This week I am traveling to Tampa, Fla., to the ASHA Special Interest Division in Fluency Disorders 2010 Leadership and Clinical Conference. The title of the conference is “Unique Challenges and Common Themes in Stuttering Assessment, Treatment, and Research”. I am very much looking forward to this conference, because I believe that the time has come for everyone interested in advancing the treatment for stuttering to work together at developing a unified scientific theory.
This conference will be a gathering of clinicians who are concerned with delivering effective therapy to their clients, researchers who want to find answers to the many questions about stuttering, and professors who want to pass on correct knowledge to their students. The Stuttering Foundation of America and National Stuttering Association, two organizations that represent consumers who want and deserve improved treatment will also be lending their support. It should be an ideal forum for exploring new ideas, observations, and findings. A realistic outcome will be the ability of all to look beyond the same ideas and treatment approaches that have been discussed over and over in the past and to find the best direction for advancing the field.
I am planning to do my part as part of a roundtable discussion. As all my readers know, I will be presenting a theory and treatment approach that is different from what most of my colleagues follow. This is not the 1st conference in which I will be sharing my views. I first presented my seminal theory at a conference in Oxford England in 1993. The reaction I received there and at seminars and conferences that followed was extremely positive. However, my clients who tell me that Dynamic Stuttering Therapy is the most logical therapy that they have experienced don’t understand why other clinicians do not use this treatment approach. Perhaps the late Hugo Gregory was correct in 1993 when he told me that my ideas would not be accepted in our lifetime. Apparently new ideas do trickle slowly into the collective consciousness. That is why I am pleased for the opportunity to share my experiences, learn more about the latest research findings and insights from my colleagues as we brainstorm together with an open mind. By doing this, we should be able to make this a successful conference. I’ll give you my impressions when I return.