A Comprehensive Kill Your Stutter Review
If you are looking for a comprehensive kill your stutter review, then you should read this article. It will tell you everything that you need to know about this great program and how it can permanently get rid of your stuttering. How do people usually react when they hear someone stutter or stammer? They most likely make fun of this person. And how do people usually perceive someone who stutters? Stupid, dumb, or even mentally retarded. There are many misconceptions about people who stutter a lot. One is that they are not as smart or well-adjusted as non-stutterers are. This is mainly because of their difficulty in expressing themselves. However, people who stutter are not as unintelligent as they may appear. Stammering and intelligence have nothing to do with each other. However, a person’s competence or personality is always judged based on how good a speaker he is. That is a sad reality for the many people who tend to stutter. About 1% percent of the world’s population stutters including more than three million Americans.
A lot of well-known people in the field of politics and entertainment stuttered and were able to cope with their speech difficulties. The world’s famous stutterers include actress Marilyn Monroe, British politician Winston Churchill, King George VI, author Lewis Carroll, musician Carly Simon, and former U.S. president George W. Bush. Before we get to how to stop stuttering, we should learn about some of the most common symptoms of stuttering.
The other symptoms of speech disfluency manifest themselves when a person attempts to control his or her stammering. Several movements of the body can be noticed while a stutterer is speaking. These include jerky head movements, rapid and repetitive blinking of the eyes, tightness or tension of the face and upper part of the body, poor eye contact, and trembling or shaking of the jaw or lips.
A few symptoms are more difficult to see than the physical symptoms of stammering. These symptoms involve the emotions, which can be recognized by the stutterer himself. The worst among all symptoms of stammering include fear of the condition itself, inability to express oneself clearly, and avoidance of situations in which a person has to speak such as talking on the phone or speaking in front of many people. Intense fear of being ridiculed and embarrassed is fairly common among people who frequently stutter.
Stutterers also tend to become angered and frustrated because of their condition and the reactions of other people about it. As a result, the self-esteem and self-image of a person who stutters go into a nosedive causing them to feel ashamed of themselves and to be extremely anxious every time they speak. All these emotional symptoms lead to another cycle of stammering symptoms, thus worsening a person’s speech difficulties.
All symptoms of stuttering vary throughout a person’s lifespan. They may increase or decrease, depending on the physical and emotional state of the stutterer. The symptoms may lessen when the person whispers, sings, talks to pets, speaks along with others, or copies another person’s manner of speaking.
On the other hand, symptoms get worse because of certain situations such as increased anxiety and nervousness when a person has to speak in public or talk on the phone. Also, there are particular medications that trigger or aggravate the symptoms of stammering.
After you have accepted that there really is a problem and that you can’t handle it on your own, you can go to a professional speech language pathologist to help you in this case. They can recommend you good medications to help you at the start. This must be backed up with therapy sessions and you should also initiate to practice facing your fears as you progress through the process.
If you are dealing with a child or adult who has this problem, you have to guide them by giving them time to finish what they have to say. Allow them to talk in a slow manner and do not interrupt that much as they try to convey their message. Try to get them to speak in a slow and relaxed manner. The faster you talk, the harder it will be for you to speak fluently.
Try to sing the words to lessen your chance of stammering. Normally, most people don’t stutter when they sing. So sing your words to make yourself sound more pleasant as you speak.
Both adults and children should also try doing regular breathing exercises. Breathe in deeply before you speak. That way, words and sounds will smoothly flow out of your mouth. Also, learn to exhale while you’re speaking. To help yourself relax before you start speaking, you need to learn some breathing or relaxation techniques. Controlled breathing is crucial in treating speech disfluency. Yoga and meditation prove to be useful for that purpose.
While you are still in the process of finding a cure, you must avoid situations where you will feel really stressed out because this will only aggravate your condition. Refrain from pressuring yourself to speak fluently. The more you pressure yourself, the more anxious you become. And anxiety will only help increase your chances of stammering.
Studies are still being conducted to find the right and the best cures for stuttering. Even if this is the case, this must not stop you from researching and applying good tips on what you can do to overcome the condition or help someone who is suffering from this.
Millions of Americans have a speech impediment. For these people, the mere act of speaking causes them embarrassment and gives them low self-esteem. I used to be one of these people. I had a stuttering problem for more than 30 years starting from my childhood and up to my adulthood. I wouldn’t talk to anyone just because the physical act of speaking was tiring and tough for me and of course, the embarrassment of stuttering in front of people was just too painful for me to put up with. Each time I stuttered my self-esteem would drop even lower. I tried many things to fix my stuttering including speech therapy, slowing down my speech, breathing exercises, and trying to relax my vocal cords while I spoke but nothing gave me the results that I wanted. That is when I decided to look on the Internet. After several days of searching, I found a program that I hoped would correct my stuttering problem. I tried the program for several months and some words that I used to stutter on did not give me any problems anymore. I still had some stuttering difficulties on other words but speaking was a lot more effortless for me and I finally got the confidence that was always missing in social situations.
The program that helped me lessen the severity of my stuttering is called “Kill Your Stutter”. It is a digital program that shows you how to stop stuttering for good in under 10 minutes using specific targeted techniques for stuttering. It is the fastest and easiest way to get rid of your stuttering. This program consists of high quality content and illustrations written by professional writers in collaboration with experienced professionals that specialize in natural stuttering treatments. It is the natural, permanent and complete solution for people that are suffering from this condition whether they are beginners or more advanced. This program is easy to use. You will not have to spend hours learning this technique. You just have to go through the steps one time. You will not have to use rehashed methods that are over-saturated. You will learn the most up-to-date methods.
If you use the “Kill Your Stutter” program on a regular basis, then you will no longer have to waste time and money on speech therapy and you won’t have to use those hypnosis or will power tapes anymore. If you are having problems holding down a job because of your stuttering, then you should definitely give this program a try. This system will allow you to speak smoothly without any type of repetition or hesitation. Can you imagine living your life without your stuttering problem hanging over your head every waking moment? You will be able to speak to anyone including your significant other, kids, any other family members, and friends with complete confidence.
The severity of your stuttering will be reduced instantly as you go through the technique. You will not have to wait for weeks to see some results. This technique can be performed in your own home so you do not have to be out in public practicing speaking to people. You will learn the scientific reason why people stutter and you will learn how to stop it for good so that you do not have to spend energy trying to consciously control your speech.
So why does this system work while others fail?
This system has a high success rate and can be downloaded as a PDF digital report to your computer right now. This system is available for a low one-time fee and costs less than a single speech therapy session. It comes with a 100% money back guarantee so you have nothing to lose. If you want to purchase this affordable program and never have to pay for expensive speech therapy sessions again, then please click here to find out more about this program!
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The field of speech and language therapy is somewhat a vague body of knowledge that only a few people understand. What most people don’t know is that there is a difference between speech therapy as a whole and language therapy. Although the term ‘speech and language’ therapy is widely used, since speech and language problems coexist most of the time.
Differentiating Speech And Language Therapy
The truth of the matter is, that speech therapy and language therapy differ in some key areas. First off, they differ on the problems that they are targeting. The techniques and activities used during therapy are also different. Although there are times that these activities are done simultaneously, to target two problems at a time.
Speech therapy is done to treat speech problems. Such speech problems deal with how or the manner a person speaks. These speech problems are categorized into three general kinds. First, is voice or resonation disorders. Second, is articulation disorders. And, lastly, fluency disorders.
Voice disorders mainly deals on problems with the voice box or the larynx itself. These may be due to physiological malfunction, anatomical differences, fatigue, or neurological problems. Some voice disorders present problems in pitch, volume, and tone. The presence of breathy, raspy, nasal and weak voice is viable too.
Articulation disorders, on the other hand, deal with the manner a person speaks. The problem is rooted from the articulators themselves. Articulators are composed of the tongue, teeth, hard palate, soft palate, jaw, and cheeks. Articulation disorders may be due to weakness or physiological malfunction in any of the articulators, which results to distorted or incomprehensible speech.
Fluency disorders would deal on problems regarding the fluency of the person. It may be the case that he talks too fast or too slow. Stuttering and Cluttering are two of the major fluency problems that speech therapists deal with.
Speech therapy activities would likely include different exercises to practice speaking. Since most of the time, weak muscles are present; the therapy proper would usually include activities that can help strengthen these muscles. Different compensatory strategies are also taught, so that the patient can compensate for lost speaking skills.
Language therapy mainly deals with problems regarding your inner language, receptive language and expressive language. Cognition skills can be the main cause of language problems. Unlike speech disorders, that manifest physical differences, most language disorders are due to problems the brain’s language processing.
Receptive language problems mainly deals on difficulties understanding received language, like what other people are telling you and comprehending written data. Expressive language problems on the other hand are difficulties on expressing oneself. You may have a hard time knowing which words to use verbally or even through writing.
Language based problems are usually treated through mental exercises. Workbooks are often used to practice and develop language skills. For very young children, play therapy is used to develop inner language, so that the therapist could later on target improving receptive and expressive language, respectively.
In some cases, speech and language problems are both present. This is especially true for individuals that had traumatic brain injuries or accidents that had an effect on the brain. They may manifest physiological problems due to damaged nerves that result to articulation or voice problems.
The can also have language problems like aphasia, especially if their brain was hit on its language areas.
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To begin with, the primary cause of aphasia should be stabilized or treated. After doing so, that’s the only time that a therapist can work on the rehabilitation of the patient. To recover a person’s language function, he or she should begin undergoing therapy as soon as possible subsequent the injury.
Speech Therapy: As A Treatment For Aphasia
Since there are no surgical or medical procedures that are currently available to treat Aphasia, conditions that result from head injury or stroke can be improved through the treatment of speech therapy.
For majority of Aphasic patients though, the main emphasis is placed upon optimizing the use of the person’s retained language skills and being able to learn to use other ways of communication to be able to compensate for their permanently lost language abilities.
The formulation of what activities to use during a speech therapy session is critically done and would highly depend on the therapists’ assessment and diagnosis results on the individual. However, there are some general activities that are done to treat Aphasia.
Since most types of Aphasia would include right-sided weakness of the body and sensory loss, it is important for the patient to be able to exercise their body. Regular exercise and practice is needed to strengthen the weak muscles and prevent it from further degeneration.
The exercise activities do not have to be exhilarating. For the purpose of speech function, the therapist can exercise the patient’s weakened muscles through repetitive speaking of certain words, and projecting facial expressions, like smiling and frowning.
The use of food too is helpful, since the patient is able to exercise articulators needed for speech production like the tongue and jaw, which may be weakened due to the condition.
One of the tools used for therapy are picture cards. Pictures of daily living and everyday objects can be used to improve and develop word recall skills. Picture cards can act as a visual cue to increase the learning process of an Aphasic. These can also help increase the vocabulary of the patient.
By showing the picture cards and repetitively saying aloud the names of the objects in the picture, the patient will be able to exercise weak muscles and practice vocalization.
Another tool for therapy are picture boards. Since aphasia can bring about difficulty in recalling names of activities, objects and people, use of material to help recall these names is very helpful. By making use of a board where the therapist places pictures of different everyday activities and objects, the patient can point to specific pictures to express ideas and communicate with other people.
The use of workbooks is also important in the treatment of Aphasia. Since reading and writing skills are affected, this is one way to exercise them. Workbook exercises can be used to sharpen an Aphasic’s word recalling skills and recover reading and writing abilities.
By reading aloud, hearing comprehension can also be exercised and redeveloped through workbook exercises.
With the development of technology, there are now computer programs that are used to treat Aphasia. Such computer programs can be used to improve an Aphasic’s reading, speech, recall, and hearing comprehension. In fact, the use of computers can bring about optimal results, since it can stimulate senses of vision, and hearing at the same time, helping speed up the learning process.
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Fortunately, for people with a stuttering problem, there are a number of techniques that can be used to treat intermediate stuttering. These techniques include a mix of fluency shaping and stuttering modification techniques. Listed below are some of the more commonly used techniques for the treatment of intermediate stuttering:
Flexible rate is slowing down the production of a word, especially the first syllable. This technique is thought to allow more time for language planning and motor execution. In here, only those syllables on which stuttering is expected are slowed, not the surrounding speech.
Flexible rate is taught by having the clinician model production of words in which the first syllable and the transition to the second syllable are said in a way that slows all of the sounds equally. Vowels, fricatives, nasals, sibilants, and glides are lengthened, and plosives and affricates are produced to sound more like fricatives, without stopping the sound or airflow.
After the clinician’s model, the child produces the word with flexible rate, and successive approximations of the target are reinforced.
Easy onsets refer to an easy or gentle onset of voicing. Teaching easy onsets is like teaching flexible rate. The clinician models the target behavior by the use of a lot of different sounds and then he makes the child imitate the models. After the child tries to imitate, the therapist should reinforce the child’s successive approximations.
Some children, particular younger ones, may be helped to get the concept by performing an action, such as bringing their hands together slowly, as they produce an easy onset.
Producing consonants with light contacts prevents the stoppage of airlow and/ or voicing that can trigger stuttering. Light contacts are taught by modeling a style of producing consonants with relaxed articulators and continuous flow of air or voice, depending on the consonant.
Plosives and affricates should be slightly distorted so that they sound like fricatives but are still intelligible. Modeling a variety of words with initial consonants and reinforcing the child’s successive approximations of the target accomplish teaching a child to use light contacts. The clinician can use a variety of games to make the concept of light contact more interesting.
Proprioception refers to sensory feedback from mechanoreceptors in muscles of the lips, jaw, and tongue. The effectiveness of teaching proprioception may be that it promotes conscious attention to sensory information from the articulators, perhaps bypassing inefficient automatic sensory monitoring systems and thereby normalizing sensory-motor control.
Children can be taught to use proprioception by having a child first hold a raisin in his mouth and report on its taste, shape, size, and other attributes. Children can also learn proprioception by picking a word from a list and then closing their eyes and silently moving their articulators for this word and being rewarded when the clinician guesses the word.
Children can be coached to feel the movements of their lips, tongue, and jaw as they say a word. Proprioceptive awareness can also be enhanced by using masking noise or delayed auditory feedback to interfere with self-hearing. In this, the clinician must look for slightly exaggerated, slow movements to verify that a child is trying to feel the movement of his articulators.
It is useful with some children to “scaffold” their use of superfluency by letting the listener know that we are working on our speech and sometimes by coaching the child in that fluency-friendly environment. This can be exhibited for example by telling a stranger in a mall that the child and the clinician are working on their speech and would like to ask him some questions. Another example would be when the child makes telephone calls.
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There are a variety of tools and materials, which are designed for speech therapy in the market right now, thus giving the therapist much more options when it comes to choosing the equipments that could best maximize his services. One variety of materials are toys. And there are various reasons for the rise in its use.
The Toys and Their Functions
Before the therapy starts, an evaluation of the patient’s oral motor structures is usually done. This is where the therapist inspects the various structures that are inside and around the patient’s mouth that are used for speech. Some of these are the lips, tongue, teeth, jaw and cheeks.
For the structures to be seen more accurately, a penlight is usually used. The only problem with it is that the child may not find it very pleasant to have a flashlight in his mouth. This is now why there already is the colorful and jelly-like oral light system, which gives the same amount of light minus the metallic appearance.
The examination of these muscles also usually requires gloves and tongue depressors; in which kids do not appreciate both of whose smell and taste. This is now the reason why colorful and fruit flavored gloves and tongue depressors are already available.
After the said oral motor examination has been performed, the therapist may find a weakening in one or some of the structures. Some seemingly ordinary materials and toys may aid the strengthening of these muscles. One of them is the straw, which can come in all colors and designs. It serves two purposes.
The first purpose is for the rounding of the lips. This activity is important for the articulation of vowels and the semi-vowel /w/. Another function is the act of sipping. In this activity, the velum, the muscle right above the throat is exercised. This muscle is used when producing vowels and back consonants like /k/ and /g/.
Another commonly used material is a toy, which has to be blown. An example would be the whistle. The whistle is considered a difficult blow toy. It means that among the toys that work when blown, it is one of those, which requires more effort for it to perform its function.
The whistle, like the straw, aids in the exercise of the muscles of the lips. Another structure, which it strengthens, is the cheeks. It maximizes the capacity of the cheeks to hold in air and to gradually blow it out.
Other materials that are more commonly used are picture cards and interactive books. They usually contain pictures of words, which represent all the speech sounds. When these cards are used, all the therapist has to do is to show the picture and have the child produce the word together with the speech sound within the word.
If the patient sees the materials they have for therapy are colorful and fun toys, he will come to think that the reason he is in the clinic is to play and have fun. And having the child thinking this, will allow the child to cooperate with the therapist.
Play is a universal activity that blends social, cognitive, linguistic, emotional, and motor components. It is an integration of the many aspects of a child. Play serves as a representation of the thoughts and abilities of a child. Through play, the therapist will be able to know how to approach the concerns of his patient.
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For parents who are worried about their children who are stuttering, you just have to bear in mind that this is only a phase that they are going through. It may alleviate your feelings to know that about 5% of children in preschool stutter. This phase is referred to as pseudo-stuttering or developmental disfluency, which they will eventually outgrow. This may arise from various reasons, the most common of which is the fact that at this point, they are eagerly learning how to talk.
You don’t need to worry because this is only normal, but if the case is already causing problems, like the child feels intimidated in talking to other people or they are exhibiting such for more than six months already, this is the time when you can seek doctor’s help. Out of all cases, only 1% of these children will continue to carry this kind of problem until they get older.
The speech of people with this condition gets interrupted when they make certain sounds longer or repeat syllables, parts or the whole words. It is said that it is more common for boys to acquire such case. This is one kind of a neurological disorder and can be acquired through genetic reasons. If the person has been suffering from this case for more than six months, they must undergo thorough evaluation to be performed by a professional speech language pathologist. You can also consult such even if the patient is a preschooler, but if the condition is not bothering them, you can wait if they will be able to outgrow this.
Available Therapy Techniques
Even if there is not one single cure that has been invented for this condition, there are various treatments that a patient can opt to alleviate the speech pattern defects. These treatments include the following. Once you have consulted a professional, they can give you the appropriate kind based on their findings. For one, they can recommend that your child take medications, although these are not commonly used. They can also be advised to go through a speech therapy, which can be done at summer clinics or at intensive clinics.
There are some electronic devices that are available these days, which focus on the choral effect and technique of choral speech. With these, the words of the one who stutters are being matched with another voice. There are also devices that are placed in the ear of the child. This tool can replay the words of the child after a brief delay. It is able to copy the choral effect, while decreasing and can completely eliminate the speech defect. Even if these therapies will work at the beginning, the results and improvements won’t be permanent.
There are other basic things that you ought to know about this condition to understand the concept better. Stuttering doesn’t occur as a result of emotional and psychological dilemma. You have to help your child cope with the condition by not interfering with what they are saying. You must allow them to finish what they are saying and make them feel that they are not being rushed into anything.
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Because the cause of stuttering has never been clearly defined, the use of pharmacological agents has not been encouraged ever since. In addition, people who stutter experience different effects of drugs prescribed for treatment.
As such, there are different perspectives being taken in drug treatment for stuttering. From the etiological theories, experts view mainly the cause of stuttering as a psychological problem. It further explains that stuttering is a result of repressed needs or unconscious expression of internal conflicts.
Theories later see stuttering as a series of learned behaviours arising from psychological causes such as fear and anxiety. There are some theories that view stuttering as a genetic disorder. Scientific evidences later developed based on neurological motor and sensory deficits. These genetic abnormalities are combined with motor control deficits, learned behaviours, and psychological deficits as combined cause of stuttering.
Following these theories, still several pharmaceutical agents are invented to cure the disorder. Examples of agents based on these etiological theories are antipsychotics, neuroleptics, and sedatives and tranquilizers.
Antipsychotics include the use of carbon dioxide inhalation in 1948. This treatment would leave the stutterer unconscious for a moment and then followed by psychomotor excitement. Several psychological-related conditions such as phobias, hysteria, and disassociative states are treated with carbon dioxide. However, some experiments proved the ineffectiveness of carbon dioxide treatment in stuttering.
The neuroleptics are antipsychotic drugs that affect the psychomotor activity. Fortunately, they do not have hypnotic effects nor are sleep-inducing agents. Examples of neuroleptics used in treating stuttering are thioridaxine, trifluoperazine, and haloperidol. Experiments showed that thioridaxine and trifluoperazine reduce the severity of stuttering but not the frequency. Meanwhile, haloperidol is the most effective drug that improves stuttering symptoms as of to date but seldom prescribed because of its adverse effects such as dizziness.
Because of the popular theory of fear and anxiety as probable cause of stuttering, many experts have prescribed the use of sedatives and tranquilizers. An example of drug that has been tried but with little effect is the antihistamine, which has anti-anxiety and hypnotic effects.
Other minor tranquilizers include reserpine and meprobamate. Both are effective in lessening anxiety and physical tension.
Meanwhile, there are also drugs being prescribed based on a symptomatic and serendipitous basis. Some drugs are prescribed to cure the symptom of stuttering rather than the underlying etiology. For instance, neostignine was used because it was effective in treating spastic conditions, which some studies consider stuttering as a form of spasm. Luckily, some experiments showed positive results.
In addition, verapamil is a drug prescribed due to serendipitous basis—a calcium channel blocker is used in treating cardiac arrhythmia. Like neostignine, experiments also showed favourable results. It is believed that verapamil might also reduce spasm in the muscles of articulation the way it does in the cardiac muscles. Other types of cardiac medications also showed positive effects on stuttering.
Yet, there are two vital factors in treating stuttering. One, there is no single drug approach that has been proven better quality. Second, even experiments showed favourable results, these drugs did not eradicate the stuttering.
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There are six main types of fluency disorders namely: normal developmental disfluency, stuttering, neurogenic disfluency, psychogenic disfluency, language based disfluency, and mixed fluency failures. Due to the uniqueness and difference of each case, all of them require a different kind of management approach in speech therapy.
Management For Normal Developmental Disfluency
Developmental disfluency occurs during the critical period of speech and language development. A child is considered to have this condition if 5% or less of his overall speech-sample are repetitions and 1% or less are prolongations.
Etiologies of this condition could be: excitement while speaking, demands of Language Acquisition, Speech-Motor control is lagging, environmental factors like stress in the family (e.g. separation of parents) and the situations they are in, and daily pressures of competition.
Concerned parents still make their children with this kind of disfluency undergo therapy even if this could still possibly decline. These children are taught how to: decrease the rate of their speech, relieve other pressures that the therapist and parents mutually agree to change, and simplify their language.
Management For Stuttering
The onset of stuttering may occur between ages 1 Ѕ- 11 years old but it mostly occurs during early childhood stage, which ranges from 2-6 years old. A condition is diagnosed to be stuttering when the speech has 5% or greater repetitions and 1% or greater prolongations.
There are several approaches to therapeutic intervention for early stuttering namely: environmental manipulation, direct work with the child, psychological therapy, desensitization therapy, parent-child interaction therapy, fluency-shaping behavioral therapy, and parent and family counseling
Management For Neurogenic Disfluency
The onset of neurogenic disfluency is varied. It can occur at any age but it usually appears during adulthood or among the geriatric population. The neurological events that can trigger the onset of neurogenic disfluency are as follows: strokes, head trauma, extrapyramidal diseases, tumors, dementia, drug usage, anoxia, cryosurgery, viral meningitis, and vascular disease.
Self-monitoring program is one of the most suggested modes for the management of this kind of disfluency.
Management For Psychogenic Disfluency
The onset of psychogenic disfluency is also varied. A condition is said to be under this category when 90% of the patient’s utterances have become disfluent when the emotional stimuli is present. This condition originates in the mind. The etiology could be acute or chronic psychological disturbances. Stress is another factor that may also cause the disorder.
Psychologists, psychiatrist and counselors can only provide treatment of this kind of fluency disorder. Speech pathologists prioritize treatment only of the bad speech habits, which may still be present after resolving the emotional issues of the patient.
Management For Language Based Disfluency
This kind of fluency disorder may arise in a child as soon as any newly introduced language skill emerges, specifically during the toddler to preschool stage. The fluency failure may be due to linguistic or motor immaturity. It can also be a result of the child’s struggle to acquire newly introduced and more complex language rules.
The management of this kind of disfluency usually focuses on improving the child’s language skills to increase his/her linguistic and motor maturity.
Management For Mixed Fluency Failures
The onset of this condition cannot be exactly determined, since it is an overlap pf two or more causative factors. No specific age for identification since onset may be sudden. Therapists must prioritize the most debilitating and/or the most correctable aspect of the disfluency.
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No one has yet discovered the single cause of stuttering. Many researchers have come out with varied results—some psychological basis and others neurological causes. There is another field that says stuttering is a homogenous disorder but this is yet to be disputed. It says that stutterers suffer from one underlying problem. Nevertheless, popular theories are based on heterogeneity of the disorder.
One theorist has argued that since there no measurement and causes of fluency, it is harder to define the causes of abnormality. For a long time, theorists believed that the concept of stuttering was an outgrowth or exacerbation of normal disfuency. Yet, these premises and models are still subjected to further experiments and studies.
To further aid in the study of stuttering, theorists tried to categorize and make a sub-group of people who stutters. First is the severity as a grouping variable. Many studies used this sub-grouping with so far mixed results of analyses. Meanwhile, the intriguing sub-grouping of Van Riper described four tracks in the development of shuttering.
The model of fluent speech production presents two important points in understanding the categories of stuttering. First, stuttering shows a failure in temporal processing. Second, stuttering shows an imbalance between the capacities of the fluency generating system and demands of the environment.
Following the model of fluent speech production, hypothetical types or sub groups in stuttering are formulated. First, the speech motor control sub-groups which have two distinct groups called dyspraxic stuttering and respiratory control stuttering. The first is characterized by phonological and fluency problems thus causing delays in the appearances of intelligible words and sentences, articulation problems, and slow speech rates.
For example, some adults have the difficulty of pronouncing longer words and have inconsistent articulation errors. Thus, stuttering occurs on longer and unfamiliar words.
The second one is directly linked to difficulties in voluntary control of muscles of respiration. That is why children who stutter most likely have asthma, allergies, and upper respiratory distress. This disorder is characterized by blocks and unvoiced prolongations.
Some theorists also consider the linguistic processing problems as main etiologic factor. Many children show delayed language development. This general category is called linguistic stuttering. There are three sub-types of group. The first one involves the developmental delays in aspects of linguistic processing. The second one is associated with problems in word finding or retrieval. The third is associated with problems in generation of complex grammatical forms and the last involves problems with auditory processing.
Another sub-group involves the cognitive processes. Problems in this area lead to disfluent speech production. However, one theorist says most likely a person who stutter has cognitive abilities that are superior to their linguistic and speech motor abilities.
Psychologically related factors cannot be eliminated in the sub-groupings of the causes stuttering. Anxiety is an important factor in stuttering. This is a critical factor with respect to severity of stuttering.
Theorists have based these groupings mainly on present results of studies. The sub-groupings of stuttering are yet to be tested and experimented.
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Michael Susca, a speech language pathologist, has presented a treatment process for stuttering. He called it the normalization of speech patterns.
He believed that people whom stutter comes from a very heterogeneous group. As such, he designed a program specific only to a certain group of people who stutter, but is applicable to a wide range of age.
Though it is still a working progress, the eligibility of a patient to undergo such program includes many factors such as normal intelligence, recognition of the stuttering problem, current motivation to eliminate the stutter, the absence of a deep or broad “genetic tree” of stuttering, report of a history of fluent communication experiences before stuttering problem to name a few. Patients are expected to meet as many criteria as possible to be appropriate in the program.
His program focuses on fixing underlying problems causing the symptoms and changing physiological processes with emphasis on normal speech and perpetual processes.
The program aims to teach patients to become their own therapists. In addition, it aims to improve their communicative skill through self-perception, volition, effectiveness, and naturalness. Patients are thought to change their self-image into a positive belief system.
It teaches patients to learn the willingness and confidences to begin communication with other people at varied time and place. It further teaches people who stutter to learn to respond, make changes in the environment verbally, and adjust to a new way of effortlessly sounding normal.
Unlike other stuttering programs, Susca’s treatment process does not have particular duration. It changes according to particular patients’ problems, needs, and logistics. However, the treatment sessions usually last for one hour and with a minimum of three times a week. Depending on the progress of patients, treatment sessions are normally reduced to once a week and then to once every other week, to once a month until the termination of treatment.
The first concern of the treatment program is patients’ use of cognitive secondary mannerisms. This process focuses on elimination of the use of avoidances, substitutions, and circumlocutions. The next step concerns with the increase of patients’ awareness of sensory inputs. Usually, patients are asked to go through an exercise that provokes the use or sensory inputs such as proprioception, kinaesthesia, and tactility. This is briefly repeated to develop awareness of sensory parameters in body movements.
Personal assessments are asked from the patients for them to lay out their progress and difficulties. Through continuous recognition of used techniques, patients learn the normal speech patterns and need less exaggerated techniques.
There are major techniques taught in this treatment process. One example is the developing of belly-breathing. This teaches patients about the general dynamics of breathing. In this technique, they are encouraged to use easy belly-breathing while laying their back on the floor.
The other technique is to develop and open throat posture that can be achieved in any one of four methods. This posture emphasizes an open, relaxed, pharyngeal structure through which airstream flows. It causes resonance change; teaches proper speaking posture to aid in reducing stuttering.
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Voice training is done to find an appropriate source of sound production that can be articulated for communication purposes. Criteria for selecting sound source include: degree of tissue loss, esophageal stenosis, physical limitations of the patient; noise level of the patient’s environment; motivation level; and patient’s preference of sound source.
Types Of Sound Source
There are mainly three types of sound source a patient can choose from. These are: external man-made prosthesis or artificial larynx; sphincter like junction of the pharynx and esophagus or esophageal speech; and lastly, surgically implanted device or transesophageal puncture and silicon prosthesis.
The principle of artificial larynx is to have an external mechanical sound source that is substituted for the larynx. Anatomic structures for articulation and resonance are most of the time unaltered.
There are two general types of electrolarynges that are available: neck type and intra oral type. The neck type is placed flush to the skin on the side of the neck, under the chin, or on the cheek. Sound is conducted via the oropharynx and is articulated normally.
The intraoral type is used for patients that can’t conduct sound through skin adequately. A small tube is placed toward the posterior oral cavity, and the produced sound is then articulated. The tube has little effect on articulatory accuracy if the patient is taught properly and learns to use it well.
The advantage of artificial larynx is that voice is restored after surgery immediately and the maintenance of the hardware is minimal. The disadvantage however, is that the quality of sound may seem mechanical.
The principle behind esophageal speech is that air is of greater pressure in one chamber (oral cavity) will flow to a chamber containing less pressure (esophagus), if these chambers are connected.
Goals of esophageal speech include: to be able to phonate upon demand, use a rapid method of air intake, short latency between air intake and phonation, produce four to nine syllables per air charge, achieve a speaking rate of 85-129 words per minute, and attain good speech intelligibility.
There are mainly three methods of esophageal speech. Injection is a method where air in the mouth/nose is compressed by lingual or labial movement and is injected into the esophagus. Swallowing method uses air that enters during oral opening when swallowing. The air is used to produce voice.
Inhalation method maintains a patent airway between the nose, lips and esophagus. The stoma is used for inhalation. Air enters the esophagus when the pharyngo-esophageal muscle is relaxed during inhalation.
The advantage of this kind of speech includes: no external devices, natural sounding speech, and the possibility of pitch and loudness control. Disadvantages on the other hand are: there is reduced length of utterance, is hard to learn and requires good articulation.
This is another approach to voice restoration. It requires a surgical/prosthesis procedure that makes use of a man-made device inserted into a surgically created midline transesophageal fistula.
Air is conducted from the trachea to the esophagus through the prosthesis to excite the pharyngo-esophageal segment for voice production.
Advantages include: rapid restoration, natural sound, normal utterance length, hands-free, minimal maintenance and intelligible tonal language. Disadvantages are: the need for surgery, puncture stenosis, candida growth, aspiration of foreign objects, and troubleshooting.
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There is a lot of fluency shaping techniques used in speech therapy for fluency disorders. However, due to the advancements of technology, a new kind of fluency shaping approach is now available. This is possible by the use of biofeedback mechanisms.
Fluency Shaping At A Glance
In fluency shaping therapy, motor skills are acquired. But in order to have a successful therapy the client needs to have feedback. Since it involves physically learned behavior, the client should know if what he is doing is right or wrong.
For example, a therapist asks his patient to use diaphragmatic breathing. The client and the speech therapist knows if the client is doing it right or wrong because they could observe it by putting a hand in the patient’s stomach.
On the other hand if the therapist asks the client to execute air with vocal tension, and he does so, and then therapist asks the client to do it faster; it would be hard to observe and see the difference between the two actions. That’s why biofeedback devices were invented.
A biofeedback mechanism is an instrument that shows the user’s physiological activity’s display and measurement. It is very helpful to increase the awareness of the client. The client has an increased control of the activity too. It provides real time feedback that is more reliable and precise than human observation. It is able to measure what can’t be seen or heard by human senses.
It is also helpful with to that SLP so that he can concentrate on the other behaviors of the client. If the client is a visual learner, it would benefit him very much and it may speed up his way to successful fluency therapy. There are devices that can be used not only in the clinic but at home too, so the client can practice even at home.
Some examples of this kind of devices are CAFET or the Computer-Aided Fluency Establishment And Trainer, Dr. Fluency, EMG (Electromyograph) and Vocal Frequency Biofeedback.
The Dr. Fluency and CAFET are computer based biofeedback systems. They make use of a microphone to monitor the user’s vocal fold activity. A chest strap is also used to monitor breathing. The change in vocal fold activity and breathing is displayed on the computer display. Instructions and error messages are also seen.
The device trains a lot of fluency skill behaviors such as: continuous breathing, relaxed diaphragmatic breathing, pre-voice and gradual exhalation, gentle onset, continuous phonation, adequate support of breath, and phrasing.
In a study of CAFET, 197 teenagers and adults used the program reported that just after six months of finishing the program, eighty-two percent met the fluency criteria. After twelve months, eighty-nine percent were fluent. Lastly, in two years of post-therapy, ninety-two percent were fluent.
EMG and Vocal Frequency Biofeedback is a device using an EMG working with a DAF (Delayed Auditory Feedback) mechanism. The EMG monitors muscle activity and if it detects something wrong a red light would turn on and the DAF would automatically play.
The use of biofeedback mechanisms can be considered to a breakthrough in the realm of speech therapy and fluency disorders. However, not every one can have access through it, since getting such devices can be very expensive.
Nonetheless, other fluency shaping approaches are still viable and have been proven effective already from years of practice.
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Traumatic brain injury can cause about a lot of speech and language disorders that would entail the need of speech therapy. That’s why the role of speech therapy in the rehabilitation process of a traumatic brain injury patient is very vital.
What Speech And Language Problems TBI Brings About
A person may have loss of consciousness after a traumatic brain injury. This loss of consciousness can vary from seconds, minutes, hours, days, months or even years. The longer you are out of consciousness, the more severe your injury is. After a traumatic brain injury, you may suffer secondary consequences, which are considered to be more lethal and dangerous than the primary injury.
Some of these secondary consequences include damage to your brain’s meninges, traumatic hematoma, increased intracranial pressure, herniation, hyperventilation, ischemic brain damage, and cerebral vasospasm. When these brain damages occur, they tend to affect parts of your brain that are responsible for speech and language processing and production, thus you get speech and language problems.
Traumatic brain injuries can cause you permanent or temporary memory loss, orientation problems, lesser cognitive performance or slower processing of thought, attention problems, deterioration of skills in basic counting, spelling and writing. You can also have Aphasia, where you have a loss of words.
Traumatic brain injury can also cause you difficulty in reading simple and complex information. Your naming skills, of everyday seen objects, familiar others can also be affected. It can also bring about dysarthria, or problems with movement, that can cause you to have shaky movements leading to difficulty speaking and writing.
Speech Therapy For Traumatic Brain Injury Patients
Treatment for traumatic brain injury patients can be classified into three categories. There are different treatments for early, middle and late stages of a traumatic brain injury. There are also compensatory strategies taught for a TBI patient.
Early Stage Treatment
Treatment during the early stage of a traumatic brain injury would focus more on medical stabilization. A speech therapist would also deal more on establishing a reliable means of communication between the patient and the therapist. The patient is also taught how to indicate yes or no, when asked.
Another goal is for the patient to be able to make simple requests through gestures, nods, and eye blinks. The behavioral and mental condition of the patient is also treated. During the early stage, sensorimotor stimulation is also done. Where in the therapist would heighten and stimulate the patient’s sense of sight, smell, hearing and touch.
Middle Stage Treatment
The main goal during the middle stage treatment is for the patient to develop an increased control of the environment and independence. The adequacy of patient’s interaction to the environment is also increased. The therapist should also stimulate the patient to have organized and purposeful thinking. The uses of environmental prompts are to be diminished during this phase.
A lot of activities focusing on cognitive skills like perception, attention, memory, abstract thinking, organization and planning, and judgment, are also given.
Late Stage Treatment
During the late stage of treatment, the speech therapists’ goal is for the patient to be able to develop complete independence and functionality. Environment control is eliminated and the patient is taught compensatory strategies to cope with problems that have become permanent.
Some of these compensatory strategies are the use of visual imagery, writing down main ideas, rehearsal of spoken/written material, and asking for clarifications or repetitions when in the state of confusion.
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A speech therapist has a vital role in the pre- and post op management of laryngeal cancer, because Laryngectomy patients have to undergo speech management. So here are some of the things to know about laryngectomy.
A Team Approach
Firs off, the management of laryngeal cancer requires a team approach. The patient gets to see a surgeon, radiologist, audiologist, speech-language pathologist, oncologist, physical therapist, maxillofacial prosthodontist, and a psychiatrist. All of these health care professionals work together to work on the management of the patient.
What Is Laryngectomy?
Laryngectomy is the total removal of the larynx. It is also the partition of the airway from the nose, mouth, and esophagus. A person that undergoes this kind of operation would have to breathe via an opening on the neck, called stoma.
Laryngectomy is done when a person has laryngeal cancer. It may be considered to be a traditional way of managing laryngeal cancer, since a lot of laryngeal cancer cases nowadays are treated with the use of chemotherapy, radiation, or other laser procedures. In severe cases that these don’t work, that is the only time laryngectomy is opted for.
Other than the larynx, other structures are also removed. These other structures includes Sternocleidomastoid, Omohyoid muscle, Internal Jugular vein, Spinal Accessory vein (CNXI), Submaxillary salivary gland. In most severe cases, the external carotid artery, strap muscles of the neck, Vagus nerve (CN X), Hypoglossal nerve (CN XII) and the lingual branch of the Trigeminal nerve (CN V) are also removed.
How Common Is Laryngectomy?
It is estimated by the American Cancer Society, in 2003, that around nine thousand five hundred people in the US were diagnosed of laryngeal cancer. This condition occurs about 4.4 times more predominantly with men than with women. Though, similar with lung cancer, laryngeal cancer is becoming increasingly frequent with women.
Tobacco smoking is so far the supreme risk factor in having laryngeal cancer. Other factors include radiation exposure, asbestos exposure, alcohol abuse, and genetic factors. In United Kingdom, laryngeal cancer is rather rare, since it only affects less than 3,000 people per year.
After total Laryngectomy, possible problems may occur. These include having a scar tissue at the tongue base, narrowing of the esophagus, partial tongue base resection, dysphagia, Xerostomia, mouth sores and changes in smell, taste, appetite and weight.
Effects And Impacts Of Laryngectomy
Laryngectomy has two mechanistic effects. One, it separates respiration from speech. Two, it keeps the pharyngoesophageal region intact.
There are also impacts that Laryngectomy brings about. The main impact would be the loss of voice for communication. You may also lose the ability to express emotions such as laughing. You also get physical problems with regard to tasting and feeding.
Laryngectomy is frequently successful in treating early-staged cancers. Still, undergoing through the procedure would require major lifestyle change. There is also a risk of having severe psychological stress due to unsuccessful adaptations.
After The Procedure: Voice Replacement And Care
After the patient’s larynx is removed, voice prosthetics is used. This serves as a replacement for the lost larynx, so that the person will still be able to communicate and speak. In this case, Laryngectomees would have to learn new methods of speaking.
They should also be constantly concerned in taking care and cleaning their stoma. Severe problems can arise if foreign materials and water enter their lungs via their unprotected stoma.
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During the assessment of an individual with suspected fluency disorder, there are some things to remember to make the assessment more comprehensive and useful. Here are some of those critical points to take note of during assessment.
Benefits Of Obtaining Both Reading and Conversation Sample
It is more beneficial to obtain both reading and conversation sample from school children and adults because this would give more reliability and credibility to the samples taken.
Since stuttering varies in different situations, a reading and conversation sample would allow the clinician to see the behaviors of the person in two different tasks. A conversational speech sample is likely to have more variability, while a reading passage would likely have less variability.
Information To Assess Motivation
Through interview, a therapist can learn a lot from his client. In fact, insight about the client’s motivation could be seen by asking the following questions like ”What do you believe caused you to stutter?”, “Has you stuttering changed or caused you more problems recently?, “Why did you come in for help at the present time?”, “ Are there times or situations when you stutter more? Less? What are they?”.
Benefits Of Continuing Evaluation
No individual could be understood in an hour or two; that’s why continuing of evaluation is recommended. The clinician might overlook an important element at times and some times a vital clue will not be present in the samples of behavior taken from the limited time of the evaluation period.
Note The Difference When Assessing Feelings and Attitudes
Assessing a school-age child’s feelings and attitudes would require the clinician to establish rapport and to get to know the child much better after some time, because the clinician’s judgment is also a fair measurement in the case of school-age children.
Talking to the child and observing his behaviors would be necessary. When the clinician has known the child much better, he could administer the A-19 Scale to the child. Other methods could also be used such as “Worry Ladder” and “Hands Down” that could be found in the workbook, The School-Age Child Who Stutters: Working Effectively with Attitudes and Emotions.
For adults and adolescents assessment of feelings and attitudes are usually done by administering tools such as, the Modified Erickson Scale of Communication Attitudes, the Stutterer’s Self-Rating of Reactions to Speech Situations, the Perceptions of Stuttering Inventory and the Locus of Control of Behavior Scale.
Remember The Role Of The IEP Team
An Individualized Education Program (IEP) team is appointed to a child to be the ones to consider reports by the clinician and other information. They decide if the child meets the state’s eligibility standards and if the child’s stuttering has a negative effect on his education.
If a child is eligible for services measurable, the IEP team sets goals and short-term objectives for the child. They also provide services needed by the child for improvement in the educational setting.
Goals Of Trial Therapy
Trial therapy for a school-age child is done to understand what approach might work and what might be difficult for him. This could increase the child’s motivation and positive outlook for the treatment. In the case of adults and adolescents, trial therapy is done for 3 main reasons.
First, is to get an idea of how a client would respond to different therapy approaches. Second, is to make a differential diagnosis between developmental, neurological or psychological stuttering. Third, it gives a preview to the client of what to expect during therapy sessions, in effect it would give them motivation to go on their treatment.
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Teaching language to nonverbal, hearing-impaired children is in fact, a very controversial matter. The controversy stems from the idea that either of two goals is being targeted. One of which states that after language is learned, the child will be able to communicate orally; while the other states that the child will be able to communicate, not verbally, but manually.
Issues With This Approach
Although you may think that the best end goal would be a speaking child, some adult deaf groups would fiercely disagree. They believe that a hearing-impaired individual does not have to be verbal if only to be able to communicate with the rest of the population. For them, assimilation is not really a dream.
Although they aim to find some common grounds for communication, these groups do not really think it is necessary to learn spoken language just to take on the cultural traits of the verbal people.
And in respect to this claim, you have to understand that in some instances, language should be thought in completely nonverbal ways. The following are some of the means to facilitate language learning in nonverbal children.
British Sign Language (BSL)
This is a visual communication technique that incorporates the national or regional signs in Britain in a specified structure and is often taken as a language in its own. This kind of communication does not have a written form.
This refers to all the communication systems that require signs, fingerspelling or gestures, which can appear separately or in combinations. This system keeps the word order and the correct syntactic form of the English language.
This is the two-handed fingerspelling of the English language as based on British regional and national signs.
This is where the fingers of the hand assume 26 different positions. These 26 positions symbolize the 26 letters of the English alphabet. The combinations of these positions enable the formation of words or sentences.
This is a one-handed supplement to lip-reading and is often used to clarify the nebulous phonemes that have been detected through lip-reading.
Paget Gorman Systematic Sign Language
This is a system devised by Sir Richard Paget and is used to give a grammatical representation of the spoken English language. It utilizes constructed signs and hand positions that differ form those used in the Britain Sign Language.
Signs Supporting English
This is composed of signs for keywords that would assist oral communication and used at appropriate times during utterances.
On the other hand, an even bigger number of people believe that language should be taught to nonverbal individuals so that they might actually be able to produce their own utterances. One of the most noteworthy methods in developing spoken language in nonverbal children is through the Auditory-Verbal Therapy.
The primary goal of the Auditory-Verbal Therapy is to maximize the child’s residual hearing so that audition might be fully integrated to his/her personality and that he/she may be able to participate in the hearing society. Another goal would be to make mainstreaming a reasonable option in the future. Thus, suggesting that the child is as capable as any hearing child in a normal educational environment.
The general premise of the Auditory-Verbal Therapy is to focus on the Auditory Approach where the hearing-impaired child would be given instructions to listen and not to lip-read or sign. This way, the child would be capitalizing on his residual hearing and it would be easy for him to learn auditory skills since he would not be relying on signed speech.
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Before a child could undergo speech therapy with the diagnosis of Autism, he should pass a criteria of characteristics first that is given by the DSM-IV. So here are the criteria for a child to be diagnosed with such conditions.
Autistic Disorder Criteria: Social Interaction
First off, a child should have impairment in social interaction. This could be manifested by at least two of the following behaviors. First is a marked impairment with the use of different non-verbal behaviors like facial expression, eye-to-eye gaze, and body posture.
Second is the child’s failure to develop peer relationship that is appropriate for his developmental level. In this case the child may seem to have difficulty gaining friends, or even just relating to other children within his age.
The child may also have the lack of spontaneity to share his emotions and thoughts. He may not share enjoyment, achievements, or interests to other people. In this case, the child doesn’t usually bring or point to objects that interest him.
The lack of emotional reciprocity is also possible. No matter how hard you try to connect or show your emotions and feelings to the child, he wouldn’t care less.
Autistic Disorder Criteria: Communication
The child also has communication impairment. Having at least one of the following conditions manifests this.
First is having a delay, or even total lack of spoken language development or expressive language. In this case, the child doesn’t even try to use of compensatory strategies to communicate or other means of communication like gestures.
For children that have adequate speech, the communication impairment is manifested by not being able to initiate or sustain a conversation with other people.
The child can also have stereotyped and repetitive use of language. This phenomenon is actually called idiosyncratic language, where what the child keeps on saying seems to me meaningless. He may keep on saying the word “blue” for countless of times, even for the whole duration of the day.
He can also lack the ability to have varied, spontaneous make-believe play or social imitative play that is appropriate for his developmental level. Play is one of the notable things that differentiate a child with Autism with normal children. For an Autistic child, play does not exist. The main concern is that play is an important factor for language development since it is a prerequisite or co-requisite of inner language.
Autistic Disorder Criteria: Repetitive And Stereotype Behavior Patterns
An Autistic child also manifests repetitive behavior. This criteria is judged by having at least one of the following conditions.
The child may have an encompassing preoccupation with one or more restricted and stereotyped patterns of interests that may seem abnormal in respect to focus and intensity. For example the child can sit and look at the ceiling fan for the whole day, and doesn’t care what is happening in his environment, all that matters is the fan.
The child also has fetish with routines and rituals. If he passes by a certain way to school, it has to be the same way. If you use the main stairs going to his classroom, then taking a different route like the elevator would definitely agitate him, make him angry and have tantrums.
The child may also have repetitive behaviors or mannerisms. Hand flapping, finger twisting, and complex body movements are examples of these.
Lastly, he can also be preoccupied with object parts like buttons, screws and other small details.
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Babies must first hear the sounds frequently and memorize them before learning to speak or learn their meaning. For children with hearing impairment, among the many activities that can facilitate listening to sounds are sound-object association activities also known as “learning to listen sounds”.
This type of activity involves associating a sound to a referent, an item such as transportation vehicle or animal with a routine meaningful action. Linking a sound to a referent is considered an important activity for auditory-based intervention because it encourages the child to attend to sounds, facilitate the recognition that sounds are different and help the child understand that different sounds have different meaning.
This activity also develops stored perceptual representation for specific sounds or language-based phonemes. It also develops auditory familiarity with the spoken language.
There are some important things to consider when facilitating this kind of activity. One thing is to incorporate toys or personal action for very young child. This allows children to actively participate in the learning and listening process as this activity is meaningful and enjoyable for them.
Another thing is the variation of the supra-segmentals of these sounds. This restructures the auditory schema of a child for a particular sound each time he hears it in a different context. Also, toys used for learning to listen sounds should be simple representational items that are easily recognizable by young children.
Adults should also remember that “hearing comes first” for an effective auditory-verbal strategy. This means that the adult should first vocalize the sound before showing to the child the toy.
Magical Transportation Sounds
An example of learning to listen sound associated with transportation vehicle is aaaah(airplane) which is a good basic vowel and even the deafest kid typically comprehend and use it quickly. The clinician can vary the suprasegmentals of this sound as he shows to the child how he moves the airplane up and down.
Another sound is buhbuhbuh. It is one of the first consonants that the babies learn and besides from that, it is also an easy sound for the babies to imitate and produce on their own. The toy bus can be move around as the clinician vocalizes the sound. Ooooo is one sound that is good for stimulation of pitch variation with the same vowel.
The clinician can use a fire truck as he produces the sound with alternating high-low configuration. Other learning to listen sounds associated with transportation vehicles include brrrrrr(car), p-p-p-p-p(boat), and ch-ch-ch-ch(train). These sounds concentrate on stimulating the lip articulator and develop listening for some high frequency sounds.
Familiar Animal Sounds
Learning to listen sounds is also associated with animal sounds. A common sound that is use by clinicians is mooo(cow) which is a good vowel combined with the initial consonant /m/. This sound is produce with low voice and this change in voice is interesting for children.
The repeated tongue clicking for the hoarse is also a good sound because it is another prespeech skill. Most children are fascinated with the tongue clicking, thus, it is good for stimulation. This sound also exercises the movement of tongue. Meow has some nice vowel transition and clinician may use this to also produce inflectional variations within a two-syllable combination.
Other learning to listen sounds for animals include arfarfarf(dog), ssss(snake), quakquakquak(duck),hop-hop-hop(rabbit), oinkoink(pig), ba-a-a-a(sheep), and squeak(mouse).
There are also learning to listen sounds that can be associated with eating, sleeping, and clock. These sounds are mmmm, shhhhhhh, and t-t-t-t-t correspondingly.
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Crouzon Syndrome is a condition that would require speech therapy. This is mainly because of the major features of the syndrome, which affect main physical components used for speech production, such as articulators.
It is a result of premature closure of some cranial sutures and is also known as branchial arch syndrome as it specifically affects the first branchial arch where the maxilla and the mandible are developed. It is transmitted from generation to generation in an autosomal dominant manner.
How Often Does Crouzon Syndrome Occur?
As of year 2000, the demographics of Crouzon syndrome is that approximately one per twenty-five thousand live births have this condition. Crouzon syndrome also equally affects all kinds of ethnic groups.
Language Characteristics of Individuals with Crouzon Syndrome
The individual’s mental capacity dictates his/her ability to comprehend language. Unlike what some people think, not all individuals with Crouzon Syndrome have cognitive deficits. Usually, their mental capacity is in the normal range, which tells us that they are capable of acquiring language and using it as a means for communication.
These individuals have language skillswhich are at par with the skills of others of the same age. However, some still manifest significant mental developmental delay secondary to excessive intracranial pressure. In other cases, the presence of hearing problems contributes to the language acquisition difficulty.
Still in other cases, inappropriate breathing patterns make speaking difficult which in turn makes communication a tiring and an unpleasant experience.
In some cases, an individual with Crouzon Syndrome may exhibit oral distortions of fricatives and affricatives especially sibilants and inconsistent distortions in productions of /r/ and /l/. Most of these errors are attributed to abnormal tongue placement as caused by the defective maxillomandibular relationship.
However, some individuals may display speech problems that are in no way related to their oral structures. Other speech manifestations are also characterized by denasalization of /m/, /n/. Problems in articulating bilabials and round vowels may also be present due to reduced skills in lip closure and lip rounding.
Hypernasal speech is a common characteristic of individuals with Crouzon Syndrome. This is usually due to velopharyngeal insufficiency. Hyponasal speech may also present itself albeit less common. It is often due to nasal obstruction, which is surgically correctable.
These unusual resonance and speech patterns may either be a result of a small nose, high arched palate or the mandibular malocclusion. In terms of vocal quality, hoarseness may be present due to the development of vocal cord nodules in compensatory laryngeal activity.
One psychosocial problem that individuals with Crouzon Syndrome face is the attractiveness vs. unattractiveness issue. Because of the prominent cranio-facial deformity these individual are often victims of bullying, teasing and social isolation.
The visual and hearing impairments often hinder the comfortable flow of communicative exchanges. They feel restricted and limited in their socializations, with a marked difficulty in socializing with the opposite sex. Some may even be treated as if they were less capable than their peers.
Most individuals with Crouzon Syndrome feel angry at society for demanding physical attractiveness. Although some of these issues may be generic, the people’s response varies. Some may become painfully shy and lose confidence.
And yet others may develop a rather strong character and work on proving to their community that they have worth and are just as good as everybody else.
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There are three phases of management for laryngectomy: pre-operative, operative, and post-operative management. Each phase has its advantage and goals. A speech therapist plays vital roles in the first and last phase. Consulting a speech therapist during the first phase is equally important with seeing a therapist during the last phase, which is when voice rehabilitation really begins.
A speech therapist also has different roles in each phase, that’s why it is vital for a therapist to know the two phases he plays a role in.
Pre-operative management includes informing the patient of the anatomical changes, and expectations regarding swallowing, voice, and the family as a part of the team. The therapist also informs the patient on the different speech options he has after the operation.
During this phase, the speech therapist should initiate ordering of the hardware or alternative means of communication. The therapist should also be open to questions that the patient may come up with. This is also the time for him to establish rapport with the patient.
The therapist can also offer re-assuring consultation with appropriate laryngectomee volunteers. This is also the time where he assesses the pre-laryngectomy speech and cognition of the patient. The laryngectomee is also informed with his prognosis, where the potential for recovery and long-term rehabilitation is discussed.
The advantages of this phase would be the evaluation of preoperative speaking skills such as speaking rate, articulation errors, accent patterns, oral opening degree when speaking, and vocal parameters. Cognition and hearing is also evaluated, along with oral-peripheral-mouth strength and sensation. The family can also get emotional support in this phase.
Assessment is done by the use of modified barium swallowing or Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing. The patient’s communication needs are also assessed where living situation, occupation, social requirements and hobbies are looked at.
During this phase, the therapist is given an opportunity to help lessen the patient’s fears, and depression. He should also help the patient to accept the loss of voice and swallowing difficulties. The motivation of the patient should be increased, so that he can easily learn how to use alternative speech. Social implications are also addressed. Arrangements for voice rehabilitation are also done during the early parts of this phase.
Firs off, the therapist should confirm if the patient is already medically cleared for therapy. Then he should review the treatment procedure, re-evaluate the patient’s swallowing function then give diet recommendations, and create a treatment plan.
Problems Encountered During Postoperative Management
After the operation some problems may still occur. With regards to Tracheostomy, the patient and therapist should always be watchful of stoma hygiene, cannula hygiene, stoma covers, excessive mucus in the trachea, mucus encrustations in the stoma, and stoma safety and first aid.
There could also be problems related to taste, swallowing, smell and digestion. The patient may find it difficult to trap air within the lungs. This can lead to difficulties in creating internal subglottic pressure, elimination of body waste and childbirth.
Problems of social adjustment may also be present. The patient may find it hard or embarrassing to use alaryngeal speech in public. The altered physical appearance of the patient may also be an issue. Sometimes, the laryngectomee also has unrealistic expectations regarding acquisition of alaryngeal speech.
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Stuttering is a normal speech behavior that occurs in ordinary conversations, public speaking engagements, or group discussions. Almost everyone has had experienced it, and it is not a cause for alarm if it does not interfere much in the clarity of a message or speech. However, some people tend to stutter more often than others do. Stammering becomes a speech problem if it gets in the way of communication or expressing oneself clearly.
There are many misconceptions about people who stutter a lot. One is that they are not as smart or well adjusted as non-stutterers are. This is mainly because of their difficulty in expressing themselves. However, people who stutter are not as unintelligent as they may appear. Stammering and intelligence have nothing to do with each other.
To know more and understand what stammering is and how it is manifested in children and adults, you have to learn the symptoms of this speech condition. Learning the symptoms enables you to take immediate actions once you have confirmed that you have speech disfluency.
Problems with speech production are the first symptoms of stammering. The most obvious sign of stammering is the repetition of syllables, sounds, or words. This occurs usually at the start of a word. Hesitation is another symptom. A person who stutters prolong or hold certain sounds at the start of a word for a few seconds. Stutterers also add a particular word or sound to his or her sentence in place of the word that’s stuck in their tongue.
The other symptoms of speech disfluency manifest themselves when a person attempts to control his or her stammering. Several movements of the body can be noticed while a stutterer is speaking. These include jerky head movements, rapid blinking of the eyes, poor eye contact, and shaking of the lips and jaw.
A few symptoms are more difficult to see than the physical symptoms of stammering. These symptoms involve the emotions, which can be recognized by the stutterer himself. The worst among all symptoms of stammering include fear of the condition itself, inability to express oneself clearly, and avoidance of situations in which a person has to speak. Intense fear of being ridiculed and embarrassed is fairly common among people who frequently stutter.
Stutterers also tend to become angered and frustrated because of their condition and the reactions of other people about it. As a result, the self-esteem and self-image of a person who stutters go into a nosedive. All these emotional symptoms lead to another cycle of stammering symptoms, thus worsening a person’s speech difficulties.
All symptoms of stuttering vary throughout a person’s lifespan. They may increase or decrease, depending on the physical and emotional state of the stutterer. The symptoms may lessen when the person whispers, sings, talkx to pets, speaks along with others, or copies another person’s manner of speaking.
On the other hand, symptoms get worse because of certain situations such as increased anxiety and nervousness when a person has to speak in public or to talk on the phone. Also, there are particular medications that trigger or aggravate the symptoms of stammering.
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Do you often feel embarrassed whenever your friends make fun of how you speak? For sure, you are wondering if there is any cure for stuttering. Unfortunately, no magic pill or miracle can stop this speech problem.
However, here’s the good news: there are several methods that can help you reduce your tendency to stutter. With sheer determination and commitment, you can use some of these ways to improve your speech over time. Try to be positive—for sure, your efforts will eventually pay off.
The number one rule you must keep in mind when speaking: relax. You will stutter less often when you learn to relax while speaking. Let the words flow smoothly from your mouth. Never force yourself to talk too fast or else you only increase the likelihood of your stammering. Rushing your words only makes you stutter more. While keeping yourself relaxed, take deep breaths before you try to speak. And as you’re speaking, don’t forget to breathe out. Failure to breathe properly while speaking may have its serious consequences, including stammering.
As you are speaking, try to visualize the words in your mind. This will make it easier for you to speak slowly and fluently. Say each syllable or letter slowly. This tip is very helpful especially for words that usually make you stutter.
On the market today, there are several medications formulated to reduce stammering. These drugs work by affecting the brain as well as the nerves and muscles responsible for controlling speech. However, you cannot use them as a long-term treatment method because of their undesirable side effects.
Electronic gadgets that help people control their tendency to stutter are another option. But instead of aiding people to speak fluently, these devices tend to be disruptive. That is why only a few people use these gadgets along with speech therapies.
That being said, it would be better to rely on the specialists or people who are trained to treat people who stutter.
Of course, you have to consult your doctor or a speech pathologist to check your condition and identify the problem. The doctor can refer you to speech specialists who can treat stammering.
It helps to see a hynotheraphist who will treat your speech condition. A hypnotherapist specializes in using hypnosis to condition your mind in your favor. A speech therapist can also aid you in reducing the frequency of your stuttering. The therapist will train you to enhance your speech abilities by teaching exercises that help you visualize what you are going to say. Speech therapy is one of the most popular ways to treat speech problems such as stammering. Undergoing therapy can cost you money, but it can help you get results after several sessions.
Finally, having more self-confidence greatly improves the way you speak and lessens your stuttering. What does confidence have to do with your speaking abilities? Well, many people stutter a lot whenever they are very nervous or anxious. When you speak in front of people without being anxious at all, you will become more relaxed. And when you are relaxed, chances are you will become more fluent.
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The use of devise to control or cure stutter is just another method from the myriad of choices. But the use of devise isn’t a new invention that came with the dawn of technological advancement. Even before the time of Christ, famous Greek orator and stutterer Demosthenes practiced orating with pebbles in his mouth, sometimes with loud background noise, or while climbing steep hills.
Several types of assistive and anti-stuttering devices serve different purposes. One type of anti stuttering devices forces the stutterer to change mechanically his speech production pattern. French physician Jean Marie Itard made the first of this kind. He used a gold or silver “fork” and placed it under the tongue holding it in a higher position in the oral cavity.
Freed Stammercheck device is another example of this kind. This device force stutterers to speak with a limited range of lingual movement and slows pace of speech pattern. The Bates Appliance is more complicated that deals with many forms of stuttering. Another example is the Idehara “Stutter-Cure,” consisting of a retainer-like metal forms and a whistle to encourage continuous airflow when speaking.
Another type of devise provides visual and production to help stutterers identify and change their speech production as part of their therapies. These devices target different physiological processes. One example is the respiratory kinematics because many studies consider respiratory irregularities as a possible cause of stuttering. The “Breathing Monitor,” for instance, provides stutterers with real-time feedback on gaining adequate respiratory intake. It is part of a therapy, say the CAFET (Computer Aided Fluency Establishment Trainer). Both phonation and articulation are other physiological processes, which often appear to function abnormally in people who stutter.
There are also devices used to train gradual phonatory onset, sustained phonation, and reduce phonatory and or articulatory tension.
Because studies have proven that speaking to a superimposed rhythm aides to more fluent speaking pattern, a type of device is made to teach rhythmic and paced speaking patterns. An example is the Pacemaster electronic metronome, an attempt of ordinary portable metronome.
Recently, a surge of popularity and demand has been seen in devices that alter auditory feedback. It might be because of technological advances, groundbreaking designs, and great marketing techniques.
Several types of this kind include masked auditory feedback (MAF), delayed auditory feedback (DAF), frequency altered feedback (FAF), and the ones that provide combinations of the different altered auditory feedback patterns.
For instance, MAF refers to the use of sufficient sound to block auditory feedback of the speaker’s owns voice to his ears.
In addition, there are anxiety and fear-reducing devices—a class of assistive devices. It might be because studies show that anxiety towards stuttering, towards feared sounds, and towards speaking situations are vital rationales of the disorder.
Palmer Sweat Indexes (PSI) and Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) are both used in stuttering therapies to measure physiologic correlates of anxiety. An example of this is the controversial technique called “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing” (EMDR) therapy, introduced by Casa Futura Technologies few years ago.
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Aphasia can bring about a lot of speech and language problems that are to be treated for speech therapy. The kind of speech and language problems brought by Aphasia would highly depend on the kind of Aphasia that you may have.
Broca’s Aphasia is also known as motor aphasia. You can obtain this, if you damage your brain’s frontal lobe, particularly at the frontal part of the lobe at your language-dominant side.
If Broca’s Aphasia is your case, then you may have complete mutism or inability to speak. In some cases you may be able to utter single-word statements or a full sentence, but constructing such would entail you great effort.
You may also omit small words, like conjunctions (but, and, or) and articles (a, an, the). Due to these omissions, you may produce a “telegraph” quality of speech. Usually, your hearing comprehension is not affected, so you are able to comprehend conversation, other’s speech and follow commands.
Difficulty in writing is also evident, since you may experience weakness on your body’s right side. You also get an impaired reading ability along with difficulty in finding the right words when speaking. People with this type of aphasia may be depressed and frustrated, because of their awareness of their difficulties.
When your brain’s language-dominant area’s temporal lobe is damaged, you get Wernicke’s aphasia. If you have this kind of aphasia, you may speak in uninterrupted, long, sentences; the catch is, the words you use are usually unnecessary or at times made-up.
You can also have difficulty understanding other’s speech, to the extent of having the inability to comprehend spoken language in any way. You also have a diminished reading ability. Your writing ability may be retained, but what you write may seem to be abnormal.
In contrast with Broca’s Aphasia, Wernicke’s Aphasia doesn’t manifest physical symptoms like right-sided weakness. Also, with this kind of Aphasia, you are not aware of your language errors.
This kind of aphasia is obtained when you have widespread damage on language areas of your brain’s left hemisphere. Consequently, all your fundamental language functions are affected. However, some areas can be severely affected than other areas of your brain.
It may be the case that you have difficulty speaking but you are able to write well. You may also experience weakness and numbness on the right side of your body.
This kind is also known as Associative Aphasia. It is a somewhat uncommon kind, in which you have the inability to repeat sentences, phrases and words. Your speech fluency is reasonably unbroken. There are times that you may correct yourself and skip or repeat some words.
Even though you are capable of understanding spoken language, you can still have difficulty finding the right words to use to describe an object or a person. This condition’s effect on your reading and writing skills can also vary. Just like other types of aphasia, you can have sensory loss or right-sided weakness.
Nominal Or Anomic Aphasia
This kind of aphasia would primarily influence your ability to obtain the right name for an object or person. Consequently, rather than naming an object, you may resort to describing it. Your reading skills, writing ability, hearing comprehension, and repetition are not damaged, except by this inability to get the right name.
Your may have fluent speech, except for the moments that you pause to recall the correct name. Physical symptoms like sensory loss and one-sided body weakness, may or may not be present.
This kind is caused by the damage of language areas on your left hemisphere just outside your primary language areas. There are three types of this aphasia: transcortical sensory, transcortical motor, and mixed transcortical. All of these types are differentiated from others by your ability to repeat phrases, words, or sentences.
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This advanced method of treating stuttering is still young, but studies have continually emerged through time. This “remote” treatment of stuttering uses the low cost video conferencing.
Video conferencing is the amalgam of audio, video, and communication network technologies for real-time interaction. Like the schools where students participate in distance education, the telemedicine uses electronic signals to transfer medical data from one site to another. This method is growing and being used by many health care providers.
Such method requires the use advanced technologies such as high-resolution photographs, radiological images, sounds, patient records, and video-conferencing.
This telemedicine offers many advantages. One example is the appeal of being able to visit and interact with a client without travelling outside one’s clinic. This lessens transactional costs. Another advantage, which is important, is the ability to reach people from remotest areas where there are no available health providers.
However, all video-conferencing systems are an expensive room-based scheme. This is because it requires several significant components for both parties such as microphone, camera, and digitizer. The latter is very important for it converts audio and video into necessary digital form or codec to be able to transfer data efficiently.
Most computers are equipped with multimedia components such as audio capture and playback capabilities. The purpose of such components is to convert the audio signal into a digital code. Because this causes a large amount of information to be processed, there should be a compressor. This will reduce the amount of information so that the signal will not erode over a shared network of computers. This compressor uses a codec. It is typically integrated into the computer software. The smaller the data to be transmitted and the larger the capacity of bandwidth to contain data, the fastest the information is transferred.
With telemedicine, it is also important for computers to have a video camera that captures and displays video images. These cameras often cost between $100 and $900. Again, these video images are large data being transferred in a shared network. That is why it is very important to compress this data through codec. Lastly, the computer needs an Internet service provider. It is best to use Ethernet network at this process for modem connection is slower.
As such, studies show that this method can also provide therapeutic interaction with adults who stutter. Some considerations should be noted too such as challenges related to stability and speed of network connections. However, this can be minimized in some instances like controlling the time and the network traffic during video-conferencing activities.
This process does not aim to be a substitute to direct face-to-face treatment as of to date. However, because of technology, the use of video-conferencing may supplement the lack of treatment in several cases. This process may provide opportunities for therapeutic treatment for people with proximity problems. It will also enable people who stutter to interact with other people from different locations or countries.
This therapeutic treatment using video conferencing is no doubt a potential tool for remote stuttering intervention.
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Three Simple Ways For How To Stop Stuttering
Stuttering or stammering is a kind of speech disorder where the flow of speech is interrupted with prolongation or repetitions of words, syllables, sounds and phrases. The stutterer may sometimes experience involuntary silent pauses with what they want to say as they are unable to create any sounds.
This condition is only normal for children when they are only beginning to talk. At this point, kids are only trying to imitate sounds and they are practicing how they can construct their sentences in order to convey what’s on their mind. It is a different case though if you are already an adult and you still fumble many times with your words. If you won’t seek treatment, this may cause you burdens as well as social and psychological effects.
As you grow old, you are expected to mingle with different kinds of people. You will go far in life if you know how to express yourself properly at various kinds of venues. The condition may not bother you that much while you were young, but once you expand your horizons, like you attend school or go hunting for jobs, you need to be confident enough to express yourself to create a good impression. There are some people who only stutter at certain conditions, like when they have to speak in front of a large group or they need to present something very important to their bosses. There are also those who can’t say how they feel to people important to them or they get tongue-tied when they are already faced with the people they admire.
For severe cases, it is vital that you consult with a professional speech language pathologist so that they can test what’s the best treatment that you can get. If your condition is less severe and you want to learn effective ways to stop stuttering, then listed below are some tricks that you may want to try.
1. You must find out what is causing the problem. You are feeling stressed out that is why you are fumbling with your words. Once you have pointed out what’s causing the stress, you must then think of ways on how you can relax in such situation.
2. Learn how to breathe while talking. Do not rush yourself to finish what you are saying. This exercise is usually done by public speakers and singers. Inhale to get air into your system and say your thoughts while exhaling.
3. If you are finding it hard to speak, try to practice by singing your words. There are some singers who do not sound well during interviews, but you won’t notice anything that is wrong with them while singing. This will be a good exercise and as you go about it, you should also try to practice other steps to make it easier for you to say what you want to.
You have to find your voice and develop self-confidence in order to overcome stuttering. You must never be defeated by this condition. You must do your best to correct the problem and emerge a winner through it all.
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An effective speaker is someone who can speak fluently without any trace of mumbling, rattling, and stuttering. If you speak well, people perceive you as a smart, charismatic person. On the other hand, if you often stutter and cannot express yourself clearly when you speak, people see you as an incompetent and weak person. Between the two kinds of speakers, which would you rather be? Of course, anyone would choose to be a fluent speaker.
However, as much as you would like to be flawless when you speak, there are times when anxiety and nervousness get the better of you. Sometimes as you speak, your tongue seems to trip itself over no matter how hard you try not to stutter. Don’t worry, it is possible to overcome this speech problem if you know the ways to control it.
If stuttering has become more of a habit than an exception to you, here are the steps you can take to curb that habit:
1. Create a mental picture of what you are going to say.
People who frequently stutter fail to visualize the words they intend to say before they start to speak. Worse, most of them have no idea what to say exactly and how to express it verbally.
If you try to picture in your mind what you wish to say, then it will be a lot easier for you to find the right words to use to convey your message. It would be better if you practice visualizing the letters of the word you are going to say as you speak.
2. Perform an aural visualization.
Practice speaking the words you usually find difficult to pronounce. That way, you make it more comfortable for you to speak those particular words. Let your brain hear the words you are going to say. This mental exercise helps you get used to speaking the words that typically cause you to stutter. Stutterers who perform the exercise successfully get more confident when they speak.
3. Avoid pressuring yourself too much.
The more you pressure yourself to speak fluently, the higher your chances of stumbling when you speak. It is because you increase your anxiety and stress when you are pressured, causing you to stutter. Stressing out yourself won’t do you any good—just relax and you will soon get the hang of it.
4. Speak more slowly.
The problem with many stutterers is that they speak very fast and forget to breathe before they start speaking. Take a deep breath before you speak and feel the rhythm of every word that comes out. Speaking too fast can lead to more stammering. So speak in a moderate pace so that you will stutter less often and will be understood by your listener.
5. Speak as though you are singing.
Try this: when you speak, do it in a singing way. Do you feel how much easier it is to speak that way? It is because people tend to stutter less when they sing. So why not use that technique to minimize your stuttering?
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A lesser known area of rehabilitation medicine is Speech Therapy. Many people may not even know that this form of therapy existed. This might be your first time encountering this field or you may have heard about it somewhere, but don’t fully understand what this therapy is all about. The sad truth about Speech Therapy is that you may not encounter it unless the situation calls for it. However, getting to know what the practice is can be very beneficial information.
What Is Speech Therapy?
As the name suggests, speech therapy deals with speech problems that an individual may encounter. However, the field of Speech Pathology doesn’t only tackle speech, but also language and other communication problems that people may already have due to birth, or people acquired due to accidents or other misfortunes.
Speech therapy is basically a treatment that people of all ages can undergo through, to fix their speech. Although speech therapy alone would focus on fixing speech related problems like treating one’s vocal pitch, volume, tone, rhythm and articulation.
Goals Of Speech Therapy
Speech Therapy aims for an individual to develop or get back effective communication skills at its optimal level. Recovery mainly depends on the case and severity of your problem, especially if your speech problem is acquired, meaning you had normal speech skills before then you had an accident or abrupt incident that caused your current speech problem; thus, you may or may not get back your old level of speech function.
Speech problems are mainly categorized into three namely: Articulation Disorders, Resonance or Voice Disorders and Fluency Disorders. Each disorder deals with a different pathology and uses different techniques for therapy.
Articulation Disorders are basically problems with physical features used for articulation. These features include lips, tongue, teeth, hard and soft palate, jaws and inner cheeks. If you have an Articulation Disorder, then you may have a problem producing words or syllables correctly to the point that people you communicate to can’t understand what you are saying.
Resonance or Voice Disorders
Resonance, more popularly known as, Voice Disorders mainly deal with problems regarding phonation or the production of the raw sound itself. Most probably, you have a Voice Disorder when the sound that your larynx or voice box produces comes out to be muffled, nasal, intermittent, weak, too loud or any other characteristic not pertaining to normal.
Fluency Disorders are speech problems with regard to the fluency of your speech. There are some cases that you talk too fast, in which people can’t understand you, thus, you have a Fluency Disorder of Cluttering. The most common Fluency Disorder however, is Stuttering, which is a disorder of fluency where your speech is constantly interrupted by blocks, fillers, stoppages, repetitions or sound prolongations.
Who Gives Speech Therapy?
A highly trained professional, called a SLP or a Speech and Language Pathologist, gives Speech Therapy. Speech and Language Pathologists are informally more popularly known as Speech Therapists. They are professionals who have education and training with human communication development and disorders.
Speech and Language pathologists assess, diagnose and treat people with speech, communication and language disorders. However, they are not doctors, but are considered to be specialists on the field of medical rehabilitation.
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Play has a very important role in speech therapy. It is actually one way that speech therapy can be conveyed, especially if the one undergoing therapy is a child.
What’s Play Got To Do With It?
Play isn’t just used during the therapy proper. In fact, play is already used during the initial phases of assessment. Kids can be very choosy with people that they interact with, so seeing a therapist for the first time doesn’t promise an instant click. Rapport has to be established first, and this is usually done through play.
Benefits Of Play
Other than using it as a tool to establish rapport, play also gives a lot of benefits. First off, it gives an over view of the child’s skills, whether it be their abilities or limitations.
Then, therapy wise, play can be used to make a child cooperate with whatever exercises a therapist has lined up for him/her. Since play doesn’t put much pressure on a child, he/she would likely cooperate to do the exercises and not know that what he/she is doing is already called therapy.
When the child is more relaxed, he can be at a more natural state. If a child is at his more natural state, then his skills could show more naturally. Thus, this would be a benefit on the therapist’s part, since the therapist could get a more comprehensive assessment of the child’s skills.
Play could also make therapy more fun and less scary. Since play is an activity to be enjoyed, the child would not get bored with monotonous therapy activities that seem like chores, rather than activities.
Play As A Skill
In fact, play is considered to be a skill itself, because it is a natural activity that children do. If a child doesn’t play, then there must be something wrong with him, most probably with his Inner Language skills. This is because; play is a representation of a child’s inner language. This is just one of the many reasons why play is important.
It actually has a domino effect, if you look at the bigger picture. Play is needed to have Inner language, which is in turn needed to have Receptive language that is a prerequisite of Expressive language. Thus, if a child has no play abilities, then his whole language system may be affected.
Play And Cognition
Play is also a basis of a child’s cognition skills. The more developed a child’s play skills are, the higher the probability that his cognition skills would be at a fair state. However, play and condition are not the same. Play is more likely a prerequisite or a co-requisite of cognition.
What Parents Have To Say
Unfortunately, most parents may have a negative impression when they see the therapist playing with their child. Initially, parents get surprised and shocked that they paid a very valuable amount for therapy, only to find out that their child would only be playing.
That’s why it is very important for therapists to explain the procedures that they are going to do with the child to the parents. To make the session more interesting, the therapist could also include the parent/s in the play session with the child.
In this way, the child would definitely think that it is a play session. Additionally, the parent can also do the play activity at home with the child. Doing this, could serve to be practice of the targeted skill of the play activity.