Malta3 Something Totally Random


Courtney T. Byrd

Affiliation:  University of Texas, Austin, USA & Michael and Tami Lang Stuttering Institute, USA

Title: Camp Dream. Speak. Live.

Courtney T. Byrd, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at The University of Texas. Her research interests include the study of speech-language contributions to childhood stuttering and the development of innovative treatment and clinical training tools. Her research laboratory received an endowment in 2012 and was renamed the Dr. Jennifer and Emanuel Bodner Developmental Stuttering Laboratory.
In 2014, the Michael and Tami Lang Stuttering Institute was established as a distinct endowed institute dedicated to excellence in clinical research for which Dr. Byrd serves as the founding Director. Dr. Byrd has published her research in a variety of journals, several book chapters, and presented nationally and internationally

Abstract:  Camp Dream. Speak. Live. is an annual summer camp sponsored by The U  of Texas at Austin's Michael and Tami Lang Stuttering Institute for children who stutter where reducing stuttering and/or increasing fluency is not the focus, rather the focus is on the children as individuals, who they hope to be, what they want to achieve and having fun. Through the generous gift of Michael and Tami Lang, Camp Dream. Speak. Live. is entirely free of charge and yet the benefit to each child who attends is of meaningful, lasting value. Together, our campers experience laughter, joy, excitement, and exceptional opportunities to advance their communication, mentorship skills, and self-confidence. Our goals for the children who attend our program include improving communication attitudes and communication effectiveness, as well as increasing resiliency, mentorship skills, and self-advocacy. We are piloting a variety of activities that will help the children to meet these goals as well as tools to allow reliable and valid measurement of progress. Our preliminary data suggest that participation in Camp Dream. Speak. Live. is of significant benefit to the campers and their parents in terms of increasing their positive attitudes towards their communication abilities and decreasing the negative impact of stuttering on their lives. We will continue to assess the additional potential outcomes. We will also continue to explore which measures provide the most valuable assessment of camper benefits such that we can further revise and modify our camp structure to allow for maximum benefit to all participants. We look forward to including campers from across the globe as the more we expand our perspective and participation, the more we will be able to further the mission of the Michael and Tami Lang Stuttering Institute.


Carolyn Cheasman & Rachel Everard

Affiliation:  City Lit, London, UK (

Title: An introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

Carolyn Cheasman has worked with adults who stutter at City Lit (UK national specialist centre in adult stuttering therapy) since 1979. Having completed post-qualification training in different counselling approaches, she went on to train as a mindfulness teacher. In 2012, Carolyn was honoured to receive the IFA Clinician of Distinction award. She has experienced interiorized stammering herself.
Rachel Everard, also based at City Lit, is a specialist speech and language therapist whose decision to train as a therapist stemmed from the fact she stutters herself. Due to her own personal experience of stuttering, she strongly believes in empowering people who stutter and in the benefits of group therapy.

Abstract:  This didactic and experiential seminar will describe the key principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and its relevance to stuttering. Developed by Steven Hayes in 1986, ACT is a mindfulness-based approach with a large body of empirical evidence to support its effectiveness. It teaches clients strategies to manage difficult thoughts and feelings more easily, cultivate greater acceptance, reduce experiential avoidance and, through the use of structured goal-setting, make meaningful changes in line with their life values. ACT highlights the point that attempts to control a problem often only exacerbate it and what we do to overcome a problem may serve to maintain it. This is particularly relevant in relation to adult stammering where avoidance is often used to control and suppress.
As well as integrating ACT into traditional stuttering therapy programmes, the authors have also developed specific ACT workshops for people who stutter and will present statistically significant outcome data alongside client testimonies based on this work.


Joseph Donaher

Affiliation: The Center for Childhood Communication & The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, USA

Title: Accounting for the impact of concomitant issues with children who stutter.

Joseph Donaher, Ph.D., is the Academic and Research Program Director of the Center for Childhood Communication at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and  an Assistant Professor at The University of Pennsylvania. His clinical and research interests focus on the assessment and treatment of school-age children who stutter.

Abstract:  Stuttering is a neurologically based disorder which impairs an individual's ability to time and sequence the underlying movement necessary for speech. Stuttering is multifactorial in nature and involves a complex interaction of motor abilities, individual perceptions, emotional reactions, cognitive-linguistic functioning, functional and structural brain differences, genetics, social constraints and psychosocial variables, which influence the stability of the speech motor system. As a result, intervention must be tailored to the unique characteristics of each individual and clinicians must account for a variety of factors that can significantly impact therapeutic outcomes. The goal of this presentation is to identify various ways in which common coexisting challenges can impact a child who stutter's ability or desire to effectively communicate. Intervention strategies for children who stutter that account for concomitant issues will be introduced and discussed. This lecture will be presented via videoconference.



Kurt Eggers 

Affiliation: European Clinical Specialization Course Fluency Disorders & Thomas More U College, Antwerp, Belgium

Title: Fluency specialization in Europe: where are we? 

Kurt Eggers, Ph.D., is lecturer and researcher at Thomas More U College and ECSF-coordinator. He has lectured nationally and internationally on fluency disorders and his research focuses on the role of temperament & attentional processes in stuttering, normal speech disfluencies, and disfluencies in Down syndrome.  

Abstract: The ECSF has been running courses since 2008. Currently more then 100 students from 23 EU and non-EU countries have graduated from the program. The one-year course leads to a qualification as an ECSF-recognized Fluency Therapist. This European group has now developed an additional stepwise procedure to become a European Fluency Specialist to ensure that patients and families receive the highest possible standard of care. This is open to ECSF graduates as well as eligible clinicians and academics with special interest in fluency disorders. The process involves documentation re. clinical and/or academic activities, continued professional development activities, and informal discussion groups, within a time frame of three years. This lecture will focus on the development and application of this certification process.



George Fourlas

Affiliation:  ΚΕΘΤ: Stuttering Research & Therapy Centre, Athens, Greece

Title:  Lexipontix: the threatening mouse becomes a companion pet.

George Fourlas is a Speech and Language Therapist, head of the Stuttering Research and Therapy Centre (ΚΕΘΤ) in Athens, Greece. He is involved in clinical work, supervision, teaching and research. He is member of the IALP Fluency Committee and the SIG in fluency disorders of the Pahellenic Association of Logopedists and ECSF coach.

Abstract:  Lexipontix (Fourlas & Marousos, 2014) is a structured stuttering therapy programme for school-age children. Parents are engaged and therapy addresses the overall stuttering experience following the ICF model. Therapy is fun, it makes sense and produces meaningful changes. Card and roleplay games, behavioural experiments and real life "missions" are used to explore and understand the stuttering experience and to find alternative ways of managing it. In Lexipontix terms, the threatening mouse, which tries to invade and gain control over "the factory of mind" by inducing negative thoughts, emotions, somatic reactions, and unhelpful behaviours, is transformed into a controllable "pet" by means of CBT, PCI and SFBT practices as well as fluency shaping and stuttering modification techniques. The purpose of the presentation is to discuss the structure of Lexipontix in relation to its underlying theories, the clinical tools and practice, the role and the skills of the therapist as well as examples of expected outcomes.


Marie-Christine Franken

Affiliation: Erasmus University Medical Center, Sophia Children's Hospital, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Speech and Hearing Center, the Netherlands

Title: Comparing effectiveness and costs of stuttering treatment for pre-schoolers: RESTART trial.

Marie-Christine Franken graduated in Linguistics (1985), certified as a Speech-Language Pathologist (1989), a NVST recognized Fluency Expert (1992), PhD (1997). From 2012-2015 she was an Associate Editor of the Journal of Fluency Disorders.  Her area of clinical expertise is stuttering and speech sound disorders in children. Her research is focused on treatment evaluation.

Abstract: In the Netherlands, Demands and Capacities Model based treatment  has been the standard treatment for pre-school stuttering children since the late 1980s.  In 2000, the Lidcombe Program  was introduced.  The RESTART study, which is an acronym of the Rotterdam Evaluation study of Stuttering Therapy in preschool children - A Randomised Trial,  compared  both treatments  on effectiveness and costs.  199 stuttering children aged 3-6 years old were randomised  over both treatments. Treatment was performed by 24 clinicians who were qualified for both treatment methods. Assessments were scheduled pre-treatment, 3, 6, 12 and 18 months post treatment. Randomisation over treatment was stratified by age, gender, time since onset, severity of stuttering, family history of recovery/persistence from stuttering, and clinician. At the conference, the results of the RESTART study regarding recovery of stuttering and cost-effectiveness will be presented, as well as the results of a focus group meeting with the participating clinicians. 



Sabine Van Eerdenbrugh 

Affiliation: International Lidcombe Program Trainers Consortium & Thomas More U College, Antwerp, Belgium

Title: Lidcombe Programme: an update on the research

Sabine Van Eerdenbrugh completed her PhD at the Australian Stuttering Research Centre (University of Sydney, Australia). She is a member of the International Lidcombe Program Trainers Consortium. Currently Sabine works at the Thomas More University College in Antwerp (Belgium). Her main activities are teaching, clinical supervision and the coordination of research activities.


Abstract:  The Lidcombe Programme (LP) is a behavioural treatment for preschool age children who stutter. It is an evidence-based program, with clear outcome evidence generated from Phase I, III and IV clinical trials, conducted in Australia, the US and several European countries. Parents deliver the treatment under the supervision of the Speech-Language Therapist (SLT).  During daily treatment conversations of 10-15 minutes, parents help their child to be stutter-free and provide them with verbal contingencies mainly for their speech. Most recent research into the LP tends to focus 1) on different ways of delivery including webcam, group and standalone treatment and 2) on the types of verbal contingencies that are considered an inherent part of the LP. Outcome data from these studies are presented with possible implications for clinical practice.


Esther Bunschoten & Anneke Busser 

Title: The role of the Dutch Association of Stuttering Therapy.

Esther Bunschoten, works at Stottercentrum Rotterdam as clinician, supervisor and instructor. She was certified as Speech-Language Pathologist (1978) and as NVST recognized Fluency Expert (2001) and was president of the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Stottertherapie, NVST (2007-2014) and recently joined the Commissie Vakinhoud of the NVLF. Contributed to the Dutch Evidence-based Guideline for Stuttering.

Abstract: The Dutch Association of Stuttering Therapy (NVST) was founded in 1987 and is a membership organization of 60 Speech Language Pathologists and other professionals who are expert/specialized in fluency disorders. All members completed a one/two-year training in stuttering therapy. The association's main purposes are to improve the knowledge and understanding of stuttering, to monitor the quality of diagnosis and treatment of stuttering; and to protect the socio-economic interests of its members. The NVST also aims to train skilled specialists in fluency disorders. To achieve these goals, the NVST organizes courses; peer groups in which therapists discuss their methods and the association develops information materials. Partnership with the ECSF meets those goals on a European level. During this lecture the advantages of the link between ECSF, EFS, and NVST will be discussed, along with ‘aftercare' website for stuttering, and the intensive group treatments for stuttering, complementary to individual therapy.