As guests arrived at
Cal State Fullerton’s 17th Annual Fluency
two-day conference, they were greeted by Educational Outreach Director and Chair of the
Cal State Fullerton’s Center for Children Who Stutter
Gary Montooth, MA, CCC-SLP and Conference Chairperson. Faculty members and graduate students in the Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) program at Chapman University’s Crean College were in attendance including,
Dr. Judy Montgomery
, Professor and Chair of the CSD Program,
Loryn McGill,
M.S., CCC-SLP, Professor of Fluency Disorders, second-year CSD graduate student
Lisa Bombarda
and first-year CSD graduate students, Alexis Ahmadi, Ani Marganian, and Trisha Thapar.

“Stuttering is a topic that many people have little knowledge about, and most people fear.  Our students learn to provide effective therapy for persons who stutter.  80% of persons who stutter and have effective therapy recover, and have normal speech patterns.”

Dr. Judy Montgomery states of the power of effective therapy.

Dr. Judy Montgomery and her team working with a patient.
Two guest speakers from the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at the University of Maryland, Vivian Sisskin, M.S., CCC-SLP, BCS-F and Nan Bernstein-Ratner, Ed.D., CCC-SLP, BCS-CLLD, both of whom are board certified specialists in child language and fluency disorders, gave talks on their work and research. Sisskin spoke about speech disfluencies seen in individuals with autism, and her research in avoidance reduction therapy.

Bernstein-Ratner discussed differential diagnosis, preschool treatment approaches, and the latest research related to stuttering. Sisskin invited two former clients from her avoidance reduction therapy group to share their stories about the “up-side” for a person who stutters.

First-year graduate student, Alexis Ahmadi commented, “I learned that a lot of focus on working with a person who stutters is about empowering them to enjoy communicating and that they should not feel ashamed or nervous to speak their mind. I think it’s a really important aspect to include in therapy.”

More Orange County events related to communication and stuttering will be held in the future. Chapman University and Loryn McGill, M.S., CCC-SLP will be hosting a “FRIENDS Who Stutter” one-day conference on Saturday, March 19, 2016 at the Chapman University campus in Orange, California. This conference will have workshops designed for children, teens, siblings, parents, graduate students, and speech-language pathologists. Each workshop will include presentations, small group discussions, and engaging group activities. Check our
events page
for more information closer to the date. We hope to see you there!

Contributed by Lisa Bombarda, CSD Graduate Student and winner of the 2015 Baldwin Scholarship. Edited by Dr. Judy Montgomery and Molly Fitzpatrick.