HCRI Stuttering Therapy Highlighted in American Psychological Association Magazine

The July/August 2014 issue of Monitor on Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA), features coverage on the inhibiting condition of stuttering, which is one of mankind’s most challenging disorders to treat.

There are three million people in the U.S. and 66 million people worldwide who stutter. The condition is characterized by involuntary sound repetitions, difficulty speaking initial sounds of words, prolongation of syllables and words, and/or facial contortions during attempts to speak. Symptoms range from mild-to-severe and may not be present all the time.  Constraining the free flow of daily communication, stuttering serves as a barrier to people reaching their full potential in life. The disorder can erode self confidence, hinder social interaction, and limit people educationally and professionally.

The APA article focuses on the latest approaches that help people who stutter gain mastery over their symptoms and associated anxiety. Highlighted is the scientifically based, behavioral stuttering therapy program at Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI – https://www.stuttering.org).  HCRI was founded by Dr. Ron Webster in 1972 to investigate stuttering through scientific discovery and treatment innovation. Since that time, Virginia-based HCRI, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, has become a leader in stuttering research and the development of innovative therapy approaches.

“Our early research demonstrated that stuttering is a physical condition caused by abnormal speech-muscle contractions that occur when people try to speak,” Webster aid. “By teaching people who stutter how to systematically retrain the way their speech muscles behave, they gain control over the way they talk and fluency happens.”

HCRI’s intensive, 12-day behavioral treatment involves helping participants learn how to replace faulty speech muscle movements that cause their stuttering with new muscle behaviors that generate fluent speech. Precise, tested therapy protocols, advanced technology, quantitative speech measurement, and computerized feedback make fluency skills easier to learn and sustain over time.

Ninety-three percent of HCRI therapy participants achieve fluency in 12 days. Follow-up studies reveal that 70-75 percent maintain fluent speech for the long term. The nonprofit center provides all clients with post-therapy support and practice tools that further solidify their fluency training.

HCRI clinicians have treated more than 6,300 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.

For more information, visit https://www.stuttering.org or contact HCRI at 855-236-7032 or info@stuttering.org.

New Children’s Book Offers Hope to Kids Who Stutter

Katie: The Little Girl Who Stuttered and Then Learned to Talk Fluently

A new children’s book penned by Dr. Ron Webster, founder and president of Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI), addresses universal themes of acceptance and overcoming challenges through the telling of a heartwarming, true story about a little girl who stutters.

The author of this endearing story has dedicated his life to treating the debilitating and misunderstood disorder of stuttering. Webster pioneered comprehensive behavioral stuttering therapy and founded HCRI, a nonprofit stuttering research and treatment center. More than 6,100 people who stutter have come to HCRI for stuttering treatment.

In “Katie: The Little Girl Who Stuttered and Then Learned to Talk Fluently” (ISBN 1468004905), Webster shares the true story of how one young girl overcame her stuttering. Designed for children between the ages of three and seven to read with their parents, the narrative introduces a vivacious young girl named Katie who is bright and loving, just like the children around her.

Yet, when Katie tries to verbalize her thoughts and feelings, her stuttering always gets in the way. No matter how smooth and clear the thoughts are in her head, they never come out that way when she tries to speak.

Other children constantly tease Katie for the way she talks, and she only seems to find comfort from their torment when she goes to a park after school and plays hide-and-seek. Yet, that all changes. Her wish to free her voice from stuttering comes true when she and her mother learn about a special kind of stuttering therapy, which is based on science.With this specialized approach to stuttering therapy, Katie learns new speaking skills that make her words flow freely and spontaneously.

In addition to a happy outcome, the unforgettable, nonfiction narrative offers an unexpected, heartwarming ending.

“This book gives hope to children who stutter by showing there may be an answer to their speech problem through hard work, determination, and the right type of treatment,” Webster says. “In addition, the storyline will benefit all children because it teaches lessons in understanding and respect for the challenge others face.”

“Katie: The Little Girl Who Stuttered and then Learned to Talk Fluently” includes colorful illustrations that help tell Katie’s journey to fluency. The childlren’s book is available for sale at Amazon.com. Click here to buy the book>>

For more information about HCRI stuttering therapy, visit www.stuttering.org, call 855-236-7032, or send an email to info@stuttering.org

HCRI Recognized as Center of Innovation for Stuttering Therapy

Institute’s Stuttering Treatment Delivers Leading Fluency Results

Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI – https://www.stuttering.org) is recognized in the June 2012 issue of Virginia Business magazine as one of the most innovative nonprofit organizations in the commonwealth. This recognition reaffirms a 40-year history of “firsts” for the Roanoke, Virginia center, which is among few organizations in the world that specialize in both research on stuttering and effective treatment of this unique disorder.

For the past 40 years, HCRI’s focus on innovation has brought fluency skills to thousands who stutter around the globe. People from every state in the U.S. and 47 other countries have come to HCRI for the center’s one-of-a-kind, scientifically based stuttering treatment.

According to the National Institutes of Health, an estimated 66 million people stutter, with three million living in the U.S. Impairing the ability to speak smoothly and spontaneously, the condition can limit educational and career aspirations, hinder social growth, and produce emotional scars that may last a lifetime. Through the years, traditional stuttering and speech therapies have done little to help people manage their stuttering and speak fluently over a sustained period of time.

Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D. recognized this issue and founded HCRI in 1972 to investigate stuttering and develop new, scientifically based treatment options that improve fluency outcomes. Webster and the HCRI team began by conducting extensive research and discovered that stuttering has a physical basis, dispelling long-standing notions that stuttering is caused by emotional or mental issues.

This discovery led to the definition of specific speech muscle behaviors called “targets,” which replace distorted muscle activities that produce stuttering. With these target definitions, HCRI research scientists developed the first comprehensive behavioral therapy for stuttering, representing a marked departure from other forms of stuttering treatment.

Now in its third generation, HCRI’s 12-day behavioral stuttering treatment program works with all major stuttering types and severities, and delivers excellent results. Research shows 93 percent of HCRI clients acquire fluent speech by the end of their 12-day treatment. Follow-up studies show 70-75 percent maintain long-term fluency. The therapy dropout rate is less than one percent.

“Ongoing innovation drives our work. We continually refine our therapy program and create new stuttering treatment tools, such as our ‘clinician in your pocket’ iPhone app and FluencyNet home-practice system, that make fluency-skill learning easier and longer lasting,” Webster said.

HCRI’s contributions continue to change how stuttering is viewed and treated today. Highlights of the Institute’s ongoing list of industry “firsts” include:

– Creating comprehensive behavioral stuttering therapy;

– Incorporating systematic, quality-controlled procedures into the stuttering therapy process;

– Inventing the Voice Monitor, a real-time electronic measurement and feedback system that enhances fluency learning and clinical efficiency;

– Using computers in therapy to make fluency acquisition easier and more precise;

– Creating a sophisticated home practice program, FluencyNet, to help clients reinforce fluency skills learned during treatment;

– Developing an iPhone app that serves as a “clinician in your pocket,” providing real-time speech feedback to help clients practice and stabilize newly acquired fluency skills; and

– Building a stuttering therapy system on a web-based platform, which offers the capability to expand access to quality-controlled stuttering therapy worldwide via the Internet.

“Each day we continue to push the envelope to discover new information, new therapy tools, and new ways to make fluency learning more effective. There is nothing more rewarding than to see someone who stutters experience the joy and personal growth that comes with fluent speech,” Webster said.

About HCRI

Virginia-based Hollins Communications Research Institute is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization that has become an international leader in stuttering research and treatment innovation. More than 6,000 clients have come to HCRI for stuttering therapy. They represent 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 call 855-236-7032 (toll-free), 540-265-5650 or info@stuttering.org.

HCRI Achieves another Service Milestone with the 6,000th Stuttering Therapy Program Graduate

Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI – https://www.stuttering.org ), a leading center for stuttering research and therapy innovation, accomplishes another milestone in the non-profit’s 39-year history, as the number of stuttering therapy program graduates exceeds the 6,000 mark this week.

HCRI introduced the world’s first physically based stuttering treatment program in 1972, designed to help people with a wide range of stuttering types and severities acquire skills to speak fluently. Since that time, President and Founder Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D. and his in-house research team continually enhance HCRI’s behavioral therapy program, which is administered to only ten people at a time over 12 days. New research discoveries, technologies, and training methods are regularly incorporated into HCRI’s treatment protocol to make fluency-skill learning easier, more precise, and more sustainable for program participants.

“At HCRI, we have dedicated our careers to helping people who stutter open new doors of opportunity through fluency,” Webster said. “It is a joy to see our program participants, including our 6,000th client, return home with new skills that enable them to replace stuttered speech with fluent conversation. And, those who continue to practice and use the tools learned during HCRI therapy will likely remain fluent for the long term,” he added

Along with treating and serving the 6,000th program participant, HCRI clinicians have administered more than 600,000 hours of stuttering therapy, with program participants producing more than 70 million practice responses, since the center began operations.

HCRI’s stuttering treatment program, Hollins Fluency System II : Advanced Speech Reconstruction for Stuttering™, is in its third-generation. Hollins Fluency System II helps people who stutter learn how to replace faulty muscle contractions that cause stuttering with new muscle behaviors that generate fluent speech. By acquiring the skills to properly reconstruct muscle actions that drive movements of the tongue, lip, jaw, soft palette, and vocal folds, individuals who stutter can achieve and maintain the ability to speak fluently.

Seventeen 12-day therapy programs are conducted annually. HCRI’s stuttering treatment includes 100 hours of clinical therapy and evaluation, as well as an extensive package of post-therapy support. Research shows that 93 percent of clients achieve fluent speech by the end of treatment.  Follow-up studies confirm 70 to 75 percent maintain fluency for the long-term.

HCRI program participants are between the ages of 11 and 73 and come from every state in 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 about HCRI’s approach to fluency-skill training, as well as the Institute’s scholarship and tuition waiver programs, contact HCRI at 540-265-5650 or visit https://www.stuttering.org.

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.

HCRI is located at 7851 Enon Drive, Roanoke, Virginia 24019. Visit https://www.stuttering.org or call 540-265-5650 to learn more about HCRI stuttering treatment.

The King’s Speech Raises Awareness of Stuttering

The following opinion editorial written by HCRI President Dr. Ronald L. Webster ran in the “Richmond Times Dispatch”  on Saturday, January 29, 2011.

ROANOKE — Stuttering is the invisible problem; however, now and again something happens that brings this unusual disorder to public attention. The release of “The King’s Speech” is heightening awareness of this hampering condition. The movie delivers a powerful storyline about Britain’s King George VI, the man afflicted with stuttering who reluctantly assumed the throne. Colin Firth just won a Golden Globe for best actor for his performance as the monarch. The film garnered a total of seven Golden Globe nominations, has four Screen Actors Guild nominations and leads all Academy Award contenders with 12 Oscar nominations.

The King’s Speech” presents a revealing study of the personal stresses, limitations and daily challenges experienced by a person who stutters. In particular, we see the duke of York struggling to speak in a variety of situations. After failed attempts at treatment, through the guidance of his wife, he seeks help from an unconventional speech elocutionist, Lionel Logue, who undertakes the task of helping him speak more fluently.

While a dramatic, captivating film, “The King’s Speech” creates some misconceptions about stuttering. The story leads people to believe that there is an emotional element that causes the condition. Although the film reveals the duke of York was insecure in his family relationships and fearful of social interactions, these did not cause his stuttering. This portrayal of the stutterer incorrectly emphasizes the role of negative emotions in creating the problem.

We also learn, wrongly, that the therapist says he can “cure” the man of his stuttering. Unfortunately, there is no cure. This message exacerbates misconceptions that still exist and serves as a barrier to treatment and acceptance for those who stutter.

The beneficial aspects of Logue’s treatment dealt with improving speech-related breathing, muscle relaxation, clarity of diction and vocal projection. These address the physical components of the condition — not the emotional. In addition, the task of speech-reading practice with many, many instances of rehearsal facilitated the king’s fluency, as did the presence of the speech teacher. After 11 years of work, Logue’s teachings were manifested in the king’s powerful and fluent radio address to the nation dealing with the coming war in Germany.

The duke of York’s treatment yielded what we now refer to as “fragile fluency” — an unreliable form of fluent speech based on incomplete knowledge of what must be accomplished in order to generate stable, sustainable fluency.

Stuttering therapy has come a long way since Logue’s time. Yet, perceptions of stuttering are not all that different. The public still misunderstands that stutterers are normal people who have involuntary muscle control problems when they attempt to talk. And, many therapies are often still unfocused and produce poor results, leaving people who stutter with greater frustrations. Yet, this doesn’t have to be the case.

Here at Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI), we have researched thousands of stuttering cases and demonstrated that stuttering is a physically derived condition. We pioneered the concept of behavioral stuttering therapy, which helps people replace faulty speech muscle movements of stuttering with those that generate fluent speech. Through this approach, we have treated nearly 6,000 individuals with all levels of stuttering severity. And yes, we have successfully treated royalty.

One of our therapy program graduates, John Stossel, was co-host of ABC’s 20/20 and is now host of his own show on the Fox Business Channel. Stossel went from being a stuttering reporter whose interviews had to be heavily edited to capture only his fluent questions, to a nationally respected journalist with eloquent speaking skills. His fluency represents the result of a modern, objective approach to the treatment of stuttering. Direct focus on retraining speech muscles through a disciplined process makes fluency achievable and sustainable over time.

I share this information to make the point that through public awareness and appropriate, physically based treatment, people who stutter can receive the help they need — and enjoy all the benefits that fluent speakers take for granted every day.

“The King’s Speech” tells a tale of long ago regarding stuttering. It’s a great story — and one worthy of telling. Yet, the greater story is that stuttering is an important problem in its own right and now can be treated efficiently and successfully. This message is important in today’s world. Stuttering is not an invisible problem to the 3 million people in the U.S. and the 65 million worldwide who are afflicted with this unique human disorder.


Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D., is the founder of Hollins Communications Research Institute (www.stuttering.org ) and a professor of psychology (emeritus) at Hollins University. Contact HCRI at (540) 265-5650.

There is Help for Stutterers

[The following opinion editorial about the movie, The King’s Speech, and the HCRI stuttering therapy program appeared in the “Roanoke Times” on Monday, January 24, 2011.]

Written by: 
Gerald McDermott,Jordan-Trexler Professor of Religion
Distinguished Senior Fellow, Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion
Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia

Just after my wife and I watched “The King’s Speech” at the Grandin Theatre in Roanoke, a friend asked me if I enjoyed it.

“No, I suffered through it. But it was a great movie.”

I have been a stutterer since the age of 6. Every time King George VI puffed his cheeks helplessly as he tried to get out a word, I felt the frustration and pain.

We stutterers know all too well “Bertie’s” fear of situations that would force us to read a text publicly or speak before a group. Most stutterers fear the telephone because we cannot control the dialogue. We remember painfully the innumerable occasions when we had all the right words in our heads but could not utter them.

We groan as we think of all the well-meaning friends and family who tell us — as they told the British king — to take a breath or just relax. If we could, we would.

Famous stutterers include Moses, Demosthenes, Churchill (whose problem the movie alludes to), Marilyn Monroe, Oral Roberts, Carly Simon, James Earl Jones and John Stossel. Eighty percent of all stutterers are males.

Like most stutterers, my disability started when I was very young. My mother feared I would flunk kindergarten because no one but she could understand me. Somehow I passed. But then in first grade my teacher put me in front of the class to help me enunciate. My panic developed into stuttering, which I would be helpless to manage for the next 32 years.

Stuttering often turned school into a nightmare. Fellow students looked at me quizzically and mockingly. In high school, one considerate lad asked me publicly why I could not talk like everyone else. I was glad to take Latin and Greek, so-called dead languages, because reading them was important — not speaking them.

But I dreaded French class every day, when I would sweat rivers of living water down my sides as the recitation exercise made its way up and down the rows until it came to me. Everyone sighed because they knew I would take so much longer than everyone else, while I tried to force words from my uncooperative mouth.

In college, I had to join in class discussion because the University of Chicago prided itself on small classes with lots of conversation. Sometimes, with the running start seen in “The King’s Speech,” I might be fluent for a few sentences. But invariably I would grind to a halt, utterly tongue-tied before an intractable consonant.

I was humiliated when my grad school adviser recommended speech therapy. How did he know? Strangely, many of us stutterers are in denial. But the speech therapy I received there made no real attempt to cure me, instead trying to help me accept myself. It was a waste of time.

Other speech therapists adopted something like the psychological theory used by the king’s therapist in the movie — thinking the cause of stuttering is childhood trauma. Attempts to help me talk through my supposed traumas did nothing for my speech.

Later in life it dawned on me that many non-stutterers had childhood trauma, and many stutterers did not, or dealt with their traumas in healthy ways.

Real help came only when I discovered as a new assistant professor at Roanoke College that right in my own backyard was a stuttering clinic with reportedly the best fluency rate in the world — 90 percent after five years. My three weeks there were very difficult — 12 hours a day learning how to breathe and feel my throat and vocal cords as I learned to talk all over again. But by the end of the three weeks, I was a new man.

The Hollins Communications Research Institute is based on a neurophysiological approach. Its founder and director, Ronald L. Webster, believes that the source of stuttering is a physical defect in the network between the brain and the organs of speech — something like a learning disability. HCRI’s approach uses behaviorist methods, teaching clients to repeat the same sounds thousands of times until new neural pathways are formed. We gain new neural and muscular memory so that fluent speaking becomes a learned habit.

The telephone no longer scares me. I don’t anymore turn down invitations to give papers at academic conferences because I am afraid. I have spoken frequently on radio, sometimes on TV and lecture around the United States and abroad. I thank God for one of the best-kept secrets of the Roanoke Valley — the Hollins Communications Research Institute .

HCRI Contact Information:  Phone: 540-265-5650  Email: admin@stuttering.org  Address: 7851 Enon Drive, Roanoke, VA 24019  Web: www.stuttering.org

National Stuttering Awareness Week: May 10-16, 2010

The second week of May each year is designated National Stuttering Awareness Week.  This recognition week first started in 1988 when the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution that was championed in part by Senator John Glenn, husband of Annie Glenn who received successful stuttering treatment at Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI ) in Roanoke, Virginia.

Founded in 1972 by Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D., HCRI has grown into a world-leading center for the investigation and treatment of stuttering. The non-profit Institute is unique from other stuttering organizations in that work focuses on developing scientifically based treatment methods, as well as administering stuttering therapy. HCRI offers 17 stuttering therapy programs annually and has treated more than 5,800 people from across the U.S. and 23 other countries.

There are three million people in the U.S. and 66 million people worldwide who suffer from the debilitating effects of stutteirng.  During National Stuttering Awareness Week, which takes place this year from May 10-16, people who have an understanding of the impact stuttering has on people’s lives are asked to seize the opportunity to:

  • Educate others about the challenges of this unique human disorder;
  • Promote the importance of HCRI research to find the cause of stuttering that could lead to a cure; and
  • Let people know that practical, effective treatment is available from HCRI, which will give them the skills they need to speak fluently for a lifetime.

If you know of anyone who would benefit form HCRI’s scientificaly based therapy, have them visit www.stuttering.org or call 540-265-5650 for more information.  HCRI’s staff will take the time to answer questions and share information about the Institute’s 12-day intensive stuttering therapy program. In addition, some scholarships are now available for program participants.

Breakthrough Study Finds Genetic Link to Stuttering

Hollins Communications Research Institute Served as a Key Research Participant in National Initiative

Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI – www.stuttering.org ), an internationally recognized center for stuttering research and therapy innovation, participated in a breakthrough study on the genetics of stuttering that appeared as the lead article in the February 10, 2010 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study was headed by Dr. Dennis Drayna of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), located in Bethesda, Maryland. According to HCRI Founder and President Dr. Ronald L. Webster, the research demonstrates, for the first time, that a specific genetic linkage has been discovered within related family members who stutter. Three genes have been identified that deal with mechanisms within cells that break down and recycle metabolic products in key regions of the brain.

“While these findings are exciting, they apply only to about five percent of people who stutter,” Webster noted. “There is much more work to be completed before we have a clear picture of the extent to which genes play a role in stuttering.”

An estimated 66 million people worldwide suffer from the effects of stuttering, with three million living in the U.S, according to NIDCD. The condition can impair social growth, hinder educational and career aspirations, and produce emotional scars that may last a lifetime.

Roanoke-based HCRI (www.stuttering.org) was selected to participate in the NIDCD research project because the center’s work focuses on developing objective, physically based methods for the analysis and treatment of stuttering. Over the past 37 years, HCRI scientists have studied thousands of people who stutter, aged 10 to 73, representing an extensive range of stuttering types and severities.

Nearly 5,800 people from 24 countries have participated in HCRI’s stuttering treatment, which helps people learn how to replace faulty muscle activities that cause stuttering with new muscle behaviors that product lasting fluency. The center’s research shows that 93 percent of clients achieve normal fluency by the end of their 12-day intensive stuttering therapy program. Follow-up studies reveal 70 to 75% retain fluency for the long term.

When asked how the discovery of the genetic link to stuttering might be relevant to the stuttering treatment program developed and administered at HCRI, Webster said that it is too early to determine the potential impact. “However, as our work progresses, we may find that only those stutterers who have related stuttering family members, and who also have extreme difficulty in learning fluency skills in therapy, may be carrying the critical genes,” he explained.

Webster also noted that, at some future time, it might be possible to develop treatments for a small number of stutterers that would involve adding specific enzymes to their blood stream in order to improve cellular metabolic functions within the brain.

HCRI will again play a role in the next series of stuttering studies by the NIDCD. “There is potential for terrific discoveries in the forthcoming research,” Webster added.

About HCRI

Hollins Communications Research Institute (www.stuttering.org), founded in 1972 by Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D., is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit center headquartered at 7851 Enon Drive, Roanoke, Virginia 24019. HCRI scientists pioneered the concept and development of physically based stuttering therapy. The center holds 17 intensive 12-day stuttering treatment programs annually.

Clients include John Stossel of Fox News; Arthur Blank, cofounder of Home Depot; and Annie Glenn, wife of senator and astronaut John Glenn. HCRI is located at 7851 Enon Drive, Roanoke, Virginia, 24019. Contact HCRI at admin@stuttering.org or 540-265-5650. For video speech samples and more information, visit www.stuttering.org .

HCRI Therapy Scholarships Give the Gift of Fluency

The new Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI) Stuttering Therapy Scholarship, made possible through the generosity of HCRI alumni, is already making a dramatic impact on the lives of people who stutter by putting advanced stuttering treatment within financial reach.

With these tough economic times, HCRI’s $1,550 scholarship has been a pivotal factor among the majority of participants being able to come for treatment.  The scholarship makes the net cost of therapy ($2,950) less expensive than programs offered by other stuttering treatment providers.

During each therapy session, we hear clients express their gratitude to HCRI’s alumni for making their participation possible.  We don’t want scholarship funds to run out and encourage you to continue supporting this important program. The quality of people’s lives depend on it – especially now.  Please click here to support this vital cause:  https://www.stuttering.org/donate.php

About HCRI

Hollins Communications Research Institute, founded in 1972 by Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D., has grown into a world-leading center for the investigation and treatment of stuttering.  The 501 (c) (3) nonprofit institute is unique from other stuttering organizations in that work focuses on researching the stuttering condition, as well as delivering stuttering treatment.

Videos speech samples that show the impact of HCRI’s pioneering work in the field can be found at  https://stuttering.org/clientvideos.php .  For more information about HCRI send an email to admin@stuttering.org or call 540-265-5650.

Apple’s iPod Touch Joins the iPhone as a Stuttering Therapy Tool at Hollins Communications Research

One month after the introduction of Apple’s iPhone as a stuttering treatment tool in January 2009, nonprofit Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI – www.stuttering.org) has integrated the iPod Touch into its scientifically based stuttering therapy program. Applications for both devices were developed in-house at HCRI and designed to help program participants more effectively transfer newly acquired fluency skills from the clinical setting into real-world environments.

Similar to HCRI’s iPhone software, the iPod Touch features an advanced voice monitoring system that measures and scores speech behavior taught during stuttering treatment.  Under the guidance of specially trained HCRI clinicians, stuttering therapy clients use the device with a small external microphone to practice their new speaking skills in everyday situations.

As individuals speak, the iPod Touch screen displays real-time fluency measurements for each utterance. This immediate feedback helps therapy program participants improve the accuracy and speed with which fluency is achieved.  Additionally, the device records and transmits speech patterns back to HCRI, enabling the Institute’s clinicians to further customize therapy for each program participant.

Both the iPod Touch and iPhone applications have been extremely well received among therapy participants, according to HCRI Founder and President Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D.    “Signals from the speech monitor help clients stay on track as they retrain tongue, jaw, mouth and throat muscles to achieve long-term fluency,” Dr. Webster explained.

HCRI adapted the iPhone application for the iPod Touch since no phone plan is required, making it more cost-effective for therapy.  There is no additional cost for program participants to use either device during HCRI’s 12-day intensive stuttering therapy program.

About HCRI

Hollins Communications Research Institute ), founded in 1972 by Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D., has grown into a world-leading center for the investigation and treatment of stuttering.  The 501 (c) (3) nonprofit institute is unique from other stuttering organizations in that work focuses on developing scientifically based treatment methods, as well as administering stuttering therapy.

More than 5,600 people from 23 countries have come to HCRI for stuttering therapy. Clients include John Stossel of ABC TV’s 20/20 program; Arthur Blank, cofounder of Home Depot; and Annie Glenn, wife of senator and astronaut John Glenn. HCRI is located at 7851 Enon Drive, Roanoke, Virginia, 24019. Contact HCRI at admin@stuttering.org or 540-265-5650. For video speech samples and more information, visit https://www.stuttering.org .