conference logo

Workshop Schedule

DayTimeSession 1Session 2
FRIDAY 6:00-7:00pm Let’s Branch into the Conference (Icebreakers, Meet the Board of Directors)
7:15-8:15 pm Jaleesa Bygrave: Everyone Deserves a Voice: Breaking the Barriers of Race and Speech Impediments Pamela Mertz, Charley Adams: Dropping the ‘C’ in Covert Stuttering at work
8:30-9:30 pm Open Mic
SATURDAY 10:00-11:00am Mary Wood: I Need Your Love – Is that true? Deryk S. Beal: Neurophysiological Markers of Developmental Stuttering: Updated Insights
11:15am-12:15pm Paige Smith: Changing My Name, Changed My Life Daniele Rossi: Let’s Draw Comics!
1:15-2:15pm Nina G: Keynote
2:30-3:30pm Eeva Stierwalt: Parenting a PWS – You are not alone Part 1 Gareth Walkom: The Journey and Future of Stuttering Therapy Using Virtual Reality
3:45-4:45pm Eeva Stierwalt: Parenting a PWS – You are not alone Part 2 Mike Wilson: From Shame to Confidence
6:00-7:00pm Ryan Cowley: Doing What You Love as a Progressive-Minded Stutterer Gerald McGuire: Piecing Together the Mysteries of Stuttering—Reviewing the Treatments Today and Those of Tomorrow
7:15-8:15pm Alexandra D’Agostino: What’s in Your Future? Stuttering and your Career Carla Di Domenicantonio: Personal Perspectives, an Interactive Panel
8:30 – 9:30 pm Open Mic
SUNDAY 10:00-11:00pm Mitchell Abrams: Energy 101: The Art and Science of Meditation Audrey Bigras: Stuttering, Media and Fake news
11:15am-12:15pm Jaan Pill: How Can We Best Address Teasing And Bullying Of Children Who Stutter? Tim Lindsay: The Rollercoaster After Precision Fluency Shaping
1:30-2:30pm Richard Holmes: Keynote
2:45-3:45pm Anna Huynh: Cultivating Leadership: Build your Career and Your Confidence Dylan Leaney, Alexandra D’Agostino: Shared Experiences
4:00-5:00pm Open Mic, Closing Session

Workshop Descriptions

Presenter and TopicDescription

Jaleesa Bygrave

Everyone Deserves a Voice: Breaking the Barriers of Race and Speech Impediments

Through the use of the autoethnography research method, this workshop will highlight the experiences of racialized community members living with speech impediments. Jaleesa will discuss her own experiences with employment, dating, and school to articulate the varied instances in which racialized people who live with speech impediments experience systemic oppression.

Pamela Mertz, Charley Adams

Dropping the 'C' in Covert Stuttering at Work

People who stutter often try to be as covert as possible at work, so they are not exposed and labeled as less intelligent, anxious or emotionally unsound, all of which we know are myths about stuttering. Stuttering covertly denies opportunity to bring one’s full self to work, which is needed for relationship building, creativity, teamwork and innovation. This workshop will explain the value in NOT hiding stuttering at work, as well as a variety of ways to come out of hiding your stuttering in the workplace.

Mary Wood

I Need Your Love - Is That True?

We can spend a large part of our lives seeking approval and appreciation. In Mary's own life, she thought she needed people to love and appreciate her, especially when she stuttered. This was the main thought around her fear of stuttering. What would happen if we didn't need to rely on the approval of others? Mary invites you for some interesting and insightful conversation that can change our lives, just as they continue to change hers.

Deryk S. Beal, Ph.D., Reg. CASLPO, CCC-SLP

Neurophysiological markers of developmental stuttering: updated insights

This presentation will provide an overview of the neural and physiological processes that contribute to stuttering behaviors and developmental stuttering. The complex neurophysiology that extends beyond the perceptible stuttering (or stuttering-like) disfluencies will be addressed, as well as associated secondary behaviors. Research into the physiological and neural processes revealing the nature of stuttering can improve diagnostic and therapeutic effectiveness.

Paige Smith

Changing My Name, Changed My Life

Do you think making change in your life is hard and sometimes feels impossible? Believe it or not, change does not have to be a difficult and painful process. In fact, creating positive change can be a very empowering and rewarding experience. In this workshop, Paige will challenge common notions people can have about change — illustrated through her personal story of how changing her name changed her life. From the words of ancient Greek philosopher Socrates: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

Daniele Rossi

Let's draw comics!

Daniele will share his joy of drawing comics about his stuttering and the benefits of doing so for self-therapy, creative expression, and awareness. After a quick lesson on how to draw a comic strip, attendees will have the opportunity to draw their own comics about a speaking situation that happened to them (and maybe even change the ending!). Attendees will experience viewing their speaking situation from this unique perspective and have the option to share their comic with the group. Be sure to have pencils and paper with you. All levels of drawing ability (including none) are welcomed!

Eeva Stierwalt

Parenting a PWS - You Are Not Alone!

As a parent, you may be concerned about the difficulties your child will experience with their stuttering, both socially and academically, and you are NOT alone in these thoughts. In this workshop, parents of children, teens, and young adults who stutter will come together to share stories and offer support to one another by sharing each other’s parenting journeys. Parents will have the opportunity to seek guidance and hear first hand experience from a Mother of a young adult who stutters.

Gareth Walkom

The journey and future of stuttering therapy using virtual reality

Virtual reality is now commonly used for stuttering therapy and research around the world. This has demonstrated how virtual reality has the potential to be a valuable tool for practicing treatment and exposing people who stutter to safe life-like controlled virtual situations. With revolutionary technology, we can now transform these virtual experiences to be more realistic than ever before to create situations that are sometimes impossible to control and stop in real-life.

Mike Wilson

From Shame to Confidence

Mike will share his journey from childhood shame to confidence and success in adulthood, from hiding in the bathroom so he didn't have to speak to making the life-changing decision to stop avoiding people just because he stutters. He will describe becoming a doctor and building up a successful dental practice, along with some of the advantages stuttering can bring, such as the opportunity to regularly display courage, honesty, and perseverance. Move to stuttering confidence, and refuse to give in to low expectations!

Ryan Cowley

Doing What You Love as a Progressive-Minded Stutterer

Ryan's presentation will consist of speaking about his career as a sportswriter and learning to adapt with the reality of conducting many phone interviews -- an area which has instilled personal fear for many years. You can learn never to limit yourself as a person who stutters. Ryan has come a long way in his career, which includes achievements and self-discovery while keeping in mind the value of hard work, determination and integrity.

Dr. Gerald McGuire

Piecing Together the Mysteries of Stuttering: Reviewing the Treatments Today and Those of Tomorrow

2020 has brought many challenges to this world. The health of all has taken the major focus of all our lives. This year has brought at least positive—breakthrough knowledge in understanding the reasons behind stuttering. We can now state that stuttering is a neuropsychiatric disorder with multiple causes and with such, likely not every individual will respond to each treatment. As we continue to unravel the mysteries, novel treatments are being developed to enhance the lives of those of stutter.

Alexandra D'Agostino

What’s in Your Future? Stuttering and your Career

Do you have a dream job but you think you can’t pursue it because of your stutter? Well you can! Join our panel of 5 career professionals who have overcome their fears about stuttering to pursue their dreams. We will talk about techniques, strategies and share real-life stories about stuttering in the workplace. Our panelists will include a lawyer, an office worker, a social worker, a police officer, and a registered nurse. There will also be an opportunity to ask our panelists questions during the workshop.

Carla Di Domenicantonio

Personal Perspectives – An Interactive Panel

Do you want to learn more about the experience of stuttering from a personal perspective? Whether you are a person who stutters, a parent, spouse or sibling, a speech-language professional or student, here is your chance to learn more! This interactive panel consisting of four adults who stutter, the parent of a preschool child, and the parent of an adult child will welcome your questions. Prepare to be enlightened!

Mitchell Abrams

Energy 101: The Art and Science of Meditation

This workshop explores the best of western medical science and ancient spiritual wisdom. Mitchell will provide knowledge, skills and strategies for self care and introduce tools for participants to stay engaged to continued to learn heal and grow together as part of a local meets global approach to health and wellness.

Audrey Bigras

Stuttering, Media and Fake News

Stuttering is still a mysterious topic, with a lot of unknown and grey zones. However, there are many myths and false information about stuttering in the media (internet, TV) and in society. How can the people who stutter keep a critical sense about the information about stuttering, especially in a hyperconnected society? Audrey will discuss this in the interactive workshop.

Jaan Pill

How can we best address teasing and bullying of children who stutter?

Jaan will speak about how to address teasing and bullying of children who stutter. Schools are generally required to have a protocol in place, whereby bullying of any kind is dealt with at once, rather than being allowed to fester. Jaan looks at an anti-bullying program which among other things focuses on children who stutter. The presentation will review research about bullying, and address bullying in the course of Jaan's career as an elementary school teacher.

Tim Lindsay

The Rollercoaster After Precision Fluency Shaping

Tim will talk about his life coping with stuttering and the treatment he received using the Precision Fluency method. He will offer tips on maintaining fluency after treatment and the ups and downs people who stutter can experience.

Anna Huynh

Cultivating leadership: Build your career and your confidence

Have you ever felt as if stuttering is holding you back in school, work, or even life? This workshop will provide you with the knowledge and tools to take your career to the next level. You will learn about self-acceptance, confidence, and leadership; discover where you are in your leadership journey; and create your individualized action plan for developing your personal and professional potential.

Dylan Leaney, Alexandra D'Agostino

Shared Experiences

Growing up stuttering Dylan was ashamed of the word "stutter". Isolated and alone, he felt he was the only person in the world fighting the battle that those that didn't stutter simply didn't understand. This workshop will remove some of that isolation. Using the polling feature on zoom Dylan and Alexandra will ask a number of questions, and participants will then be able to respond anonymously and see the results of the poll. There will be discussion, sharing of experiences and reflection.