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University of Iowa News Release


June 21, 2007

International Workshop On Stuttering Held At UI June 18-29

Hailing from diverse locales including Finland and Thailand, 18 speech-language pathologists who want to specialize in treating stuttering will attend the 17th annual international "Stuttering Therapy: Workshop for Specialists" June 18-29 at the University of Iowa.

Nearly four percent of the population worldwide experiences stuttering at some point in their lives. At any given time, about one percent of people stutter, including nearly three million Americans. While there are no miracle cures, a qualified speech clinician can help children and adults make significant progress toward speaking fluently.

This is the fourth year that the UI has hosted the workshop, which is co-sponsored by the Stuttering Foundation and the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

"Whatever language a person speaks, some of the strategies used to address stuttering are the same, so speech-language pathologists worldwide can learn from one other, and by extension, help individuals across the globe," said Patricia Zebrowski, Ph.D., UI associate professor of speech pathology and audiology and workshop director.

Each workshop participant will speak about therapy programs in their home state or country. Guest speaker Lisa Scott, Ph.D., assistant professor of communication disorders at Florida State University, will discuss how to help children who stutter manage their emotional reactions and how to provide stuttering therapy for school-age children. Co-presenters Frances Cook and Willie Botterill, therapists at the Michael Palin Center for Stammering Children in London, will discuss their family-centered therapy program for preschool children who stutter.

Additional presenters include Jane Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation, and Zebrowski and colleague Toni Cilek, UI associate clinical professor of speech pathology and audiology.

UI research, led by Zebrowski in conjunction with the University of Illinois, aims to uncover factors that affect whether children can "outgrow" stuttering or may need more therapy. "The more we know about risk factors, the more we can do to develop effective, individualized treatment," Zebrowski said.

The Stuttering Foundation, which is providing scholarship support for many workshop attendees, is a nonprofit organization that has helped those who stutter since 1947. The foundation also has funded graduate student assistantships and laboratory and clinical equipment in the UI Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology.

For more information about the foundation, call 1-800-992-9392 or visit

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5137 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: Becky Soglin, 319-335-6660,