Our Atlanta office is thriving and we're regularly hearing from people who are thrilled about our expansion into this region. One of our first preschool-aged clients in Atlanta recently phased out of therapy, and his mother kindly shared this testimonial. We were humbled to read her kind words, and are eager to touch the lives of more and more young children and their families in this area. Readers of this testimonial may notice a certain theme. The focus with our preschool aged clients is often not directly addressing fluency. We work alongside parents towards goals such as building or sustaining communicative confidence, educating children and family members about stuttering, building parents' confidence talking about stuttering with their kids, and more generally, keeping kids talking.
Carl was such a blessing for our son. As a fellow stutterer and speech-language pathologist, I knew what a life-long struggle stuttering could be. I also knew that the traditional “fluency-enhancing strategies” were not working for my child, and was even making his stuttering worse. At first I tried to help him with his stutter, then I took him to a local expert, during which I was slowly watching his stutter get worse and worse. Not only was he repeating words and sounds more, but now he was even blocking and refusing to talk when it became difficult to get his message out. I was at a loss. I was frustrated with being part mommy, part ineffective speech therapist. At three years of age, I knew that he would have a very long road ahead of him if I did not do something about his stutter now.After researching different stuttering techniques and highly-recommended organizations, I came across the American Institute for Stuttering’s website. I was shocked and thrilled to find out that they had a location in Atlanta. Although it was a 30-minute drive from my house, not including Atlanta traffic, I did not care; I would drive across state lines if it meant that my son would be able to enjoy talking again.I was skeptical starting the process with a new therapist all over again, as therapy did not work for my son in the past. But after talking with Carl on the phone, I was optimistic that trying a new, progressive therapy technique could perhaps work for my son, and at the worst, would not do any harm. From the moment we met Carl until our last day with him, he was warm, encouraging, knowledgeable, and most importantly, helpful. He helped us better understand stuttering, even me and this is what I do for a living. But most of all, he helped Ryder feel confident in talking again, and low and behold the blocks and refusing to talk stopped! Once my son wasn’t self-conscious about his stutter, he could relax, and the words could flow out.Even though our son is now in a “good place” with his fluency, we know that there will be times that we may need to come back and see Carl again. He assured us that his door will always be open. I know that my son will miss “playing” with Mr. Carl on a regular basis, but later he will better understand the situation and be just as grateful for him as my husband and I are. Thank you, Mr. Carl! We are forever grateful for you and truly admire what you are doing for the stuttering community. We wish you nothing but the best.”-C.W., Mother of a 4-year-old
The American Institute for Stuttering is a leading non-profit organization whose primary mission is to provide universally affordable, state-of-the-art speech therapy to people of all ages who stutter, guidance to their families, and much-needed clinical training to speech professionals wishing to gain expertise in stuttering. Offices are located in New York, NY and Atlanta, GA, and services are also available Online. Our mission extends to advancing public and scholarly understanding of this often misunderstood disorder.
Carl Herder, M.A., CCC-SLP, BCS-F
Atlanta Clinic Director, Board-Certified Specialist in Fluency Disorders
Carl is the Clinic Director for our Atlanta office. He joined AIS in New York in 2006 and worked closely with our founder, Catherine Montgomery for five years. In 2016, he moved to Atlanta to open our first satellite office.