Mark Allen

Mark Whitney Allen Ph.D. CCC-SLP died March 27, 2018. Mark was born on June 19, 1963, in Connecticut. He is survived by his parents, four siblings, Barbara Harris and their three children and two step children, as well as many friends. He lived in Connecticut until he was nine when his family moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. There he reported being bullied for his stuttering and where his family, especially his older brothers John and Ted were a strong source of support.

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 judith.kuster@mnsu.edu for consideration.

Others Remember

Laura Johnson (Wisconsin. Primarily school-based) - I remember buying Mark's workbooks and DVDs a long while back and they were some of the first materials that "made sense" to me. As I am waiting for the board's decision on my application to be a BCS-F, I realize now how important many people have been on my path to becoming a better therapist. I am slightly older than Mark and he must have been a student with Kristin Chmela, who has been my mentor for the BCS-F. Like Mark, I also studied a year in Scotland. I feel like I have links to Mark. I wish I had met him.
Joanne Summer (New Jersey, Primarily private practice) - I did not know Mark Allen personally; however, having used his Speak Freely fluency program, I do feel like we have met--as I have seen him on the videotapes conducting some of the therapy. I do feel a sense of loss that he has died. Thank you for adding him to the Stuttering Home Page.
Amy Hadley (New Jersey, associate university professor) - What a wonderful way to continue Mark's legacy. I am actually finalizing my notes for tomorrow's lecture on Children Who Stutter. What a wonderful resource! Thanks for sharing!
Stephanie Hirsh (Illinois, private practice) - I was so so saddened to hear about Mark's passing. He was a tremendous mentor and friend. Ten years ago, I had the amazing opportunity to co-facilitate a Chicago NSAkids and teen group that met monthly for two years. He truly was a kind, generous, and thoughtful man; a true gem. He touched so many people's lives and he will be greatly missed.
added April 14, 2018
updated April 18, 2018