Stuttering Research

So the first workshop after lunch at the NSA Annual Conference on the second day was What’s Hot in Stuttering Research. Obviously this interested me because uh, well, how are we doing on a cure? No? That’s ok. I’m having a good time at the conference. We can do this again next year.

This workshop was put on by Dr. Ratner from the University of Maryland.

Instead of trying to write out exactly what Dr. Ratner talked about, I’ll just list points:

1. No cure!

2. Scientists are identifying genes that play a role

3. It’s definitely genetic. There’s not an outside influence. (so, no, I didn’t get my stutter from watching too much Porky Pig)

4. The therapist matters more than the technique

(I thought that no. 4 was interesting in light of no. 1. That is, if you’re a parent, you’re not going to get a straight-up cure for your child. But given the right therapist, you can certainly make your child more confident and comfortable with their stutter.)

I need to e-mail Dr. Ratner and get the presentation that she put on. (There was much more she said that I didn’t quite write down fast enough).

She also mentioned going to and searching for “stutter*”. That will show the most recent papers written on stuttering. I did this a little today — you have to really look through it all carefully, though. She also said you could just e-mail the author and they would likely send you a copy of the paper if it’s not available. I will also try to do this. There are some free papers available that I did download that look very interesting.

One paper she talked about was from Dr. Change from the University of Michigan. Here is a link to the abstract. I haven’t read through the paper (note: I’m definitely not a scientist, just an engineer). But I will soon.

I would also encourage you to check out Tom’s site, the Stuttering Brain, if you find an older research paper. There’s a chance that he’s seen it already and has gone through it.

Given the research that is out there, there’s a lot more for me to look through and comment on. But I just wanted to write about the workshop itself that was very, very interesting.

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