Experts – 2014 ISAD Online Conference

About the experts (in alphabetic order by last name):

agiusJospeh Agius, Ed.D., is a Speech Language Pathologist with special interest in fluency disorders and humour research. As partner expert nominated by the University of Malta, Dr. Agius collaborates with experts from thirteen European Universities and two centres of excellence on the development and delivery of the ‘European Clinical Specialization Course in Fluency Disorders’. He is Senior Practitioner of the Speech Language Department and employed by the Health Division, Government of Malta. Dr. Agius is visiting senior lecturer at the University of Malta lecturing on ‘Fluency Disorders’, ‘Language and Psychiatry’, ‘Creativity, Humour and Communication’ and ‘Legal and Ethical Issues’. He is a member on the Fluency Committee of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (IALP). He is author of the iOS application ‘Fluency SIS’ – Smart Intervention Strategy for school- age children who stutter.
barcalNancy Barcal, M.A., CCC-SLP, is the Founding Director of Granite Bay Speech and has over 32 years experience treating individuals who stutter and clutter. Nancy received her Bachelor’s Degree from Bradley University, (Peoria, Illinois) and her Master’s Degree from Northern Illinois University, (DeKalb, Illinois). The National Stuttering Association (NSA) recognized her as the 2009 Chapter Leader of the Year.  Nancy has been an active member of the NSA since 1983.  She is a member of ASHA’s Fluency Disorders Special Interest Group. Nancy is a frequent guest speaker on the subject of fluency disorders and counseling techniques at Northern California school districts, hospitals, and Sacramento State University (Sacramento, California).  She recently presented, “Providing the Best Care for Your Client Who Stutters” at the National Student Speech and Hearing Association Conference in Sacramento, California. Nancy has developed clinical fluency evaluation and treatment guidelines for the insurance industry. She has worked in home health, schools and hospitals, as well as, private practice.  Nancy works with the Roseville Theatre Group to provide opportunities for people who stutter to volunteer in the theatre for generalization of skills.  She is passionate about increasing awareness of fluency disorders and advocating for better treatment options.
ratnerNan Bernstein Ratner (CCC-SLP, F-ASHA, BCS-CLD) is a Professor in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Ratner’s  primary areas of research are fluency development and disorder, psycholinguistics and the role of adult input and interaction in child language development. The author of numerous research articles, chapters and edited texts, she is the co-author of A Handbook on Stuttering (6th ed) with the late Oliver Bloodstein, as well as The Development of Language (7th ed) and Psycholinguistics (2nd ed.), both with Jean Berko Gleason.Her work in stuttering has focused particularly on the role of language formulation in the etiology and persistence of stuttering, the efficacy of advisement to parents of stuttering children, and the application of evidence-based practice to stuttering treatment. In 2014, in recognition of her work in these areas, she was named a recipient of the Honors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, as well as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2006, Professor Bernstein Ratner received the Distinguished Researcher award from the International Fluency Association.
dahmBarbara Dahm SLP-CCC is a Board Recognized Specialist in Fluency Disorders. She is the director of Communication Therapy Institute, a clinic that specializes in the treatment of stuttering. Ms Dahm has extensive experience working with children and adults who stutter in both group and individual settings. Since 1987, she has been involved with the treatment of nearly 2000 people who stutter. Today there are branches of CTI in Israel, USA and via Online Therapy. She is a member of the Association of Israeli Communication Clinicians, a founding member of the International Fluency Association, a member of ASHA Special Interest Group in Fluency and Fluency Disorders and a member of several self-help groups for people who stutter. She received her degrees from Boston University and has over 40 years of experience as a speech pathologist. While treating people who stutter, she discovered the benefits of the speech processing approach to therapy. She authored Generating Fluent Speech: A Comprehensive Speech Processing Approach (1997) and Dynamic Stuttering Therapy (2007). She has presented her approach to professionals and people who stutter in The Netherlands, England, Germany, Denmark, Canada, Israel and the USA.
heatherHeather Grossman, PhD, CCC-SLP is the clinical director at the American Institute for Stuttering in New York, NY. She has worked with children and adults who stutter for over 25 years and was among the first select group of speech-language pathologists to receive board recognition as a specialist in the treatment of fluency disorders from ASHA. Heather is extremely active in the stuttering self-help community. She is a frequent presenter at NSA and FRIENDS conferences. She has also presented numerous professional papers on stuttering at both national and international conferences, including those of ASHA and IFA. She is regularly called upon as an expert reference for journalistic coverage of stuttering and has appeared on numerous radio and television broadcasts, including the CBS Morning Show and Katie.

Dr. Grossman has extensive experience as a teacher, researcher, and clinician. Before joining AIS, she was the clinical services coordinator at Hofstra University and an adjunct professor at Long Island University, Mercy College, and Queens College. In addition to fluency disorders, her teaching and clinical experience has focused on childhood language and learning disorders, autism spectrum disorders, and language development.

Heather received her doctorate degree in 2008 at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

kusterJudith Kuster M.S. in speech-language pathology and M.S. in counseling, is an ASHA Fellow and emeritus professor of Communication Disorders at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is the webmaster for the Stuttering Home Page ( and is a member of the ASHA Special Interest Group #4: Fluency and Fluency Disorders. She is the recipient of the ASHF DiCarlo Award for Outstanding Clinical Achievement, the 2003 Distinguished Contributor Award from the International Fluency Association, a 2007 Outstanding Contribution Award from the International Stuttering Association, the 2008 ASHA Distinguished Contributor Award, and in 2009 was named to the National Stuttering Association’s Hall of Fame.
onslowProfessor Mark Onslow is the Founding Director of the Australian Stuttering Research Centre, which has been active since 1996. During a 30-year career he has published around 200 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. His research activity includes clinical trials of treatments for children and adults who stutter, the mental health of those who stutter, measurement of stuttering, and the epidemiology of stuttering. He is now leading an extensive program of research to develop standalone Internet treatments for adults and children who stutter. The research program of the Australian Stuttering Research Centre has been funded continuously by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.
OsborneCharlie Osborne is a clinical associate professor at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. He teaches the Fluency Disorders class and supervises graduate students conducting fluency therapy with children & their families and adults. Charlie is a former editor of ASHA SID 4 Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Disorders, is currently serving on ASHA SIG 4’s Coordinating Committee, and is a member of the advisory council for   He has worked with persons who stutter for over 25 years.
Scott PalasikScott Palasik is an Assistant Professor at the University of Akron. He teaches courses in Stuttering and Voice Disorders at the graduate level, and Anatomy and Physiology and Articulation and Phonological Disorders at the Undergraduate level. He supervises graduate students, and performs social cognition research with unconscious and conscious attitudes toward stuttering, and the social and physical effects of background noise on eating. He’s developing the Mindfulness ACT Somatic Stuttering (MASS) treatment approach and is the director of the MASS (Mindfulness ACT Social Cognition Stuttering) lab. Last, and not least, he owes his life to the many people who have supported him, inspired him, and gave him continued guidance along life’s journey. We are social beings, and learn from our experiences with others. These experiences can then help us find our values, and live a values-based life, full of actions that best fit who we strive to be.
sawyerJean Sawyer, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is an associate professor in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Illinois State University. Dr. Sawyer teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in fluency, and serves as a consultant to speech-language pathologists who treat stuttering. She is a member and former co-chapter leader of the National Stuttering Association.  Her research is in the characteristics of disfluencies, the distribution of disfluencies in stuttered speech, and treatment efficacy.
scottKathleen Scaler Scott is a practicing speech-language pathologist, Board Recognized Fluency Specialist, and Assistant Professor of Speech-Language Pathology at Misericordia University. Her research interests are largely in cluttering and atypical disfluencies. She is the co-editor of Cluttering: A Handbook of Research, Intervention, and Education (Psychology Press, 2011) and co-author of Managing Cluttering: A Comprehensive Guidebook of Activities (Pro-Ed, Inc., 2013), both with Dr. David Ward. Dr. Scaler Scott is the author of numerous publications and has spoken nationally and internationally on the topics of fluency and social pragmatic disorders. She was the first Coordinator of the International Cluttering Association.
SisskinVivian Sisskin, M.S., CCC-SLP, BCS-F is a clinical professor at the University of Maryland. She is an ASHA Fellow and Board Certified Specialist in Fluency Disorders. She served as Coordinator for ASHA¹s Special Interest Group 4 (Fluency and Fluency Disorders), received ASHA¹s Media Champion award, and was the National Stuttering Association¹s Speech-Language Pathologist of the Year. Sisskin is currently Vice Chair of the American Board on Fluency and Fluency Disorders and a faculty member for the Stuttering Foundation¹s Mid-Atlantic Workshop. Her articles and workshops include treatment for stuttering, principles of group therapy, and communication strategies for children with autism. She runs the Sisskin Stuttering Center in the Washington DC metro area.
HildaSHilda Sønsterud is a speech and language therapist in Oslo, Norway. She has been working with speech fluency disorders (stuttering and cluttering) since 1998. Currently, she works at a national centre with interdisciplinary expertise in the field of speech, language and communication disorders (Statped, Department of Speech and language disorders).Hilda works primarily with treatment, education and research related to fluency disorders. She runs courses in the field of stuttering and cluttering, and she provides clinical training and practice for SLTs and SLT students. She strongly believes in the necessity for close ties and good collaboration between clinical research and clinical practice, with the ultimate aim of improving treatment for persons with stuttering or cluttering. She is chair of the Meetings- and Conferences committee in the International Fluency Association (IFA), and she represents Norway in the International Cluttering Association (ICA). She also works closely with the Stuttering Association in Norway.
kenKen St. Louis, a mostly recovered stutterer, is a professor of speech-language pathology in the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders at West Virginia University. St. Louis has taught and treated fluency disorders for 40 years. His research has culminated in more than 135 publications and 300 presentations. He is an ASHA Fellow and was awarded the Deso Weiss Award for Excellence in cluttering, WVU’s Benedum Distinguished Scholar Award, and WVU’s Heebink Award for Outstanding Service to the State. He founded the International Project of Attitudes Toward Human Attributes and has collaborated with numerous colleagues internationally on measuring public attitudes toward stuttering. Other current research interests include the definition and symptoms of cluttering and stories of stuttering.
SubramanianAnu Subramanian, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is a clinical associate professor at the Dept of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at Purdue University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she studied with Dr. Ehud Yairi. She supervises graduate students in the Birth to Three program, preschool fluency groups, and other pediatric clients.  In the last year, she has added school-age clients and adults with fluency disorders to her supervisory experience. Her research interests are in clinical practice in speech and language intervention.
tetnowskiJohn A. Tetnowski, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is the Blanco Endowed Professor in Communicative Disorders at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.  He is a Fluency Specialist and an ASHA fellow.  He has authored over 60 manuscripts on stuttering, assessment procedures, and research methodologies.  He has worked clinically with PWS for over 25 years.
williamsDale F. Williams, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BRS-FD is a Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Director of the Fluency Clinic at Florida Atlantic University. In addition, he is a consultant for Language Learning Intervention and Professional Speech Services.  A board certified specialist in fluency, Dr. Williams served as Chair of the Specialty Board on Fluency Disorders from 2008 to 2010. His publications include the books Stuttering Recovery: Personal and Empirical Perspectives and Communication Sciences and Disorders: An Introduction to the Professions (Psychology Press). Dr. Williams has coordinated the Boca Raton chapter of the NSA since 1996.
YarussJ. Scott Yaruss, PhD, CCC-SLP, BRS-FD, ASHA Fellow, is an associate professor and director of the Master’s Degree programs in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh. His research examines methods for evaluating treatment outcomes in people who stutter. He has published more than 50 papers in peer-reviewed journals and nearly 100 other articles, papers, and chapters on stuttering. He is author, co-author, or editor of several booklets, books, and brochures on stuttering, including the Overall Assessment of the Speaker’s Experience of Stuttering (OASES; Pearson) as well as School-age Stuttering Therapy: A Practical Guide and the Minimizing Bullying for Children Who Stutter series (Stuttering Therapy Resources, Inc.).

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