Mark entered Amherst College and also participated in PFSP speech therapy where he gained strategies for fluency, especially during a junior year abroad in Scotland. Returning to Amherst for his senior year, he had a major relapse of stuttering. After graduation he entered a 2-year program in New Haven, CT to prepare himself to enter graduate school to become a speech-language pathologist, earning a master's degree and Ph.D. in a program chaired by Hugo Gregory at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.
Mark had nearly thirty years experience working with people who stutter. He was on the Special Education Faculty at Niles North High School for 25 years, and had a successful private practice where he was the Director of the Center for Stuttering Therapy and owner of Speak Freely Publications in Evanston. His passion was treating individuals living with stuttering.
Mark was among the initial cadre of speech-language pathologists to be recognized as a fluency specialist by ASHA's Special Commission on Fluency Disorders. He was also a member of ASHA's Special Interest Group 4, Fluency and Fluency Disorders, and has presented at numerous local and national professional workshops on stuttering treatment. He was part of the "Voices Past and Present: Paths Toward Recovery from Stuttering" panel at the 2011 American Speech-Language and Hearing Association convention in San Diego, CA. Several professionals who stutter who have dedicated their careers to impacting the lives of others who stutter spoke about their personal journey and their road to recovery from the handicap of stuttering. Mark's presentation is online as a PDF (https://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/voices/pdf/allen.pdf) and audio (https://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/voices/audio/2011mp3files/allen.mp3). Mark and several of the presenters at the popular ASHA presentation were invited to repeat their information at a Fluency Symposium, Los Angeles, CA, October 13, 2012 funded by generous funding from Dr. Robert and Lois Douglass and the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association (CSHA).
Mark lived for many years with Parkinson's Disease and was forced to retire in 2016 devoting his time to transfer many of his therapy resources online. Speak Freely Online (http://www.speakfreelyonline.com) features web-based stuttering therapy resources that complement and enhance his original Essential Speech Skills for School-Age Children Who Stutter. He shared on his LinkedIn page that his experience as a person who stutters fueled his commitment to help those who struggle with this challenging problem. While his Parkinson's Disease prevented him from continuing to treat clients directly, he was gratified by the fact that he will still help SLPs assist people who stutter by sharing his excellent therapy materials.
All the materials are free and offer full access to numerous Instructional PDFs, a Web-Based Version of the popular Student Workbook, and a comprehensive Video Instruction Series. These components provide step-by-step training and an interactive, online workbook that simplifies stuttering therapy. The training and interactive online workbook simplifies stuttering therapy which is added to Therapy-related Information and Materials and Examples of Materials that can be adapted for therapy under the heading "Treatment for Stuttering."
May this gift from Mark be a lasting memorial to a respected professional, talented clinician who changed the lives of many people who stutter, and friend.
Anyone wishing to add a memory of Mark to this page can contact Judy Kuster at firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.