The treatment of stuttering can be a challenging task because there is lack of evidence based consensus about therapy. There is no evidence that a particular therapy or drug will completely eliminate stuttering in adults and children.
Most therapies emphasizes on learning to adjust to the disorder rather than completely eliminating it.
These therapies focus on helping stutterer to discover easier ways to communicate and express their thoughts. Success of therapies largely depends on stutterer’s co-operation and willingness to work with speech-language pathologist.
Some of the therapies which have been found effective in treatment of stuttering include:
Fluency shaping Therapy: Fluency shaping therapy also known as “speak more fluently therapy”, trains stutterer to speak fluently by controlling their rate of breathing, phonation and articulations (lips jaws and tongue) with certain devices known as fluency shaping mechanisms. In this therapy stutters are trained to reduce their speaking rate by stretching vowels and consonants. The results are very slow; it may take two to three weeks for stutters to master these skills. But once the stutterer masters these fluency skills the speaking rate increases gradually.
Stuttering Modification Therapy: Stuttering modification therapy focuses on reducing the severity of stuttering by changing only the portions of speech in which a person stutters. It does not completely eliminate stuttering, but it improves the rhythm of speech by modifying stutter’s moments, so that stuttering is less, reduce the fear of stuttering, and eliminate avoidance behavior associated with this fear. Stuttering modification therapy has four phases: identification, desensitization, modification, and stabilization. This therapy is practiced in clinic with the help of computers.
Activities for Adult Stutterer: Stuttering modification activities for adults includes participation in self help group, extensive use of telephone, community activities and public speaking opportunities. Participation in self-help group and self-help movements helps in overcoming the stuttering and it improves the quality of life by acceptance of self and stuttering. While extensive telephonic conversation and public speaking improves the rate of speech (fluency).
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