by calling toll-free 855-236-7032 or sending an email.

12,000 Miles to Fluency

Eighteen-year-old “Riley” had difficulty talking and stuttered since his early childhood. He reached a time in his life when he wanted to tackle his stuttering once and for all. After evaluating all of his therapy options around the globe, Riley chose the 12-day stuttering therapy program at Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI – www.stuttering.org). HCRI’s physically based therapy approach and research-driven methodology resonated with him.

He contacted HCRI and enrolled in the program. Office manager Linda Booth and the HCRI team provided caring guidance, recommendations and information to Riley to help him fully prepare for his therapy and his trip. They took the time to answer all of his questions, shared what to expect during therapy, provided lodging options and travel advice, and made recommendations to help Riley feel comfortable and ready for his stuttering therapy session.

Traveling from faraway places to attend stuttering therapy at HCRI’s nonprofit center is not an unusual occurrence. In fact, over the past 40 years, teens and adults who stutter have come from 50 countries to participate in HCRI’s internationally recognized stuttering therapy program.

It came time for Riley to make the long journey from Australia to Roanoke, Virginia, where he would join nine others participating in the Institute’s stuttering therapy. His grandfather joined him on his lengthy trip and served as a support system when his therapy concluded each day.

At HCRI, he spent eight hours a day for 12 consecutive days working one-on-one with specially trained clinicians, practicing newly acquired speaking skills with other participants, and utilizing HCRI’s proprietary treatment technologies. Therapy took place in HCRI’s clinical setting, as well as in real-world environments. As each day passed, Riley’s speech continued to transform as his stuttering continued to diminish.

Riley worked intensively in therapy and successfully achieved fluent speech by the end of his treatment program. Following is a letter HCRI received from his grandfather, which was written two days before Riley’s therapy concluded.

Dear Linda,

We arrived from Australia two weeks ago. My grandson Riley has had a speech deficiency since he was a baby. Now he has almost completed his HCRI therapy program and is beginning to speak fluently.

We are “over the moon” with his progress. We believe his attendance at HCRI has been truly worth every mile of the twelve thousand miles we have travelled for his stuttering treatment. Riley is aware that, when he leaves your institute, he will need to continue to practice his targets and aim for habituation.

“Thanks a million” Linda for your care and assistance with this positive progress.

Yours sincerely,

Keith C.

HCRI clinicians have treated more than 6,300 people who stutter, aged 11 to 73. Clients include broadcasters, athletes, teachers, engineers, students, doctors, military personnel, business professionals, police officers, actors, paramedics, and other individuals from all walks of life. Before coming to HCRI, most program participants tried other therapies for stuttering without long-term success.

Research shows that 93 percent of HCRI participants achieve fluency in 12 days and 70 to 75 percent maintain fluent speech for the long term. For more therapy information, click here: HCRI’s Stuttering Therapy Approach or contact HCRI at 855-236-7032 or info@stuttering.org.

Advice for Incoming HCRI Stuttering Therapy Participants from Clients Completing Treatment

Following are insights provided by HCRI therapy program participants who just completed their 12-day intensive treatment program at the Institute’s treatment center in Roanoke, Virginia. Their advice is geared toward individuals who are just starting their fluency training at HCRI.

  • 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 1 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 down here, 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!
  • You have been given empirical evidence throughout the past 11 days that YOU CAN control your speech. 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 LIMITLESS.
  • This program works, I know. I was once where you are. I beat stuttering. Practice-Patience-Perseverance-Payoff!

For more about participation in HCRI stuttering therapy, click here: What to Expect from HCRI Stuttering Therapy>>.

Contact HCRI any time if you have questions or need more information.

Composer and Violinist Richard Sortomme Overcomes Stuttering for the First Time in His Life with HCRI Stuttering Therapy

Composer and violinist Richard Sortomme of Mount Vernon, New York has spent his career perfecting melodies and minute details of musical tone, balance and flow. His work has led to breathtaking performances of his compositions by symphony orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic and The Cleveland Orchestra, where he is working on his second commission that he says makes him the most grateful and fulfilled composer living today.

While his musical pieces move audiences and please critics with their inspiring sound, Sortomme struggles with a personal challenge related to sound – the ability to speak fluently. He is one of three million people in the U.S. and 66 million people worldwide who stutter.

According to the National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, stuttering occurs when syllables or words are repeated or prolonged, disrupting the normal flow of speech. Stuttering ranges in severity and varies in different circumstances. It often hampers educational and career aspirations, inhibits social growth, and serves as a constant barrier to effective communication in life.

Sortomme stuttered since his youth. Though, he did not let his speech hinder his musical aspirations into adulthood. In recent years, he noticed his stutter worsening. He was particularly concerned when asked to deliver remarks and field questions in front of large audiences before orchestra performances.

“Few things could be more rewarding than having the opportunity to speak about a piece of music I composed,” Sortomme said. “Yet, I experienced trepidation verging on fear swirling around these speaking events.”

Determined to achieve excellence in his speech as he does with his music, in May of 2014 Sortomme attended the stuttering therapy program at Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI – https://www.stuttering.org) in Roanoke, Virginia.

Created by stuttering expert and HCRI Founder Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D., HCRI stuttering therapy is an intensive, 12-day treatment that is grounded in science and continually refined, based on research with thousands of stuttering cases. The center’s clinicians utilize detailed behavioral therapy protocols and advanced technology to teach people how to replace abnormal muscle contractions that cause stuttering with specific, new muscle movements that generate fluent speech.

“Our early research revealed that stuttering is physical. The repetitions, prolongations and voice blockages that we label as stuttering are caused before a sound is ever spoken,” Webster explained. “While there is no cure, HCRI provides effective treatment by focusing where the problem occurs, which is at the muscular level.”

“I knew by the second day of stuttering treatment that the program would work, if I committed myself to what HCRI teaches,” Sortomme noted. He graduated from the therapy program with the ability to speak fluently. To sustain long-term results, he was advised by HCRI clinicians that he needed to practice his newly acquired fluency skills once he returned home.

Sortomme points out that HCRI stuttering therapy is not a quick fix or vaccination against stuttering. He emphasizes that a commitment to ongoing practice is essential for lasting fluency. HCRI provides all program participants with an extensive package of post-therapy tools and support, including unlimited phone and email contact with clinicians. Sortomme stays in regular contact with his clinician and rigorously practices his fluency skills every day.

His HCRI stuttering therapy and hard work yielded results. Only months after treatment, Sortomme served as host at the memorial service for his mentor and great American violinist, David Nadien, which was held at Lincoln Center in New York City. On stage, he spoke fluently and confidently.

“I manifested complete fluency at the memorial service, with none of the blockings or repetitions that plagued my speech for more than 50 years,” Sortomme said.

HCRI research demonstrates that 93% of therapy participants achieve fluency in 12 days and 70-75% maintain fluent speech when evaluated one and two years post treatment. More than 6,300 people from 50 countries have participated in HCRI stuttering therapy. Most program participants tried other stuttering treatments before coming to HCRI.

For Sortomme, the impact of his HCRI stuttering therapy extends beyond the ability to speak fluently for the first time in his life. He says the therapy helped reduce times of stress and he now feels more relaxed in his day-to-day interactions.

HCRI Stuttering Treatment Provides Unexpected Outcomes for Two Therapy Participants

ScottNatalie160From Stuttering to Fluency to Falling in Love

Nonprofit Hollins Communications Research Institute (www.stuttering.org ) has helped thousands of people who stutter acquire life-long fluency skills. Yet, the ability to overcome stuttering was only one of the positive outcomes for HCRI therapy participants Scott Morris of Roanoke, Virginia and Natalie Baren of Mountain Brook, Alabama.

In addition to the ability to speak fluently for the first time in their lives, participation in HCRI stuttering therapy enabled them to meet one another. They fell in love and are now engaged to be married.

“We are accustomed to seeing successful results from HCRI stuttering treatment. Yet, Scott and Natalie’s story is certainly extraordinary. Finding fluency and love; it doesn’t get any better than that. All of us at HCRI are thrilled for them,” said HCRI President Dr. Ron Webster.

Morris and Baren’s experience with stuttering and journey to fluency took different paths. For Morris, stuttering served as a “constant obstacle.” Throughout school and college, he was actively involved in student government, clubs, sports and volunteer organizations. Each time he had to speak in front of people, which was frequently, Morris spent an inordinate number of hours preparing to minimize his stuttering. The speech therapy he had at an early age did little to help.

The turning point for Morris came when he applied to medical school, which involved face-to-face interviews with three prestigious medical schools. His grades and test scores were exceptional. Yet, he was concerned about his stuttering and whether it could compromise his chances of acceptance. While, he was accepted by two of the three medical schools, Morris knew that he must address his stuttering or it would hold him back in the future.

He decided to attend the 12-day stuttering therapy program at HCRI. While therapy was hard work, it transformed his speech. To help stabilize Morris’s newly acquired fluency skills, HCRI provided post-therapy clinician support, fluency tools, and access to practice groups. It was through practice and attending an HCRI event that Morris met Baren.

“Ever since HCRI therapy, I’ve noticed continued, appreciable improvement in my speech. Now I confidently make presentations in front of groups. In addition, I don’t stutter when talking with physicians, residents or my patients. It feels great and is so important,” Morris said.

For Baren, stuttering was more of an ongoing annoyance while growing up. Though her stuttering was mild, she grew more concerned about it as she got older. As a freshman in college, Baren took an introductory course on communicative disorders that included stuttering. That course helped define her future career. She was so interested in the topic of speech disorders that she decided to become a speech therapist.

Along with getting her degree, she enrolled in an HCRI stuttering therapy program  to address her own speech condition. “I wanted to be proactive about getting help for my stuttering and serve as a role model. I chose HCRI’s therapy program because the Institute specializes in stuttering and treats it as a physical condition.” Baren explained. “The behavioral therapy met my needs and included a range of fluency tools and support once I returned home.”

In fact, HCRI’s post-therapy support provided benefits beyond Baren’s expectations. After she and Morris met, they became fluency-practice partners – and that led to their eventual engagement. They plan to marry in 2014 when Morris graduates from medical school. Baren accomplished her career objective and is now a speech therapist for a large school system.

“My advice to anyone who stutters is to seek treatment that works for you. Follow your career interests and passions. Don’t let stuttering ever hold you back,” Baren said.

About HCRI

Hollins Communications Research Institute was founded by Dr. Ron Webster in 1972 to investigate stuttering through scientific discovery and treatment innovation. Roanoke, Virginia-based HCRI, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, has become an international leader in stuttering research and the development of innovative, scientifically based therapy approaches.

HCRI’s intensive, 12-day behavioral treatment involves teaching people how to replace faulty speech muscle movements that cause stuttering with new muscle behaviors that generate fluent speech.  HCRI clinicians have treated more than 6,100 people from across the U.S. and 47 other countries. Clients come from all walks of life and include broadcaster John Stossel of Fox News; Annie Glenn, wife of Senator and Astronaut John Glenn; as well as athletes, teachers, engineers, students, doctors, military personnel, a supreme court nominee, business professionals, police officers, actors, 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 or info@stuttering.org .

High School Educator Takes Unusual Steps to Prepare for the New School Year

Spanish Teacher Gladys Rosario Attends HCRI Stuttering Therapy “Refresher” Program to Enhance Her Teaching Effectiveness

As students across the country get ready for the start of school, one Maryland teacher took some unusual steps to prepare for their return, which extended far beyond reviewing syllabi, lesson plans and text books. Gladys Rosario, a Spanish teacher at Queen Anne’s County High School in Centreville, participated in a stuttering therapy “refresher” program at Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI – www.stuttering.org ) in Roanoke, Virginia.

While an effective and popular teacher, Rosario also has a stuttering condition that she lives with every day. It started when she was six years old, and a range of therapies through the years failed to help her stop stuttering.

Then, in 2006, she heard about HCRI’s scientifically based, behavioral approach to stuttering therapy. It was different than other treatments she tried so Rosario enrolled in the 12-day intensive program. At HCRI, she learned specific techniques to replace faulty muscle movements that cause stuttering with new muscle behaviors that generate lasting fluency.

“Participating in HCRI’s program was rigorous. Yet, it was the first therapy that worked for me,” Rosario said. “Before treatment, I would substitute one word for another so I could get my words to flow properly. After treatment, I could say what I wanted, when I wanted.”

Rosario’s new-found fluency enabled her to extend her impact as an educator outside of the classroom. She became involved in the school’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program, a national initiative designed to enhance academic and behavioral outcomes in students. Rosario now serves as chair of the initiative at her school.

HCRI’s treatment gave me the tools and confidence to advance my career and become more involved in helping students excel. As chair of PBIS, I regularly speak in front of groups and call on businesses. My fluency skills make all the difference in my ability to be effective,” Rosario added.

In addition to stepped-up responsibilities at Queen Anne’s County High School, Rosario joined Toastmasters and won first place in an area speech competition. Yet, she readily admits that maintaining fluency requires ongoing practice.

Since she is bilingual, Rosario practices the skills she learned at HCRI in both Spanish and English. She decided to attend the Institute’s five-day refresher training in July to sharpen her speaking skills in both languages for the benefit of her students.

HCRI Therapy Across Languages

According to HCRI President and Founder Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D., one of the unique aspects of HCRI’s methodology is that fluencly skills learned in English can be readily applied to nearly every other language. There are 66 million people in the world who stutter and three million in the U.S., according to the National Institutes of Health.

“People who stutter come to us from across the U.S. and 47 other countries,” Webster explained. “Our clients have successfully transferred fluency skills they acquired at our center to a wide range of languages.”

In addition to Rosario’s native Spanish, participants have benefited from HCRI therapy to speak fluently in languages including Italian, Arabic, Japanese, Norwegian, Serbian, Greek, German, Chinese, Creole. Hindi, French, Irish, Russian, Hebrew, Dutch – even Ibibio, an African click language.

“With the ability to speak fluently and spontaneously, doors of opportunity open and people realize their true potential. We’ve seen this in thousands of cases, across languages,” Webster explained.

A 2012 survey of past HCRI clients revealed that 79 percent of people who stutter and participate in the Institute’s behavioral stuttering therapy improved their employment and career opportunities. Moreover, two-thirds of the 232 survey respondents said acquiring the ability to speak fluently helped increase their earnings and income potential.

For more information, visit www.stuttering.org or contact HCRI at 855-236-7032 (toll-free), 540-265-5650 or info@stuttering.org.

Top 10 Reasons to Choose HCRI for Stuttering Therapy

There are a wide range of stuttering therapy approaches available today, each with different methodologies and different short- and long-term fluency outcomes. Yet, choosing the right stuttering treatment that produces lasting results is critical to appropriately addressing this unique human disorder for which there is no cure.

According to nationally recognized stuttering research and treatment expert Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D., president of Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI – www.stuttering.org ), a physically based speech reconstruction program represents the most powerful method for enhancing fluency and for simultaneously reducing the psychological burdens of stuttering.

Webster pioneered comprehensive behavioral stuttering therapy nearly forty years ago and founded HCRI to continue researching stuttering and enhancing treatment results. Through the years, HCRI’s therapy program has been continually refined with new treatment innovations and technological components that enhance the ease of fluency-skill learning and long-term fluency retention.

While people who stutter have many treatment options, HCRI stuttering therapy delivers among the highest fluency outcomes available. Research shows 93 percent of HCRI program participants achieve fluent speech within 12 days and 70-75 percent maintain fluency for the long-term.

In addition to leading therapy results, Webster offers these Top 10 Reasons to Choose HCRI.

10. You make a great personal investment.

9. You work with the inventors of modern, effective behavior therapy for stuttering.

8. Your clinicians are friendly, personable and highly competent professionals.

7. You participate in the original 12-day, intensive therapy for stuttering.

6. You have us as your fluency partners for life.

5. You benefit from our treatment of more than 6,000 individuals who stutter.

4. You master fluency, one achievable step after another.

3. You experience emotional growth and fear reduction as part of the therapy.

2. Your self-confidence goes up as you master fluency skills.

1. Fluent speech—it’s real and it works!!!

Webster encourages any one who is considering stuttering treatment to thoughtfully review and compare different therapy programs before making a decision. To learn more about HCRI stuttering therapy and the Institute’s approach to fluency training, visit www.stuttering.org or contact HCRI at 855-236-7032 (toll-free), 540-265-5650, or admin@stuttering.org.

What People Say about HCRI

More than 6,500 people who stutter from 50 countries have come to the Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI – www.stuttering.org ) in Roanoke, Virginia for fluency-skill training. Founded by Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D., HCRI is recognized globally for its stuttering therapy innovations and treatment results.

The institute offers stuttering therapy programs throughout the year, each of which lasts 12 days. By the end of HCRI’s intensive treatment, research shows that 93 percent of program participants acquire the skills to speak fluently. Participants also benefit from an extensive array of post-therapy support tools to help them maintain fluent speech for a lifetime. HCRI’s follow-up studies show that 70 to 75 percent of individuals maintain their fluency skills for the long term.

Following are comments program participants have shared about their experience with HCRI stuttering treatment.

Yes, I did participate in a bunch of other therapies. Some of them helped a little for a little while. What I learned at HCRI has stuck with me. I have been out of their program for eight years and I know how to speak fluently.

Now I have real freedom of speech!

I first called HCRI to find out about their program, and I stuttered badly during the call; today I called to thank them, and I spoke fluently.

Now I have real freedom of speech!

I wish I had done this years ago. The clinicians were outstanding!!!

You know, I tried other therapies. Some of the people told me that they “did the same thing as they do at Hollins.” I finally woke up and decided to try Hollins and I found out that those other people didn’t know what they were talking about. What I have learned at Hollins has been a daily blessing in my life.

Ain’t nothin better — you can take it to the bank!

I joined Toastmasters and won a regional speaking event.

I was good at learning languages. However, I stuttered badly, so badly in fact, that I actually broke my teeth during several different bouts of stuttering. I became a corporate trouble shooter after learning how to speak fluently at HCRI.

I got the job I wanted. Now I can talk and express my self easily.

I defended my doctoral dissertation and was fluent even though I WAS NERVOUS.

No more fear of speaking in front of people.

When I got back home I took my parents to dinner–and I ordered for them! What a huge difference!

I had world class experts guide me to fluency. They are my mentors and my friends.

I’m eleven years old. When I was a small child I hated to go to school. I cried almost everyday before I went. The other kids teased me a lot because I stuttered. I went to Hollins and learned how to speak really well. Today I am going to school and I am going to read a story to my class.

After Hollins, I became involved in politics and successfully ran for office as a state legislator. Of course, my fluent speech made it all possible.

More About HCRI

Hollins Communications Research Institute was founded by Ronald L. Webster in 1972 to investigate stuttering through scientific discovery and treatment innovation. Under Dr. Webster’s direction, Roanoke, Virginia-based HCRI, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, has become an international leader in stuttering research and the development of innovative, scientifically based therapy approaches.

HCRI clinicians have treated more than 6,300 people, aged 10 to 73, from across the U.S. and 49 other countries. Clients come from all walks of life and include athletes, broadcasters, teachers, engineers, students, doctors, authors, military personnel, business professionals, police officers, actors, a Supreme Court nominee, and others.

For more information, visit www.stuttering.org or contact HCRI at 540-265-5650.

HCRI Provides Stuttering Therapy Clients with Comprehensive Post-Therapy Support

The 12-day, scientifically based stuttering treatment program at Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI) includes extensive post-therapy support to help clients maintain newly acquired fluency skills for a lifetime.

HCRI’s expert clinicians compassionately guide program participants through each step of the stuttering therapy process. Then, when clients return home, the Institute’s commitment to fluency training and maintenance continues by providing clients with a full spectrum of support tools and assistance.

According to HCRI President Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D., “At HCRI, we are your partner in fluency for life.”  HCRI’s package of post-treatment resources and services includes:

Phone and Email Contact – HCRI clinicians proactively stay in touch with program participants after therapy through phone contact and emails. In addition, all clients are encouraged to contact the Institute whenever they have questions or need assistance (540-265-5650 or admin@stuttering.org).

HCRI iPhone/iPod Touch App – A convenient practice tool, the HCRI app evaluates, scores, and provides immediate feedback on speech skills taught during HCRI therapy.

FluencyNet Subscription – Available for both PC and Apple platforms, this internet-based home practice system helps individuals review and fine-tune targets using the same physical measurements used during HCRI therapy. Each program participant receives a free one-year subscription.

Practice Groups – Participating in one of the HCRI client-led fluency practice groups across the country or joining phone practice sessions that are regularly scheduled helps clients maintain fluency target quality.

Refresher Courses – Held throughout the year, refresher courses are provided for program participants who wish to return to HCRI to further hone their fluency skills, should the need arise.

Program Manuals and CDs – HCRI therapy program manuals and CDs are available anytime, on request.

Facebook Group – Program participants are encouraged to join the HCRI Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/46445386545/ and participate in discussions, chat with other alumni and supporters, and stay updated with the latest HCRI news.

HCRI Reunions – Returning to HCRI for this enjoyable, worthwhile weekend helps clients re-connect with clinicians, socialize with other program participants, practice  fluency skills, and hear about the latest treatment innovations.

Ongoing Communication – HCRI distributes newsletters and emails on a regular basis to help ensure HCRI clients stay up-to-date on the latest HCRI news, information, and fluency resources.

About HCRI

Hollins Communications Research Institute was founded by Ronald L. Webster in 1972 to investigate stuttering through scientific discovery and treatment innovation. Under Dr. Webster’s direction, Roanoke, Virginia-based HCRI, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, has become an international leader in stuttering research and the development of innovative, scientifically based therapy approaches.

The Institute offers 17 stuttering therapy programs annually, each of which lasts 12 days. HCRI clinicians have treated nearly 6,000 people, aged 10 to 73, from across the U.S. and 47 other countries. Clients include broadcaster John Stossel of Fox News; Annie Glenn, wife of Senator and Astronaut John Glenn; as well as athletes, teachers, engineers, students, doctors, military personnel, business professionals, police officers, actors, and others from all walks of life.

For more information, visit www.stuttering.org or contact HCRI at 540-265-5650.

The Lawyers Speech: HCRI Stuttering Therapy Opened Doors for Attorney William R. Denny

Appearing in court to litigate cases related to internet and technology law is part of a day’s work for William R. Denny, partner in the Delaware-based law firm of Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP. Denny’s litigation skill and expertise in electronic commerce and information licensing have earned him national recognition among peers and an impressive client roster.

Observing Denny’s convincing arguments and powerful examinations in cases before federal and state trial and appellate courts, no one would know the Elkton, MD resident has suffered from a severe stuttering condition. As a young child, he was ridiculed by schoolmates and called names because of the way he talked. Denny recalls the angst of dealing with the relentless teasing; and he remembers pounding his chest and stomping the floor out of frustration when he couldn’t get his words out.

Stuttering afflicts three million people in the U.S. and 66 million worldwide, according to the National Institutes of Health. The condition occurs when speech muscles inappropriately contract and jump out of control during attempts to speak. Stuttering ranges in severity and often hampers educational and career aspirations, inhibits social growth, and serves as a barrier to people reaching their full potential in life.

The young Denny was determined to overcome his speech disorder. During his early school years, he participated in different forms of therapy to address his stuttering. Yet, none of the treatment approaches helped him speak fluently. Then, when Denny was nine years old, his mother heard about a new behavioral or physically-based stuttering therapy program, which was developed by Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D., president of the non-profit Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI – www.stuttering.org ).

Webster’s extensive stuttering research demonstrated that speech distortions associated with stuttering are physically derived and driven by faulty contractions within the muscles of the tongue, lips, jaw, and vocal folds.

Further study led to the definition of specific muscle-behavior patterns that can replace the distorted contractions and movements that give rise to stuttering. These new muscle behaviors actively generate fluent speech in individuals who stutter. With this discovery, Webster pioneered the first scientifically grounded behavioral therapy to treat stuttering.

Denny was one of Webster’s earliest and youngest clients. Denny recalls HCRI therapy being hard work. “Therapy was a long and tedious process. Yet, I was committed to doing everything I could to speak fluently,” he said.

By the end of his three-week stuttering treatment program, Denny spoke fluently for the first time in his life. However, to maintain his fluency, he had to practice his fluency training skills each day for months following therapy. Like an athlete persistently trains to excel in a sport, Denny persistently trained his speech muscles until talking fluently became second nature to him.

Since Denny’s stuttering therapy more than 30 years ago, Webster and his team of research scientists have continually enhanced HCRI’s stuttering therapy program, based on the institute’s ongoing research, new findings, and treatment innovations that make fluency learning easier and more precise.

“HCRI’s approach to treatment is objective, comprehensive, and results driven. Our work represents an ongoing process of building on our understanding of the critically important details that create a successful stuttering treatment program,” Webster said.

The fluency skills Denny acquired during HCRI therapy helped him excel at St. Christopher’s School in Richmond, Va., Princeton University, and the University of Virginia School of Law. Yet, he was surprised to discover that he still had a stuttering problem when learning and speaking a foreign language. So Denny used the same speech-muscle training skills he acquired during HCRI therapy to successfully control his stuttering when speaking French, Russian, and Finnish.

“Stuttering is a handicap that can put limits on your career, relationships, and life. Without HCRI stuttering treatment, I would have had a different trajectory in life. I am thankful for the doors that fluency has opened for me.” Denny said.

Today, at Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP, Denny practices in the areas of electronic commerce, information licensing, and commercial litigation. He has represented both public and privately held companies in a wide range of technology and intellectual property-related transactions, including outsourcing of IT services, mergers and acquisitions, technology licensing, software development, sales of Internet domain names, and e-commerce website services.

Denny writes and speaks extensively on technology and business issues and was recognized in Delaware Today magazine, as one of the state’s top attorneys in the area of computer law. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2010 in the areas of Information Technology Law and Technology Law and has earned Martindale-Hubbell’s AV® Preeminent™ rating, the highest peer-review ranking for professional excellence.

About HCRI

Hollins Communications Research Institute was founded by Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D. in 1972 to investigate stuttering through scientific discovery and treatment innovation. Under Dr. Webster’s direction, Roanoke, Virginia-based HCRI, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, has become an international leader in stuttering research and the development of innovative, scientifically based therapy approaches.

The Institute offers 17 stuttering therapy programs annually, each of which lasts 12 days. HCRI clinicians have treated nearly 6,000 people, aged 9 to 73, from across the U.S. and 47 other countries. Clients include broadcaster John Stossel of Fox News; Annie Glenn, wife of Senator and Astronaut John Glenn; as well as athletes, teachers, engineers, students, doctors, military personnel, business professionals, police officers, actors, and others from all walks of life. For more information, visit www.stuttering.org or contact HCRI at 540-265-5650 or admin@stuttering.org .

About Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP

The law firm of Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP is based in Wilmington, Delaware and provides legal advice to some of the largest national and multinational corporations, as well as to local and state businesses, governmental and non-profit entities, and individuals.

Attorneys at Potter Anderson, Delaware’s oldest law firm, have extensive experience in Delaware corporation and alternative entities law and practice regularly before the Delaware courts. Labor and employment, health care, and insurance recovery are among the other areas of law in which legal services are provided by the firm. For more information, visit www.potteranderson.com or contact Potter Anderson at 302-984-6000 or defirm@potteranderson.com .