The NYSSLHA Special Citation is awarded to members or non-members of the Association who have provided unique and special services on behalf of the Association and/or the professions of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.
Oliver Bloodstein, a son of New York, founding father of the field of speech-language pathology and of NYSSLHA, and an internationally esteemed expert on stuttering, is certainly deserving of this recognition.
Dr. Bloodstein was born on December 2, 1920, in New York City. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the College of the City of New York in 1941, and his Master of Arts from the State University of Iowa in 1942. In 1948, he was awarded his Ph.D. from the State University of Iowa.
For over 50 years he taught, researched, and wrote at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. He stopped teaching in 2002, and became an emeritus professor. He was a prodigious writer and authored Stuttering: The Search for a Cause and Cure, Speech Pathology: An Introduction, and numerous journal articles about stuttering. Dr. Bloodstein's Handbook on Stuttering, is a seminal text in the field, beginning with the first edition in 1965 and through to the sixth edition of 2007.
Nan Bernstein Rather, his co-author of the sixth edition, wrote in his obituary for the ASHA Leader, "Bloodstein embraced and reported research in stuttering but advised professionals to 'be wary of laboratory experiments that purport to be analogues of everyday living', as he said in one of many commentaries on current research that he frequently published as letters to editors of major journals. He was distrustful of generalizations derived only from laboratory paradigms, and insisted that any stuttering treatments that claimed to be effective had to pass a number of tests imposed by the everyday challenges of communication in society. These 'tests' of stuttering therapy effectiveness are now considered the gold standard for reports of treatment outcomes. Rigorous, but not rigid, Bloodstein readily admitted that many of his own beliefs and even his influential models of the underlying problem in stuttering (as in his Anticipatory Struggle or Continuity hypotheses) were changed over the years in response to listening to and observing his patients and their families."
Dr. Bloodstein was, until his death in July 2010, an active member of numerous professional societies, and helped organize the New York State Speech-Language-Hearing Association. He received NYSSLHA's highest award, the Honors of the Association in 1970.
In 1989, Dr. Bloodstein was awarded Honors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). This was followed by the prestigious Malcolm Fraser Award from the Stuttering Foundation of America in 1999. An influential advocate of the development of Specialty Recognition in Fluency Disorders, which credentials speech-language pathologists with specific expertise in the treatment of stuttering, he continued to publish major, original research articles into his eighties. Professionally, he was active until just shortly before his death, responding to email discussions about stuttering research.
He is survived by his wife, Annette, whom he met in high school, and married in 1941, his two children, (Daniel Bloodstein and Judith Blackstone), and two grandchildren (Corey and Ben). The New York State Speech-Language-Hearing Association proudly bestows this special citation for life achievement to Dr. Oliver Bloodstein.