|About the presenter: Nancy Ribbler, M.A, CCC-SLP, BRS-FD is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist. She has worked in speech pathology for twenty-nine years. She is a full-time school-based SLP in Broward County School District in South Florida and also has a private practice focusing on working with children and adults who stutter. Nancy served on the SIG4 Steering Committee for Fluency Disorders and was the Liaison for the Schools Task Force on Fluency. She has published articles on stuttering and presented on stuttering disorders at national, state and local levels. Nancy currently serves on the Stuttering Board in Fluency Disorders and reviews credentials and portfolios of individuals applying for Board Recognition in Fluency Disorders.|
Whatever happened to The Stocker Probe? It was one of my favorite assessment tools to use in my school-based practice. Not only was it engaging for school-age children, but also was a valuable tool when assessing fluency breakdown related to language complexity. In fact, during our 1999-2000 fluency initiative in Broward Country School District, we purchased several Stocker Probes for our clinicians. During school district fluency trainings, I received positive feedback about The Stocker Probe. Clinicians shared that the manipulatives were motivating for school age children. They liked the ease of administration and scoring and found it helpful in developing IEP goals. However, when SLPs in my district wanted to reorder protocols, they couldn't find the test listed with any publishing company. In our school district, SLPs need to use original protocols in formal assessment procedures. After doing a little research, I contacted one of the authors, Bob Goldfarb. I learned that his co-author Beatrice Stocker had passed away, and the publisher allowed the Stocker Probe to go out of print -- with no plans to reprint.
For those of us who valued this tool for assessing fluency breakdown with increased language complexity, this news was a big disappointment. The Stocker Probe technique was based on the Demands and Capacities (DC) Model (Starkweather, 1987; Starkweather, Gottwald and Halford, 1990). Adams described the premise of the DC model as it relates to fluency breakdown "when environmental and/or self-imposed demands exceed the speaker's cognitive, environmental and/or emotional capacities for responding" (Adams, 1990, pages 136-137). The Stocker Probe was designed with this model in mind and had five Levels of Demands:
Adams, M.R. The demands and capacities model: I. Theoretical elaborations. Journal of Fluency Disorders, 1990, 15, 135-141.
Starkweather, C.W. Fluency and stuttering. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1987.
Starkweather, C.W., Gottwald, S.R., and Halfond, M.M. Stuttering prevention: A clinical method. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1990.
Stocker, B., Goldfarb, R. The Stocker Probe for Fluency and Language. Vero Beach, FL: Speech Bin, Inc. 1995.