If you've been thinking about speech devices, apps or medications for stuttering - let's talk about it!
When I say "speech therapy" you can instantly smell the medical flavor. Like stuttering (stammering) is some sort of an illness or disease. And quite naturally, we start exploring various devices, apps, and medications for stuttering. Why I combine them all together?
Because if you give it a thought, devices, apps, and medications are all about the same idea that something can treat, can cure our speaking. So that we're not responsible for it. Some doctor, somebody or something, some device, some app, some medication will take care of our speaking.
The truth is that stuttering treatment mindset, this belief that someone or something will solve the problem, is leading us nowhere.
The general idea of most medications for stuttering is to relax our body because stuttering is an automated tension. We talked about medications in our last speaking club and the participants who took the medications said that they saw some improvement, but they also started to feel sleepy.
We had an interesting discussion on medications in Free From Stutter Facebook group recently. Among the medications that people recommend were vitamin B-1 (thiamine) and magnesium. But again, it's not something to cure stuttering, it's something to help us relax.
The bottom line, medications do not change our speaking pattern. I would promote these natural ways to relax instead of medications.
And honestly, we do want to find speaking relaxing. The idea of the training speech and the hand stuttering technique I'm preaching about is to attach relaxation to the very act of speaking and do it naturally.
Electronic fluency devices (also known as altered auditory feedback devices, and altered feedback devices) are electronic devices intended to improve the fluency of persons who stutter. Most electronic fluency devices change the sound of the user's voice in his or her ear.
The most common effects that are used in the devices and apps are delayed auditory feedback (DAF) and pitch-shifting frequency-altered auditory feedback (FAF). So a person hears its own voice with a slight delay or with an altered pitch.
The devices and apps range from SpeechEasy devices that cost thousands of dollars to the apps that are free. For example, Stuttering Speech Therapy - DAF-Logotherapy and Stamurai - Stuttering / Stammering Treatment App for Android.
It's important to understand that devices and apps for stuttering do not intend to change our speaking pattern. They help us only while we use them.
So, if we want to change the speaking pattern itself we need to look into what we actually can do ourselves. How we can change the way we sound, feel and interact.
The choral effect and other effects that are used in SpeechEasy and other apps and devices are external factors that don't change the inner structure of our speaking. It's like with glasses. We get used to the glasses and the chance to change our eyesight, in reality, gets smaller.
What I like about the training speech is that it targets our speaking pattern in general and lets us effectively remove the speech impediments. Some of the fundaments of the training speech are 1) effortless launching of the first sound, 2) making sure we have the airflow in the phrase, and 3) splitting our speaking into nice natural pieces so that it doesn't seem like one endless effort.
I'm also preaching about using the hand stuttering technique so that we synchronize our speaking with movements of our fingers. That is the "device" given to us by nature and it does create new neural pathways effectively, it does restore the inner structure of our speaking and doesn't let us slide to our current speaking pattern.
The idea of the devices and apps is to increase our confidence. But when your confidence depends on having a big brother by your side is that your real confidence? Probably not.
Do you know what's the biggest source of confidence? Confidence. When you have a win it creates momentum to move to the next bigger win as the next step. You build a habit of moving, growing, becoming active, open and positive about yourself and speaking interaction.
We can say to ourselves "I can do it! I can do it!" a million times but it's wiped out by the first obvious speech impediment or by feeling tension growing in your body. Or we can say to ourselves "It's OK! Don't be ashamed!" which is awesome for sure, but we still feel the embarrassment because we want to say it and it's not getting out.
When you actually do it and feel it, then just the opposite happens - you don't need to say anything to yourself. Your body and mind get that and respectfully put that into the muscle and emotional memory.
Let me know what you think about medications, devices, and apps for stuttering! Leave a comment! Would love to hear your ideas!
Thank you and stay in touch!