Stuttering Treatment

Effective Stuttering Treatment: Techniques and Tips

Effective Stuttering Treatment: Techniques and Tips

In this blog, we will focus on different types of Stuttering Treatment. Let’s have a look at what is stuttering before we discuss about stuttering Treatment. To have a better understanding we will look what do  you mean by stuttering. Stuttering is a fluency disorder. In this, the person will have difficulty in producing fluent speech. They will have repetitions like b-b-b-b-bat, prolongations like ppppppat or blocks where in, the sound itself will not come out.

Stuttering Treatment for Adults

Let’s see some techniques which are used to treat stuttering.

  • Slowed Speech

In this technique, we have to slow down the rate of speech. Usually, a fluent adult speaker can tell 150 syllables/minute. In slowed speech, we make the people to speak as slow as 40 syllables/ minute. Let’s see an example, if we take a word Apple, we slow down and stretch the syllable,i.e. we stretch A… for 1-2 sec then move to P….stretch it again and move to the next. This type of speech will sound very unnatural. While stretching the syllables, there will be good reduction in stuttering. This technique will be then used in sentence level. Once you get the control over the speech after good practice, we will gradually move to a faster rate of speech.

  • Light Articulatory Contact

Light Articulatory contacts is also referred to as soft contacts. In this technique, we make the individuals to make soft contacts of lips and tongue, thereby reducing the tension during the speech, which in turn will reduce stuttering and result in fluent speech.  If the muscles are tight, then stuttering will increase. To have a clearer picture, we can look at an example, to say the word Pat, we need to bring the lips together to say the sound /p/, so we have to make a soft contact between the lips so there won’t be tension between the lips.

  • Gentle Initiation Technique

When people with stuttering speaks, the laryngeal muscles get tensed and the vocal folds close suddenly thereby preventing in producing smooth production of speech. In this technique, we teach them not to close the vocal folds so tightly. So, they will be asked to speak in a low volume with less vibration of vocal folds. When we start with this technique, it will sound very unnatural but gradually, once the control over speech is attained, it can be slowly faded off to normal speech.

  • Continuous Phonation

Here, we encourage the client to speak continuously, so that the vocal folds keeps on vibrating. This will in turn, reduce the moments of stuttering. Our speech consists of both voiced and voiceless production. The vocal folds keep vibrating when we produce voiced sounds like b, g, d. You can feel the vibration when you place your finger at your throat level. On contrary, voiceless sounds are sounds which are produced with no vibration in the vocal folds. Try to feel it when you say p, k, t by placing your finger at the throat level.

So, as mentioned in this technique, when you continuously vibrate your vocal folds, the voiceless sounds also become voiced. For example, let’s take the word pocket, we have to continuously make the vocal folds to vibrate, so, it will sound as bo..ged.

  • Diaphragmatic breathing

In  this, the client is made to sit straight. Then, they have to keep one hand on their chest and one hand on their abdomen. Ask them to inhale through the nose. They need to feel their stomach expand. After that, they are asked to exhale slowly. Diaphragmatic breathing is done for relaxation of muscles, because in stuttering, they exhibit tension across muscles.

  • Cancellation Technique

In this, you stutter and complete the word with little tension.

  • Pull out Technique

In Pull-out, we stop when you stutter on a word and relax and try to say it again. Pseudo stuttering

  • Pseudo stuttering

It is the method in which the person has to stutter on every single word so the person to understand that they have to continue speaking even if they stutter. It also helps to overcome their fear.

  • Preparatory Sets

The person anticipates stuttering over a upcoming word. They have to slow down and make light articulatory contacts, so that they can start the word smoothly.

  • Natural Pauses

While in conversation, take some pauses between words, so that the person gets time to breathe deeply and make light articulatory contacts to reduce stuttering.

  • Talking in short sentences

Talking in short sentences will help you feel more relaxed and make light articulatory contact.

  • Confident Eye contact

Maintaining eye contact will increase your self confidence and will reduce your shyness.

Click here to read more.

  • Self Disclosure

Self disclosure is an act of telling others you stutter. This in turn will reduce the anxiety of hiding that they have stuttering.
Click here to now more abut self disclosure.

Stuttering Treatment in Children

  • Easy Starts

In this, we teach them to start a word with vowels. Thereby it initiate slow vibration of vocal folds.

  • Stretchy Speech

We ask them to stretch and slow down their speech while speaking.

  • Feather Speech

This means to have light articulatory contact while speaking. It can be ill with feathers. So we need to make them understand about how feathers are soft and light and they need to start their speech softly without much tension.

  • Belly Breathing

Children have to lie on their back. Then ask them to place one hand on the abdomen and one hand over the upper chest. So when they breathe, they need to feel their abdomen expanding. When they breathe out, they have to feel the air out from the stomach. For demonstration, you can keep something on an animal’s belly and take it out to make them understand how it works.

  • Slow rate

The children have to speak slowly like a turtle so that they get time to think on the next word. Transition from word to word will also be smooth.

  • Smooth vs bumpy speech

Here, we give a feedback about how their speech sounds for others. For making it clear, we can use pictures of bumpy and smooth roads. Then, we can introduce cars and demonstrate how a car goes on smooth and bumpy road.

  • Speech Helpers

There are ten speech helpers and they are Lips, Tongue (Front Tongue, Back Tongue), Teeth, Ridge, Nose, Palate (Front roof and Back Roof), Vocal Cords and Lungs. The idea behind speech helpers is that we are making the children aware about the parts of speech.

  •  Constant Phonation

First, relax your muscles and use diaphragmatic breathing. Then ask the child to say the first syllable in a relaxed way and increase the loudness. For, the next syllable start again softly. In this way, we encourage them to speak in relaxed manner.
Click here to know more about tips for children to stammer.

To summarize, this blog throws light to different stuttering treatment technique to make their speech fluent.     It will sound as unnatural at first. Later on, as they practise and master the technique, gradually we can make them to speak in a normal way of talking.

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