Dr. Eugene Bruce Cooper, 81, of Weston, FL, passed away on Saturday, November 21, [ed. 2015]. Dr. Cooper is survived by his beloved wife of 50 years, Crystal, his devoted sons Philip (Karen) and Ivan (Amy), and his adoring grandchildren Dylan, Grant, Jake, and Maddie. Born in Utica, NY, Dr. Cooper was a world-renowned expert on stuttering, earning his undergraduate degree at SUNY Geneseo and receiving his doctorate from Penn State University. Among numerous professional achievements and honors, Dr. Cooper developed the first commercially available assessment and treatment program for individuals who stutter, chaired the Department of Communicative Disorders at the University of Alabama for 30 years, and was awarded the Honors of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association for his revolutionary contributions to the field of stuttering treatment. Services will be held on November 24 at 2:30 at Temple Dor Dorim, 2360 Glades Circle in Weston, and interment will be at Menorah Gardens & Funeral Chapels in Southwest Ranches, FL. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to JAFCO (Jewish Adoption and Family Care Options, www.jafco.org), or the Cleveland Clinic (giving.clevelandclinic.org). - from South Florida Sun-Sentinal (http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sunsentinel/obituary.aspx?pid=176614208#sthash.3ay2WK94.dpuf)
Article from Special Interest Division 4 Fluency and Fluency Disorders Volume 9, Number 3 September 1999, p. 4
The rest of the article is available in the Fall 2001 Stuttering Foundation Newsletter
So, the question is: if someone comes to you and says that Chronic Perseverative Stuttering Syndrome is nothing but a fabrication because there is no published research data to support it, how would you respond?
I hope you take this question in the spirit in which it is intended.
Gene's answer - http://www.mnsu.edu/comdis/cahn_mnsu_edu/6copper/_disc8/0000004f.html?next Dear Robert: Yes, Robert, there is a Chronic Perseverative Stuttering (CPS)syndrome. It resides in the mind, body,and soul of all those individuals who,, no matter how much energy,time, and effort they expend in their pursuit of fluency, find that fluency, as most individuals experience it, continunes to elude them.
Indeed, Robert, it is a fabrication (as are the Developmental and the Remediable Stuttering syndromes) as surely as is love, longing, purity, honor, duty, and all those other constructs that, because of their complexity, defy frequency counts as measures of their potency. It is, of course, a hypothetical construct. Created to assist those concerned with stuttering in conceptualizing the complexity of the problem with which they are confronted,the CPS syndrome will continue to evade measurement as the bean counters are wont to do. Yes, the ABCs (affective, behavioral, and cognitive components)of stuttering are indeed difficult to measure but, particularly in recent years, in no small part due to the focus of ASHA's Fluency Division's on such matters, we have been making significant strides in doing so. I say "pooh" on all those who demean such efforts.
Data supporting CPS's existence abounds. The too-numerous-to-mention reports of relapse (we prefer the term "re-emergence") following repeated attempts at therapeutic intervention abundantly attest to the syndrome's existence. The voluminous data-based research indicates the significance of not only the behavioral aspects of the disorder (yes, including even disfluency counts of dubious reliability) to defining stuttering, but of the affective and the cognitive components as well. Unfortunately, a small number (but still far too many) of our colleagues have lost sight of the forest because of the frequency-count tree (ah, the "frequency fallacy" again). Would that all of those nonbelievers be forced to attend and National Stuttering Association's annual convention. I suspect their numbers would shrink significantly. Data they need? Before them in the convention rooms are data far more powerful than all the frequency counts ever completed supporting the notion that the CPS syndrome is very much alive and well. The CPS provides comfort, alleviates guilt, and with the recognition that CPS can be conquered (if not "cured"), it enables the client and clinician to set realistic and attainable treatment goals.
And as you well know, for nearly 40 years, we (Crystal and myself) have set the "feeling of fluency control," as being the end goal of out treatment programs rather arbitrarily determined frequency-of-stuttering counts whose validity and reliability continue to plague us all.
Yes, Robert, there is a CPS. We may not be able to count it, weigh it, hear it, or see it, but it exists as surely as goodness, mercy, and all the other constructs that enable us to communicate with others.
Although Gene was not a person who stuttered he fully understood the experience of stuttering as much or more than anyone I have known. Many of the things he considered to be crucial such as the therapeutic alliance and the idea of loss of control as a distinguishing aspect of stuttering later became recognized as essential aspects of the therapeutic experience. The issues he researched and the topics he addressed in his writing and presentations reflected his understanding, empathy, and passion for helping children and adults who stuttered.
I often recall a moment during one of our therapy sessions when, for a moment, we both were silent. After the short pause Gene commented "I knew we were friends when we could share the silence." Over the years our lives would intersect at committee meetings, conventions, weddings, and dinners. Every moment that I remember with Gene and his wife Crystal was enjoyable and always brings a smile. Gene was one of two people in my life whose wives and/or children told me that they regarded me as a son. I will always be thankful that I was able to know and spend many good times with him.