HCRI Stuttering Therapy on ABC Prime Time Show


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.

Giving the Gift of Fluency

The following was written by Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D., founder and President of Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI ), about the importance of supporting the nonprofit Institute’s scholarship program, which helps individuals who stutter receive advanced stuttering therapy that can dramatically change their lives.

Millennia ago, Aristotle, the Greek philosopher who attempted to record, study and expand all available knowledge, noted that speech was a most important distinguishing factor of the human organism.

We now know that freedom of speech, even though it is a political right, is not a right conveyed in nature. For those who stutter, true freedom of speech means that the tools for speaking fluently have been acquired, stabilized and retained over time.

Here at HCRI, our mission is to discover the premier tools for generating fluent speech in people who stutter. Our continuing flow of discoveries has increased the power of the Hollins Fluency Program™, and that, in turn, has increased the ease of acquiring and maintaining fluent speech by our clients. Every day we continue to study and expand our understanding of stuttering. And there is still much to be learned.

There is one important development of which we are quite proud – the HCRI Stuttering Therapy Scholarship Program.  This expanded scholarship initiative has enabled effective stuttering treatment to be received by an increasing number of persons who stutter.

We believe that one of the most important tasks we can undertake is to make our treatment program more broadly available. In order to accomplish this end, we have implemented a comprehensive scholarship program that is intended to reduce the net cost of treatment.

There is also an important research benefit that we realize. Specifically, our scholarship program allows us to work with a broader range of people than in the recent past. The power and utility of our therapy methods always benefit, as we expand the base of people with whom we work.

You can make a difference in the lives of others who stutter. You can click on this link:www.stuttering.org/donate.php and donate right now to the HCRI Stuttering Therapy Scholarship Program. The money you give goes directly to increasing therapy program availability.

As you make your contribution, please consider joining the HCRI Hollins Society, which recognizes individuals who give $1,000 or more per year. A gift of $1,000 to our scholarship program will go a long way towards helping someone attend HCRI.  Your $1,000 annual contribution amounts to $2.74 per day. This is indeed a small price to pay to bring the gift of free speech to a deserving person who is afflicted with stuttering.

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

I Chose HCRI Because the Institute Specializes in the Treatment of Stuttering

My stuttering didn’t bother me when I was a child. Though, my parents arranged for me to participate in speech therapy while I was in school. It wasn’t until I went away to college that I became more self-conscious and concerned about the impact stuttering was having on my life.

I continually worried about my ability to communicate and would go to great lengths to avoid situations where I would have to speak to others. When I began interviewing for jobs as college graduation approached, my stuttering became even more pronounced. As a result, I went for some therapy at a nearby university and found it to be a turning point.

Going through the treatment process enabled me to be open and honest about my stuttering problem instead of pretending like it didn’t exist. My speech improved and I landed a job that I liked.

Yet, the results of my earlier treatment didn’t last. A few years later, my stuttering became more prominent and I decided to go through the HCRI program. I chose Hollins because the institute specializes in the treatment of stuttering — and not other types of speech issues. I found HCRI’s approach more advanced and sophisticated. It has made real difference in my life.

Patrick Donahay
Mechanical Engineer
US Air Force