Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI – www.stuttering.org), an international stuttering research and therapy center headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia, has received a $200,000 gift from national television journalist John Stossel.
Mr. Stossel is a former HCRI stuttering therapy client. He is an Emmy Award winning television journalist, news anchor, book author, columnist, and pundit. Mr. Stossel is recognized for his distinguished career on ABC News and Fox Business Channel, as well as his libertarian perspectives on Stossel TV.
“This meaningful gift will enable our nonprofit institute to continue helping individuals who stutter open doors of opportunity that were never before possible,” said HCRI President Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D. Funds from Mr. Stossel’s donation will be used to support the center’s therapy scholarship program and stuttering research initiatives.
“We are grateful for John’s generosity in supporting our important cause. His impressive communication skills are a fine example of how HCRI’s science-based therapy can help individuals stop stuttering and speak fluently in all types of situations,” Dr. Webster said.
Mr. Stossel has been an ally of HCRI through the years. He has promoted the institute in news stories and provided financial support. In recognition of Mr. Stossel’s generous gift, HCRI is designating clinical space at the institute in his name.
HCRI therapy participants spend 12 days in HCRI’s clinic learning lifelong skills that enable them to stop stuttering and speak fluently. The institute’s stuttering treatment program delivers among the highest documented fluency outcomes for stuttering therapy. Research demonstrates that 93% of program participants achieve fluency by the end of HCRI therapy. When evaluated two years after treatment, 75% of clients sustained their fluency skills.
Mr. Stossel made his donation to HCRI using bitcoin, which was the institute’s first experience accepting a gift in digital currency. Dr. Webster noted that processing the cryptocurrency donation was an intriguing learning experience – and likely an indicator of what is in store for future gifts across nonprofits.
More than 7,000 people from 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.
The institute was founded by Dr. Webster to investigate stuttering, develop new treatment approaches, and administer life-changing stuttering therapy. Stuttering impacts three million people in the U.S. and 66 million people globally.
HCRI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and is in its 49th year of operation. The center is located at 7851 Enon Drive, Roanoke, Va. 24019. For more information, visit www.stuttering.org or contact HCRI at 855-236-7032.
Participants in the Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI) stuttering therapy program, held in Roanoke, Virginia, come ready to immerse themselves for 12 consecutive days to acquire skills that enable a lifetime of fluency.
Before arriving at the Institute, program participants engage in multiple communications by phone, mail and email with members of the HCRI team. This ensures attendees know exactly what to expect from their therapy experience and what is required to maximize fluency outcomes.
While attendees are well-informed about HCRI’s comprehensive behavioral treatment system, they often are surprised by the mountainous, lush beauty of the Roanoke area and the plethora of available activities.
Since the program’s 12 days are packed with therapy activities, many individuals make plans to return to the area or extend their stay to take in the recreation and area attractions.
Something for Everyone
Outdoor activities abound in the Roanoke Valley with the spectacular Blue Ridge Mountains, inspiring trails, expansive parks, scenic overlooks, lakes, wildlife, and rivers. From hiking and biking to kayaking and fishing, the Roanoke Valley offers enticing recreation to appeal to nearly every interest.
The Appalachian Trail goes through the Roanoke area and offers superb hiking, along with spectacular views. Other scenic trails pepper the area and offer fun and challenging hiking and mountain-biking adventures.
Nearby Smith Mountain Lake, with its 500 miles of beautiful shoreline, is a hub of activity for all types of water sports, including boating, skiing and swimming.
For anglers, the James River offers some of the best fishing in the state. The river is ideal for kayaking, canoeing and river tubing, as well.
For more leisurely outdoor activities, the Blue Ridge Parkway is minutes from Roanoke and a great way to spend a relaxing afternoon driving in the midst of breathtaking scenery. There are many overlooks along the way and places to picnic while taking in the views.
Visitors also enjoy spending time strolling and biking along the miles of Roanoke Valley Greenways that weave through the heart of the city and beyond. Plus, there are more than 70 parks in the area to enjoy.
Unique Attractions and Cultural Experiences
The Roanoke area features a wide range of appealing sights and attractions. These include the famous mountaintop Roanoke Star, the city’s charming historic downtown, unique shops, and award-winning restaurants.
Roanoke is rich in museums, including The Taubman Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Transportation, Harrison Museum of African American Culture, Science Museum of Western Virginia, Roanoke Pinball Museum, O. Winston Link Museum, History Museum of Western Virginia and others.
The area is host to a growing number of craft breweries and wineries that offer tours and tastings. The city provides a full calendar of special events, theater, concerts, and festivals throughout the year.
Our friendly city is easily accessible and within a day’s drive of 65% of the U.S. population. If you choose to fly, you will find the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport a short 15-minute drive to the Institute.
When you schedule your HCRI therapy, we will provide you with a list of area lodging options and contact information for reservations. We have negotiated special rates for HCRI program participants at nearby hotels – some within walking distance of the Institute – to help reduce your travel costs.
To learn more about HCRI stuttering therapy, please reach out by calling 855-236-7032 or send an email. Our website, www.stuttering.org, provides a host of helpful information, before-and-after therapy videos, and HCRI’s online therapy application.
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.
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.
Therefore, the return on investment of your therapy fees has the potential to be significant 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.
Research demonstrates that 93% of HCRI stuttering therapy participants achieve fluent speech by the end of their 12-day program. When evaluated two years after therapy, 75% maintain their ability to speak fluently. These numbers represents among the strongest 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.
You have a variety of treatment options available to address your stuttering. The type of therapy you choose can make the difference between short-term or limited fluency outcomes to lasting, strong fluent speech that you control.
At HCRI, we encourage you to do your research before participating in any type of stuttering therapy. Compare treatment approaches, experience of providers, and documented fluency outcomes.
Our nonprofit center has treated nearly 7,000 individuals, with stuttering conditions that range from mild to severe. Research on therapy results shows that 93% of clients achieve fluent speech by the end of their 12-day HCRI program.
When evaluated two years later, 75% of clients maintain fluency. Moreover, these individuals have the fluency tools they need to control their speech in all types of speaking situations.
As you consider your treatment choices, following are key points you need to know about HCRI stuttering therapy. We invite you to contact us to learn more.
HCRI Therapy Distinctions
You benefit from an original, scientifically-based treatment system for stuttering that is comprehensive and focused on your specific speech needs.
HCRI therapy focuses on the motor, cognitive and emotional dimensions of stuttering.
HCRI’s immersion therapy is specifically designed for highly effective learning and retention of fluency skills.
You will apply clearly specified target behaviors that actively generate fluent speech. These target behaviors were developed here at HCRI.
Therapy involves established, specific and proven training progressions that enable the transfer of fluency skills to everyday life.
To facilitate the learning of lasting fluency skills, HCRI has developed performance norms and advancement criteria for objectively evaluating each participant’s progress in therapy.
Your therapy includes computer-facilitated instruction, which was developed at HCRI and tested with thousands of persons in therapy.
HCRI researchers invented proprietary, patented electronics that provide you with real-time measurement and feedback of fluency targets. You also have access to HCRI’s iPhone app to measure your fluency targets at home, school or work.
You benefit from HCRI-specific procedures for effectively transferring clinic-learned fluency skills to all types of life settings.
HCRI clinicians have specialized training to effectively administer the institute’s therapy program. Our team is held to high standards of excellence in stuttering therapy delivery.
You benefit from extensive post-therapy support and access to resources only available at HCRI. These include phone and email contact with clinicians, FluencyNet practice software, HCRI’s iPhone app, program materials, and more. We also have available brief refresher training, if needed.
After therapy, program graduates become part of our growing HCRI alumni network. Alumni receive regular HCRI communication and may opt to take part in alumni-led practice groups. Alumni are encouraged to reach out to HCRI clinicians on an ongoing basis – even years after therapy.
When stuttering therapy participants at Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI) complete their 12-day program, they return home with an extensive package of practice tools and clinical support to help them maintain fluency for the long term. One of these tools is a free six-month subscription to FluencyNet, HCRI’s proprietary fluency practice system.
The computer-based program complements HCRI stuttering therapy by validating and strengthening the use of specific fluency-generating behaviors that clients acquire during therapy.
How Does It Work?
FluencyNet is based on the physical analysis of speech sounds as they are being uttered. HCRI’s hardware and software provide…
Real-time measures of speech sounds;
An immediate evaluation of the utterances relative to HCRI fluency standards; and
Delivery of speech results in graphs plotted on the computer screen.
When an onscreen graph shows an accumulation of many green bars and few red bars, the speech signals are judged to be mostly correct. On the other hand, when the onscreen graph shows an accumulation of many red bars and few green bars, the speech signals are judged to be outside the limits necessary for the maintenance of fluent speech.
Who Most Benefits from FluencyNet?
The answer to the question above relies on the level of skill attained in using fluency “targets” in everyday life. Targets are new speech-muscle movements/patterns that replace the distorted contractions and movements that give rise to stuttering. Using the new behaviors or targets generates fluent speech.
Most program graduates who are solidly on target with their new speech skills and talk with few disfluencies may not have a need to use the software. Yet, if individuals are somewhat unstable with their use of fluency skills, FluencyNet may provide the boost needed to move to more stable, consistent use of those speaking skills.
FluencyNet is always there in the event a past participant needs it – whether one month or ten years after attending HCRI.
How Much Is FluencyNet?
As noted earlier, the first six-month subscription is always free for HCRI therapy graduates. The subscription includes a standard microphone and FluencyNet software. If after 6 months, an individual wants to continue with FluencyNet, there are short-, intermediate- and long-term subscriptions available.
Pricing begins at $19.95 for 30 days. Three-month ($54.95), six-month ($99.94), annual ($174.95) and lifetime subscriptions ($425) are available.
Other Valuable Support and Practice Tools for Program Grads
In addition to FluencyNet, the HCRI clinical team stays in touch with program participants after therapy through phone contact and emails. Even years later, HCRI clinicians welcome calls from alumni needing support and guidance.
Other beneficial post-therapy tools includes HCRI’s iPhone practice app, therapy program materials, access to fluency practice groups by phone and Zoom, and remote and in-person refresher programs.
There are many factors that go into selecting an effective stuttering therapy program that is right for you. To help in your decision-making process, this infographic shows the outcomes you can expect from participating in the Hollins Communication Research Institute (HCRI) 12-day stuttering therapy program. It also illustrates why experience matters when it comes to choosing stuttering treatment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 skills – not 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 additionalquestions about our nonprofit center or HCRI’s science-based approach to stuttering therapy, please contact us at 855-236-7032 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI), a leader in stuttering research and treatment innovation, announces new remote support services during the COVID-19 pandemic to support the needs of the institute’s therapy alumni.
During this time when individuals are concerned about their health and safety, HCRI responded quickly and innovatively to promote the well-being of HCRI alumni, clients and staff.
According to HCRI President Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D., the nonprofit institute has stringently implemented guidelines set forth by the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. In addition, the HCRI clinical team is now working remotely and continuing to serve the needs of HCRI therapy participants.
Dr. Webster added. “To extend our services and support during this most unusual time in the world, the HCRI team has rolled out new online services for alumni who are practicing social distancing or who are quarantined.”
ONLINE SUPPORT SERVICES
These sessions are tailored to each individual’s needs. Sessions may be scheduled for 30 minutes or an hour. Contact Holly Humphreys at 855-236-7032 or email@example.com to schedule your session.
This program allows individuals to fine-tune targets, while working individually with HCRI clinicians over a two-day period. Time will be spent reviewing and practicing targets, as well as participating in individually tailored transfer activities. Contact Holly Humphreys at 540-265-5659 or firstname.lastname@example.org for registration information.
HCRI is continuing to offer its Remote Refresher programs for HCRI alumni. The Remote Refresher is designed to help persons recapture the ability to control stuttering, stay on target, and speak fluently in all types of situations. Participants receive an in-depth review of the skills taught during HCRI’s 12-day stuttering therapy. Online sessions take place over a one-month period. Please email Candy Smith at email@example.com for information about this program.
HCRI’s online practice software, FluencyNet, is now available to former therapy participants at a 50% savings. Pricing is based on the length of the subscription. For information, contact Linda Booth at 855-236-7032 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Complimentary Weekly Check-ins
As always, the HCRI clinical staff remains available to provide free weekly support to anyone who attended HCRI stuttering therapy in the past. Individuals are encouraged to send an email to schedule a check-in call with a clinician.
HCRI clinicians are compassionate and skilled in the delivery of HCRI’s science-based stuttering therapy. While working remotely, HCRI’s clinical team continues to provide the highest standards of clinical excellence inherent to HCRI’s therapy delivery.
Dr. Webster added, “We remain committed to serving the needs of individuals who stutter, as well as continuing to work toward meeting the growing demand for online services while this crisis persists.”
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) nonprofit 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 the center’s 12-day stuttering therapy. 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.
We are fortunate to live in this time of tremendous digital convenience with apps and internet services that make our lives easier and more efficient. Online banking, education, stock trading, e-medicine, shopping and more fit our busy lifestyles.
That’s why it is not surprising when we are asked whether HCRI stuttering therapy is available as an online program. The short answer is… No. And, for good reason. In fact, here are eight reasons why coming to HCRI’s national therapy center in Virginia is so important to achieving life-long fluency.
1. 100% Focus on Your Speech. When you come to HCRI, you are away from all the distractions of everyday life. For 12 consecutive days, you immerse yourself in our intensive program and focus on acquiring skills to speak fluently for a lifetime. The richness of the HCRI experience – and the proven fluency results it delivers – simply cannot be replicated through an online program.
2. Intensive, Distinctive Experience. At HCRI, participants benefit from invaluable one-on-one guidance with our expert clinical team. Specially trained clinicians focus on you and your speech needs, and guide you each step of the way on your path to fluency. This individualized, face-to-face approach is essential to therapy success.
3. Success Begins on Your First Day. HCRI stuttering therapy is a proven, science-based program that has been tested with thousands of stuttering persons from mild to severe. Each step in the stuttering therapy process helps you achieve success benchmarks that you build upon throughout your 12 days.
As each day unfolds, you will develop a growing sense that you command the skills to make fluency happen at will. The unique therapy environment at our nonprofit center, including face-to-face instruction, fluency-training technology, and extraordinary support, is designed to propel your success in achieving lasting fluency.
4. Group Support and Camaraderie. At HCRI, you will participate in therapy with a small group of people who stutter that come from near and far. On your first day, you will quickly feel at home with the other program participants. You’ll interact with these individuals each day and will likely feel a close bond with them by the end of your program. Many life-long friendships are made at HCRI. These special connections cannot be realized through online therapy.
5. Enhanced Confidence and Self-Esteem. HCRI therapy focuses on the physical aspects of speech and teaches participants how to rebuild speech muscles to speak fluently and spontaneously. Our center’s one-of-a-kind behavioral approach to therapy not only delivers strong fluency outcomes; it positively impacts how individuals feel about themselves and their emotions. Through the ability to speak fluently, worry diminishes and is replaced with greater confidence and enjoyment in all types of speaking situations.
6. Access to Proprietary Therapy Technology. Integral to HCRI stuttering therapy is the use of the center’s on-site treatment technology. Developed in-house, HCRI’s therapy technology makes fluency skills easier to learn and more precise. In addition, these tools help participants effectively transfer fluency capabilities learned in the clinical setting to real-world situations.
7. Lifetime of Post-Therapy Support. Once attendees complete their HCRI program, they return home with an unprecedented package of fluency practice tools and clinical support. Clients are encouraged to stay in contact with clinicians via phone and email contact. In addition, post-therapy tools include HCRI’s FluencyNet practice software, an iPhone app, program materials, access to practice groups, refresher programs and more. At HCRI, we are your partner in fluency for life.
8. Consistent, Proven Outcomes. HCRI research demonstrates that 93% of therapy participants acquire fluent speech by the end of their 12-day program. Follow-up studies show 75% retain fluency when evaluated two years later. These fluency outcomes are among the highest documented results of any stuttering therapy available. HCRI results are based on individuals coming to the institute for therapy.
Making the commitment to take 12 days to solely focus on your fluency at HCRI can be one of the best investments of time you will ever make. Through the ability to speak fluently, confidence increases, personal satisfaction grows, and doors of opportunity open.
HCRI was founded by Ronald L Webster, Ph.D. in 1972 to investigate stuttering through scientific discovery and treatment innovation. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, HCRI is a leader in stuttering research and scientifically derived therapy. More than 6,500 people from across the U.S. and 50 countries have come to HCRI for stuttering treatment. Clients journalists, students, business professionals, broadcasters, teachers, engineers, doctors, military personnel, police officers, actors, a Supreme Court nominee, and even royalty.
HCRI is located at 7851 Enon Drive, Roanoke, Va. 24019. To learn more, visit www.stuttering.org or contact HCRI at 855-236-7032 or email@example.com.
THE TRANSFORMING EFFECT OF HCRI STUTTERING THERAPY
Dallas native Connor Lane can’t remember a time when he didn’t stutter. While growing up, he couldn’t say his name. He feared meeting new people. He refrained from participating in class discussions. And, he couldn’t order food in restaurants.
As a teen, Connor’s stuttering continued to worsen. His inability to speak fluently impeded his quality of life. Yet, he tried to stay positive and kept pushing forward, making the best of circumstances with each passing day. He spent his time focusing on his grades and exploring his interests.
One particular interest that evolved into a passion was his love of music and playing the flute. Connor would practice for hours and perform in school recitals. Though, as he progressed with his musical skills, the speech blocks from his stuttering extended to his flute playing. Connor experienced issues with tongue articulation and control that got in the way of his ability to play.
Fast Forward to the Present
Today, Connor is working on his Doctoral in Musical Arts at University of Memphis and is a graduate assistant teaching music appreciation. Three times a week, he delivers the subject matter to a class of 150 students, while fielding questions during his presentations. His speech is fluent and eloquent.
At the same time, with his immense talent as a flutist, he is a member of the university’s orchestra and performs with area ensembles. He plays with precision and emotion, absent of the worry he once had about tongue control.
Enabling the Dramatic Change
When Connor was a senior attending Bowling Green State University, he reached a point where he knew he needed to do something about his stuttering once and for all. He did not want his speech to get in the way of his ability to achieve his dream of becoming a college professor and an accomplished flutist.
His prior experience with speech therapy earlier in college was ineffective so he began researching other treatment options. An online search led him to the 12-day stuttering therapy program at Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI – www.stuttering.org).
“When I read about HCRI’s program, it was clear that the approach was different from other therapies.” Connor said. “I watched the before-and-after videos and could tell this therapy is something special.”
Then, Connor contacted the Virginia-based institute for more information and applied to HCRI’s therapy program. He knew attending involved a meaningful investment of his time, money and dedication to the therapy process. He was ready for it.
HCRI’s Immersion Program
HCRI stuttering therapy is a science-based, behavioral treatment, which was invented by HCRI President Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D. Therapy involves a step-by-step treatment system that teaches individuals who stutter how to replace faulty speech-muscle movements that cause stuttering with new muscle behaviors that generate fluent speech. Through this 12-day immersion program, people acquire the ability to control their stuttering and speak fluently in all types of situations.
“HCRI stuttering therapy is a comprehensive, one-of-a-kind treatment that has been tested and proven with thousands of cases that range from mild to severe,” Dr. Webster said. “No other stuttering treatment replicates the sophistication of HCRI stuttering therapy – or the individualized approach from which clients benefit.”
At HCRI, Connor spent eight hours a day working one-on-one with specially trained clinicians and learned new ways to use his speech muscles to stop stuttering. Therapy took place in HCRI’s clinical setting, as well as in real-world environments. He practiced his newly acquired speaking skills with other participants who stuttered and used HCRI’s proprietary treatment technologies.
“The therapy was like a much-needed shock to my system. It was challenging, but such a huge opportunity to learn. I took it very seriously,” Connor said.
As each day passed, Connor’s speech continued to transform and his stuttering continued to diminish. He left HCRI with the ability to speak fluently and spontaneously. He also left with a comprehensive package of post-therapy support that included on-going phone support with clinicians, fluency practice software, program materials, and an iPhone app to help him practice and check his fluency skills.
Connor added, “The therapists guided me every step of the way. I worked primarily with Holly Humphreys who encouraged me, challenged me, and helped me achieve fluency. She was great to work with and I stay in contact with her regularly.”
Fluency through HCRI Therapy
Mrs. Humphreys, HCRI’s clinical supervisor, said Connor’s fierce dedication to the therapy process helped propel his success in the program. “He followed each step of the program to a T and worked diligently each day. Since returning home, Connor checks in with me whenever he needs guidance and support, which I encourage all of our clients to do.”
Mrs. Humphreys noted that Connor is a great role model for how to work hard and achieve lasting fluency with the HCRI program. Research demonstrates that 93% of HCRI participants achieve fluency by the end of their 12-day program. Follow-up studies reveal that 75% of participants maintain fluency when evaluated two years later.
Through the ability to speak fluently, Connor is well on his way to accomplishing his life goals to be a professor and sought-after flutist. According to Connor, “What I got from HCRI was life changing. The experience was priceless.”
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 over 12 days. 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.