Easy onset: a fluency technique exercise for Stuttering

Speech is composed of both voiced and voiceless sounds. By touching your voice box while making some vowel sounds, you can feel the vibration from the vocal folds.

Sudden movement or excessive tension around the vocal folds can result in stuttering at the start of a word or phrase. Easy onsets can help you initiate an out-breath first and then gradually activate the vocal folds rather than attempting to do both simultaneously.

What is easy onset?

The Easy Onset Time treatment approach (also known as gentle voice onsets) is a technique that some therapists use to help people who stutter. It involves starting speech gently by vibrating the vocal folds slowly and then gradually increasing the speed. This is different from a “hard glottal attack,” where speech begins on a strong note. Starting gently allows the vocal folds to adapt to a consistent conversation pace without the pressure to keep up a fast speed. The technique focuses on the initial words of speech and involves a series of exercises to practice. The person who stutters can then apply what they learn in therapy to conversations outside of the therapy room.

Is the easy onset technique effective for stuttering?

Stuttering is a complex disorder to treat due to the unknown cause. Clinicians and researchers worldwide have developed various therapy techniques, such as Airflow Management, Prolonged Speech, and Easy Onset Time approaches, which are commonly combined to target stuttering behavior. A study by Shrivastav, Yamaguchi, and Andrews (2000) found that the Easy Onset approach had the lowest occurrence of jittering compared to other stimulation techniques, such as the Yawn-sigh, Focus, and Fricative methods.

Easy onset phrases and sentences examples

For parents who will be training their child with Stuttering, it’s essential to help them choose phrases that they often use in their daily life and may struggle with, such as “I am” or “I want,” to practice with easy onsets. This will build their confidence in speaking fluently and help train their muscles to produce speech sounds in a smooth and effortless manner.

It’s also important to remind your child that practicing easy onsets regularly is critical to making progress in reducing Stuttering. Encourage them to use these techniques in various contexts, such as during conversations with friends and family, giving presentations, or ordering food at a restaurant. As they become more comfortable with easy onsets, they can gradually increase the speed and rhythm of their speech to sound more natural.

You may practice using the following phrases:

  • Excellent idea!
  • Oh, I forgot.
  • I absolutely agree.
  • Exciting news!
  • I love it.
  • I’m on my way.
  • I need to leave now.
  • It’s a beautiful day.
  • I’m feeling much better.
  • Yes, I understand.
  • On and on it goes.
  • Only time will tell.
  • Up and over the hill.
  • Easy does it.
  • I owe you one.

Example of Easy onset with video tutorial 

While vowel sounds are commonly used in easy onset exercises, it is also possible to use easy onset with consonant sounds. Easy onset aims to produce speech sounds in a smooth and relaxed manner, gradually increasing the effort and energy used in speech production. Some examples of consonant sounds that can be used in easy onset exercises include /h/, /w/, and /y/.

Here is an example of a video tutorial teaching easy onset using more consonant sounds.


The Easy Onset Time treatment approach is a technique used by therapists to help people who stutter by initiating speech gently and gradually increasing the speed. This method has been shown to have a lower occurrence of jittering compared to other stimulation techniques, making it an effective approach for Stuttering. It’s essential to practice easy onset exercises regularly to build confidence in speaking fluently and train the muscles to produce speech sounds smoothly and effortlessly. Both vowel and consonant sounds can be used in easy onset exercises. By incorporating easy onset techniques into daily life, individuals who stutter can gradually increase the speed and rhythm of their speech, leading to improved communication and confidence in social situations.

Written by: Sittie Ashia Said

Edited and Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Juhairah Magarang-Said

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