During a recent blog post, I talked about what does not work. For example, reaching for the almighty stuttering cure does not work, because there is no researched cure for stuttering. However, just because we can’t cure stuttering, does not mean that there are not great treatment techniques and other methods to make our lives easier. Here is a list of things you can do for your stuttering that are PROVED to work.
Stuttering modification is an approach to stuttering therapy where rather than focusing on how to speak as fluent as possible, the focus is more on changing how we stutter. Examples of stuttering modification techniques are pullouts, cancellations and voluntary stuttering. Pullouts are when we change the stutter as it is happening. Normally, we change a hard stutter to an easy stutter so we can finish the word with less tension than when we started the word. A Cancellation is where we learn to correct the stutter by saying the word we stuttered on again, but with less tension and fluently. (ex. P-P-P-Pants, Pants). Voluntary stuttering is where we stutter on purpose. Why would we ever want to ever stutter on purpose? Well, lets face it, no matter how much therapy we receive, there will still be instances where we will stutter, so lets take control of our stuttering from the start. While we can’t necessarily always control when we stutter, we can control how we stutter. We can stutter with less tension, we can throw in a sound syllable repetition on our own here and there proving to ourselves that we can confidently stutter on our own and we aren’t embarrassed about it.
We are who we are. Voluntary stuttering helps us reduce the negative emotions involved with stuttering. When we stutter on purpose, we begin to feel a sense or control, something that we have always strived for. For the first time, WE are controlling our stuttering, we are not allowing our stutter to control us anymore. Once we finally have this sense of control, our negative feelings (below the water line) start to decrease.
The goal of a fluency shaping approach is to use certain techniques to achieve fluency. The goal is fluency. Techniques used to achieve fluency are EASY ONSETS. Simply put, easy onsets are when we start a word with a gentle onset. I usually ask the client to place his/her hand over their voice box and feel the vibrations as their voice turns on. I do not use this technique in words where airflow stops. For example, words which start with (k, g, p, b, t, d) are not candidates for this technique. All vowels, along with (m ,n, s, z, f, v, l, m) are all good candidates to practice the easy onset technique because airflow doesn’t stop with these sounds. Remember: we start the word with as little tension. The LIGHT CONTACT technique is for those sounds where airflow stops. Similar to the easy onset approach, we start these words with as little tension as possible. When we touch our lips together to produce (p,b) or when we touch our tongue to the alveolar ridge (bump behind the top teeth) to say (t,d), we touch it ever so slightly to allow as little tension as possible. Speech rate is also a fluency shaping technique. Remember when those ignorant people use to tell you “just slow down and you won’t stutter as much”, well slowing down won’t make you stop stuttering altogether, but it certainly will help. Try and slow down your speech rate, especially for fluency shaping techniques so you can really think about how to use these techniques
In my opinion, if you are going to use the fluency shaping approach, you need to incorporate the stuttering modification approach as well. As I’ve stated, fluency shaping is used to achieve complete fluency, and remember, there will always be situations where your fluency shaping techniques will not work, especially during those high stress situations. Therefore it is important that we understand how to get through those situations where we do start to stutter. It is important that we understand how to “pull out” of a hard block, and it is important that we continue to prove to ourselves through the use of VOLUNTARY STUTTERING that we are in control, and our stuttering will not control us.
There is no better way to connect with people who stutter than the NSA. There are NSA chapters throughout the US that you can join. During these meetings you can listen to the experiences of others, and share your own experiences. These support groups are in place to help PWS to help build self confidence, practice speaking and a safe and supportive environement and learn learn ways of not allowing stuttering to negatively impact their lives. Click here for more information on the benefits of Self-Help support for PWS to learn about recent research conducted by Trichon and Tetnowski (2011).
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to meet 800 other people just like you? Every year you have the opportunity to join us at the National Stuttering Association Conference. Workshops, social gatherings and MORE! Check out my recent blog posts “NSA Conference 2012 Memories” and “NSA Conference 2012: Freedom of Speech at the Beach” to learn more about how these conferences can benefit you! Next year it’s in Arizona. Get excited!
Unlike many of people offering unproven quick fixes and “cures” for your stuttering, these techniques and self-help opportunities mentioned above are actually proven. Just read the research! Don’t get wrapped up in those offering cures for your stuttering. There is no cure for stuttering, and these people offering a cure just want your money! Go and find an ASHA (American Speech Language Hearing Association) certified SLP and get started on the right path towards acceptance and better control of your speech. Better yet, find an SLP who specializes in stuttering. Click here to find a list of SLP’s who specialize in stuttering.
Great post – explaining the different approaches out there.If you are writing for international audiences, I would be more general and talk about the value of self help as whole. Not everybody who reads our blogs are from the US, so may never get a chance to attend an American stuttering convention.
Those of us who have should shout from the mountain tops how much this works, and encourage people to attend support groups or conferences in their countries. India has the TISA, Canada has the CSA, UK has the BSA, Ireland has the ISA, and there is even a World Congress, that hosts an international conference every 3 years.
The whole idea of self help and support can’t be said enough. Thanks for sharing this.
Thanks for your comment and thanks for reading. You are so right! Everyone in the world who stutters needs to know how effective these self help organizations are! There are so many options for pws as you mentioned. Let it be known that self help works! I look forward to posting about it in the future! Thanks again for reading, Pam. You are and have always been an inspiration to me!
I am so tired of these idiots trolling the Internet claiming they have a fantastic and quick cure despite the science.
Also, nothing in life works out with a quick fix. These fraudsters either believe their own pseudo-science or know how to take advantage of humans tending to look for an easy route.
The funny thing is, when you ask them to prove it, they give you no article or any proof at all. It’s a joke and I am sad that they prey on those vulnerable individuals who don’t know any better.
Nice summary, Evan. Jargon-free descriptions, which is difficult for us SLP’s sometimes!
Thanks Eric!. So what is your view, stuttering modification, fluency shaping, or combination of the two?
Hybrid approach, no doubt about it. Stuttering mod helps keep me honest with my speech, and fluency shaping helps me smooth it out.
Awesome blog post! As part of my speech therapy, I often do voluntary stuttering as a means to distinguish between the physical tension or what it feels like when I stutter vs. when I don’t.
i stutter when i say my name any advice. please help alison
The name, for some reason, has always been the hardest thing for people who stutter so say, including me. Its best to go out and introduce yourself many times to desensitize yourself. Once you desensitize yourself the stuttering will have less of a negative impact on you. As far as techniques go, you can try any of the techniques listed in my blog post to try when saying your name.
article is helpful and I have a question to ask for.when iam trying to talk with people voice get stuck in the mouth iam not even able to start the word .can u provide an answer
Hi, its best to focus on starting your voice as light as you can. An easy gradual onset to your voice is most helpful. SOme poeple find that placeing an “h” sound before an vowel allows the voice to turn on more clearly, but if you are going to use an “h” i would recommend that you fade it to just a simple easy gradual onset. Thanks for reaching out.