Speech therapist attends stuttering workshop

Published 8:29 pm Saturday, June 23, 2012

Beth Ann Brant, of Suffolk, was one of only 15 speech-language pathologists chosen to attend an intensive workshop on stuttering therapy.

Brant, a speech therapist in the Suffolk Public School system, is participating in the workshop Treating Children and Adolescents Who Stutter in Philadelphia, Pa., from July 9-13. It is co-sponsored by the Stuttering Foundation, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and The Florida State University.

“Since 1985, we have conducted intensive workshops in order to increase the pool of speech-language pathologists trained in the latest techniques for the treatment of stuttering,” said Jane Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation.

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“Those who are selected to participate already have professional experience and have demonstrated a special interest in children who stutter,” added Dr. Joe Donaher, of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, one of the directors of the workshop. “They also are highly motivated. Although the foundation provides full scholarships, many give up their vacations or part of their income to attend. Our task is to provide instruction and a forum where they can hone their skills.”

This year’s workshop attendees are already providing stuttering therapy from California to New York and from Canada to Turkey.

The Stuttering Foundation estimates that more than three million Americans stutter. While there are no miracle cures, a qualified speech clinician can help children and adults alike make significant progress toward speaking fluently.

The foundation notes that the 137 past graduates of the workshop program have frequently created a “ripple effect” back in their home communities as they continue to share their knowledge.

The Stuttering Foundation is a nonprofit organization helping those who stutter since 1947. For more information, visit www.stutteringhelp.org and www.tartamudez.org.