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Program of the Year

California Speech-Language-Hearing Association is the leading professional organization that represents the profession of speech pathology in the state. The California Speech-Language-Hearing Association is the officially recognized professional association for California speech-language pathologists and audiologists by the national American Speech and Hearing Association. There is a State Board of Directors that oversees all activities of the profession. CSHA is organized into 10 districts, each with local officers. District #8 comprises all of Orange County.  Each district has a nomination committee who are elected to make recommendations for honors.  There are numerous honors that are made at the district level. Each district can make recommendations to the state nomination committee for their consideration for state level awards. Program of the Year is a state level award and means the Center for Children Who Stutter was selected by the state nomination committee from all those sent forward by the district nomination committees to be the most deserving of this award for 2007.

The Center for Children Who Stutter will be presented this award at the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s annual state conference in Long Beach during the Association Dinner and Awards Ceremony, March 9, 2007 

The Program of the Year award is granted to a program that has a history of contribution to the community and is based on their accomplishment and achievement. The Center for Children Who Stutter was selected for its commitment to high quality clinical services, its innovative service delivery model, its coordination of related programs and services, its use of cutting-edge techniques, and its research activities.

Read the award letter from CSHA. (Requires Adobe Acrobat)

The following was submitted to the nomination committee:

Program Description:

History: The Center for Children Who Stutter (CCWS) is a non-profit Speech Clinic with a Vision and dedication to a future where, “a child who stutters need not become an adult who stutters.” 

In the fall of 1995, the Center opened its doors to young children throughout Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties.  An estimated 15,000 children between the ages of 3-12, who live within this service area stutter.  Many of these children are afflicted with severe stuttering, experience painful teasing, withdraw and suffer a significant lack of self-confidence. These early traumatic experiences can last a lifetime. Research has shown that with early intervention by skilled therapists, recovery rates for young children are at least 80%.  Although most speech pathologists are well trained, some lack sufficient training and recent experience in the area of fluency (stuttering) to consider themselves as highly qualified.

The Center is funded from three sources: in-kind donations of space, products and professional services; fees based on ability to pay; and grants and fundraising.  Through a special community partnership with California State University,Fullerton (CSUF), the Center is housed at no cost on the university campus.  By way of reciprocity with our CSUF partner, the Clinical Director provides hands-on fluency training, mentoring and internships to Communicative Disorder graduate students. The Board of Directors, Advisory Board and Patrons include nationally recognized experts in stuttering treatment and research, adults who stutter, parents of children who stutter, and a representation from business, student and community leaders.

Description of Population Served:
The CCWS provides specialized one-on-one assessment, treatment, training and education for childhood stuttering.  We provide treatment to all children, regardless of the family’s ability to pay. We offer full scholarships or a “sliding fee scale” for those who can afford partial payment. Cultural diversity is the standard; about 40% of the children represent cultural minorities.  Our Vision reaches beyond the walls of the Center. Through our continued education and training of speech/language pathologists in public and private schools, hospitals and private practices, these extended professionals help make our Vision a reality.

Description of the Area(s) of Outstanding Achievement:

The Mission/Goals of the Center are to provide:
  • outstanding professional services to children, and their families

    • Speech therapy services conducted at the Center are provided by Sherri Wolff.  She is regarded as an expert in the field of fluency.  With years of experience, she is highly trained and skilled to work with children and their families.

  • scholarshipto families who cannot afford private practice  fees

    • Most all families are receiving services at a reduced cost due to the scholarship program. The financial status of the family is regarded and a sliding scale is offered allowing all families to access a high level of service at an affordable cost.

  • continuing education to speech/language professionals in this specific sector

    • The Center is known for its annual fluency conference.  Nationally acclaimed researchers and clinicians are featured at this annual event.  In addition, Sherri Wolff is a presenter at local workshop and conferences and has worked directly with school districts in their staff development programs.  

  • hands-on training/mentoring (internships) for graduate students at CSUF

    • The Center for Children Who Stutter is housed at California State University at Fullerton and works side by side with the speech and language pathology training program.  Graduate students attending the CSUF training program have the opportunity to participate in an internship program in the Center.  Advanced assessment and fluency management techniques and demonstrated and practiced under the Center’s supervisio

  • community awareness & fundraising

    •  The Center engages in a variety of activities to heighten community awareness of issues regarding fluency disorders and services in the community to meet the needs of children and their families.  The Center maintains a Web page which provides information regarding the nature of stuttering, services available, links to other sources of information and contact names. 


  • Clinical services are among the finest available anywhere in the world. On campus treatment research is combined with other research centers for a blended science and clinical practice.

  • We have served as a fluency-training institute for speech/language pathologists. Our annual Fluency Conferences have been led by the world’s best fluency experts and have attracted 400-500 speech/language pathologists and graduate students over the last six years.

  • Full or partial scholarships garnered through fundraising are provided to over 80% of the children.

  • Because of our structure and tools, we provide monthly therapy, education, awareness and links to other professionals/organizations to approximately 2000 children, families and professionals.

  • The Clinical Director provides approximately 1000 hours of professional one-on-one therapy annually to children less than 8 years of age.

  • A philanthropic support organization for the Center includes: Executive Board of Directors, Advisory Board, Patrons, and community support groups and individuals.

  • Marketing materials (brochures, fact sheets, videos, power point presentations and press kits) for awareness about stuttering and the Center are used throughout the campus and local communities.

  • In 2004 we launched a comprehensive website, which is viewed monthly by 700-1,000 visitors from 34 different countries.


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