The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us


5137 Westlawn
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6660; fax (319) 335-8034

Release: Sept. 6, 2000

UI Wendell Johnson Center offers new parent-child service to treat stuttering

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Helping children overcome stuttering often requires the help of many people, including a parent. The University of Iowa Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Center aims to meet that need by offering parent-child fluency groups, beginning this fall.

A school-age section for children in grades third through fifth and their parents will meet Tuesdays from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. The pre-school/early elementary section for children in pre-school through second grade and their parents will meet Thursdays from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m.

To participate in either group, the child and his/her parents must be referred by a speech-language pathologist or receive an evaluation at the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Center clinic. Evaluation appointments can be made by calling the clinic secretary, Kathy Miller, at (319) 335-8736. The evaluations and treatment will be based on a sliding fee scale.

"The center's clinic has a long history of providing diagnostic and treatment services to adults and children who stutter and to their families," said Patricia Zebrowski, Ph.D., UI associate professor of speech pathology and audiology and program organizer. "The new program represents an expansion of these services. One of our main goals is to make stuttering a topic that can be discussed between the child and parents, and to provide the family with the skills to do so."

Zebrowski said that during each after-school session parents and children will first meet simultaneously but separately under the direction of a speech-language pathologist or a graduate clinician in speech language pathology. After 45-minutes, the parents will have the opportunity to watch their children participate in their groups. Many of the sessions will conclude with parent-child activities.

"The goals of the parent group are education, support and discussion," Zebrowski said. "The goals of the children's group are practicing 'easy' or 'smooth' speech skills, and for older children, discussing various aspects of talking and stuttering in a supportive environment."

She added, "For children who stutter and for their parents, a large benefit of the group is the opportunity to meet and talk with others who share their experiences and concerns."

For more information about the stuttering treatment program, call Zebrowski at (319) 335-8735 or contact her by e-mail at