USF-PATS Completes its Fifth Summer Cohort

USF-PATS Completes its Fifth Summer Cohort July 2016, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders hosted its fifth summer cohort of PATS - Program for the Advanced Treatment of Stuttering. Four advanced practicum students in Speech Pathology - Andrea Steyer, Merrily Shary, Alexa Zazik, and Kara McCullers - provided 90 hours of intensive intervention, under the direction of Associate Professor Nathan Maxfield, to 11 clients who stutter. The program was also supported by doctoral student Wendy Olsen and incoming Speech Pathology student Erika Mercier. More than 50 clients who stutter have participated in PATS since 2011 is a 3-week, 90-hour intensive program aimed at helping older school-age children, teenagers and adults with moderate to severe stuttering. Stuttering is a fluency disorder that typically begins in childhood and persists in ~1% of adults. Persistent stuttering can have profound negative impacts on social well-being, occupational opportunity and mental health. There is no cure for stuttering. However, behavioral management of stuttering can be effective, especially when therapy is initially intensive. 2015, PATS received an endorsement from Olympic gold-medal swimmer Nancy Hogshead-Makar. PATS also attracted a sizable gift from retired professor Dr. Fred Murray, fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and author of 'A Stutterer's Story'. Dr. Murray's gift will be used to establish two endowed scholarships, one supporting clients in need of therapy for stuttering, and another to support student research in the area of stuttering.