Glenn is Retiring!

April 2019

Retiring! It is with very mixed emotions that I announce my retirement from daily speech therapy, effective June 28, 2019. Retirement! It’s a hard word to say and not because I think I am going to stutter! I have been a speech language pathologist and have provided speech therapy to children and adults since 1974, ten years at the community speech and hearing center at Oregon Health and Science University and 35 years in private practice here in Portland Oregon. Why am I retiring? I think it is time to do something different. I still enjoy the breakthrough moments in speech therapy and the work with families. I still enjoy seeing changes in school age children when they learn that stuttering is not their fault, that they are not “bad” when they stutter. I don’t enjoy the hassles with insurance companies. I don’t necessarily enjoy the worry every day about making sure I am doing my best. I am grateful for the gifts and talents I’ve been given which prepared me for this career, gifts including my own stuttering, and I am grateful for the trust that professionals and families have placed in me all these years.

What will I do?

Here are my intentions. I will continue to stay active in the local and national stuttering community. I will not be providing direct speech therapy except perhaps by telehealth (video conferencing) but I will be continuing to mentor graduate students and I will accept speaking and consulting engagements as they arise. I am also going to continue to write (see my blog) about stuttering and about life, including the challenges we all face every day as we try to be the best humans we can be.

Introducing Sarah Herr Davies (Vann)!

Now, what about my current caseload and what about new referrals? I am turning my practice and new referrals over to Sarah Herr Davies (soon to be Sarah Vann), a speech language pathologist whom I first met when she was an undergraduate at Portland State University approximately 7 years ago. Our paths crossed again when she was one of my students in the graduate Stuttering class at Portland State, where I was an adjunct instructor at the time. Since then, we have worked closely on several projects involving the stuttering community in Portland. At my encouragement, several years ago, Sarah took over the leadership of the Portland chapter of the National Stuttering Association, a monthly support group for adults who stutter. Sarah is also a co-founder and director of Camp More, an amazing sleep-away summer camp on the Oregon Coast for school agers and teens who stutter. I am a senior staff member at the camp. We have also presented together at the National Stuttering Association’s regional one day conference on October 2019 in Portland (Sarah was co-organizer of that event), and at an event called CHAT, a weekend retreat in the Cascade Mountain foothills for adults who stutter. Somehow Sarah has also found time to lead a group called KOPS (Kids Out Promoting Stuttering), a life-changing monthly social and support group for school agers in the Portland area who stutter. Another one of our co-endeavors was a term-long practicum in my private practice at the end of her graduate program in early 2016. During that time, Sarah had responsibility for planning, direct therapy, and report preparation for clients, including children with speech and language disorders, fluency issues, and autism spectrum disorder.

At this time, Sarah is finishing her third year as a speech-language pathologist for Portland Public Schools, where she has had experience working with children with all manner of communication issues. Although Sarah has a passion and a special interest for stuttering of all ages, her skill set does not stop there. She has experience with Childhood Apraxia of Speech and articulation delays, extensive work with kids and teens on the autism spectrum or social pragmatic disorders, and with non-verbal communicators utilizing low-tech and high-tech AAC and switch devices. She also enjoys working with children and teens with language delays and deficits or literacy needs (dyslexia, dysgraphia), as well as executive functioning.

Why is Sarah the one to carry on my legacy? She certainly has the clinical skills and experience to provide appropriate speech and language assessments and speech therapy with positive outcomes. But because we have worked together closely for these years, I know her heart. I know how quickly she is able to form meaningful and lasting relationships with clients and families. The literature and my experience suggest that a therapeutic relationship built on trust is perhaps the key to producing positive outcomes. I know Sarah’s work ethic. I know how seriously she takes her responsibility to provide effective treatment, and I know the hours she spends thinking and planning for her clients, hours that don’t show up on a billing statement but nevertheless are essential for good outcomes. I know her initiative and enthusiasm. I know she will take this practice and grow it. And I know her respect for what has been done, how seriously she takes my reputation and how carefully she will move this labor forward.

A link to Sarah’s website and her contact information will be posted soon. For immediate questions about referrals or to contact me about speaking or mentoring or writing, you can reach me at glennweybright@gmail.com.

I intend to stay a part of this community which has given me so much.

Best to you all from Glenn

© 2019 Glenn Weybright. All rights reserved.

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