How does the SpeechEasy Device help people who stutter?
The device uses auditory altered feedback to create the choral effect, or the perception that one is speaking in unison with others. Choral speaking has long been a method used in therapy to increase fluency or decrease stuttering.
Device with inner control units for adjusting input sensitivity Frequency and
volume Modulation and output volume control unit and adjusting delay output
by creating dramatically increased blood circulation in the temporal lobe and
occipital brain leading to icrease fluency.
Price from $ 300
In fact Guitar (1998; Guitar & Peters, 1980) believes that stuttering arises through
the combination of four components: altered neurological organization of
speech and a vulnerable temperament, together with developmental and
environmental factors. Guitar’s most likely goal for the teenager who stutters
is controlled fluency, as now the possibility of complete recovery with or
without therapy is diminishing. Fluency is instated through the combined
use of speech modification (such as cancellation and pull-outs) and fluency
shaping techniques. Guitar refers to these techniques as fluency enhancing
behaviours (FEBs). In addition, delayed auditory feedback (DAF) is also
used as a therapeutic adjunct with some children. Children are initially taught
to slow speech rate using DAF. Then through the clinician’s modelling of a
slower rate of speech, gentle glottal onsets and soft consonant contacts are
subsequently introduced. Fluency is built up at word level and then short
phrase using slow controlled rate of speech together with the FEBs. Once
speech is consistently fluent at this level, the child moves on to structured
conversation, spoken at 40 syllables per minute. Following this period, the
FEBs are used to change from hard stuttering to easy stuttering, with changes
in rate required when moments of stuttering are anticipated. Voluntary stuttering
is also used at this stage to help show the client how to “downshift” his
speech rate before he tries it with real stuttering moments.
The new SpeechEasy devices
have greater range of delay, increased setting options of pitch changes, up to 4 memory settings, better sound quality and clarity, and memory setting change tones. These newer features being offered on all SpeechEasy devices are at no additional cost.
Price from $ 450
Ryan’s DAF-based therapy:
In Ryan’s view, speech is an operant and thus best treated by operant therapy
(Ryan, 2001). Although Ryan considers speech-related anxiety
and attitudinal components also to be operant behaviours, these are not
targeted in therapy, as it is assumed that they will improve alongside the
improvement in primary stuttering. Ryan prefers the use of his GILCU
approach when dealing with primary school children, but where stuttering is
more persistent and GILCU is insufficient to deal with the problem, he utilizes
a similar DAF approach to that which he uses with adults (Ryan, 1974,
1984, 2001). This program incorporates 26 steps and differs from the GILCU
version in which there is no manipulation of speech variables and fluency is
achieved through praise for fluency and gentle admonishment for stuttering
. Instead, a slow prolonged speech pattern is instantiated,
during an establishment phase, by using DAF. Before therapy
commences, parents and teaching staff are contacted and their help sought
with home and school practice. Parents are also brought in to watch a therapy
session to ensure they can accurately identify stuttering behaviours.
The establishment phase of the program begins with the child being taught
how to produce slow prolonged speech before DAF is introduced at a 250 ms
(¼ second) delay. Stuttering or an increase in speech rate is met with instruction
to stop and to use the slow prolonged speech pattern. As the child moves
through the steps, DAF delay is gradually decreased (in 50 ms increments)
until the child is able to speak at a conversational level without any DAF.
When the child has reached this stage, he must undertake 5 minutes each of
oral reading, monologue and conversation with less than 0.5 percent stuttering.
If the child achieves this, he moves to the transfer phase. If not, elements
of the establishment phase must be repeated.
The structured transfer phase comprises speaking in a variety of settings,
including the home, at school and on the telephone. All transfer tasks are
carefully graded so, for example, telephone conversation transfer tasks range
from a one-word comment spoken into an unplugged phone to a full threeminute
conversation with a stranger. Transfer extends to fluent speaking at
school (which is monitored by teaching staff) and at home (monitored by
parents) with increasing numbers of family, friends and neighbours.
During the final maintenance phase, which lasts 22 months, the child is
seen on 5 occasions, with fewer contacts toward the end of the maintenance
phase. If the child is maintaining less than 0.5 percent stuttering at that
assessment and reported to be maintaining high levels of fluency elsewhere, a
further session is scheduled. If the child fails to meet these criteria, he must
repeat earlier parts of the program. Typically, establishment requires ten
hours, transfer requires nine hours and maintenance around two to three
hours. Ryan (1984) claims that pooled data from a number of clinics on over
500 clients demonstrate that the average child commenced the course with
7 percent stuttering, and left with less than 1 percent stuttering. At one-year
post clinic, more than 90 percent had maintained stuttering levels at 1 percent