stuttering blog

J. David Williams: A pioneer of stuttering therapy

By AIS, 4:05 pm

jdwilliamsThe American Institute for Stuttering would like to recognize the passing this weekend of a pioneer in the field of stuttering therapy, J. David Williams.

From The Stuttering Homepage:

J. David Williams, Ph.D., was Professor Emeritus at Northern Illinois University (NIU), earned a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1954, specializing in stuttering. His career included teaching and clinical practice at Marshall University, the University of Iowa, the University of Northern Iowa, the University of the Philippines (as a Fulbright lecturer), and NIU from 1959 until his 1986 retirement. Dr. Williams was active in the National Council of Stuttering for several years, organizing conferences and editing their quarterly newsletter. He and his wife, Dorothy, also a speech therapist, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in September 2009.

On The Stuttering Homepage, Dr. Williams contributed several insightful articles, including

What You Can Do About Your Stuttering

The Diary of a Stutterer – excerpts from Dr. Williams’ diary as he grew into young adulthood, ages 18-25 (1940-47) as a stutterer.

Some Thoughts on Stuttering Therapy – here is an excerpt of this thoughtful look at stuttering therapy:

When you have a bad time of it, try to let that moment go — it’s history. Don’t belittle yourself because you stutter. It’s not your fault (it’s too bad that words like “fault” and “guilt” become associated with stuttering in the first place). Enjoy life as much as you can; try to keep a sense of humor, of proportion and balance. There are other things to worry about besides stuttering, if you’ve got to worry. Abraham Lincoln said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

We are deeply appreciative of Dr. Williams’ work and passion for the field of stuttering therapy. His contributions will help and encourage people who stutter for generations to come.

1 Comment »

  1. I only met Dr. Williams once – at the 1987 National Stuttering Project (NSP) national convention in San Francisco, where he was one of the featured speakers. But I’ve read a number of his articles, and heard excerpts from his 1940’s diary which he included in his 1987 presentation.

    I was impressed by his friendliness and dedication to the problem of stuttering, and his articles reflect a basic common sense and helpful wisdom. I particularly liked “What You Can Do About Your Stuttering”, his contribution to the original edition of the Stuttering Foundation pamphlet “To the Stutterer”, which I found quite helpful as a teenager in the early 1970’s.

    Comment by Paul Goldstein — May 30, 2010 @ 6:14 pm

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