For a quick overview, Fluency Shaping therapy focuses on creating smooth speech patterns, while Stuttering Modification therapy aims to reduce the severity and frequency of stuttering incidents.
Fluency Shaping therapy teaches individuals to speak slowly and regulate their breathing to avoid stuttering. Stuttering Modification therapy helps individuals to identify what triggers their stuttering and develop coping mechanisms to deal with it. Both therapies can be effective, and the choice depends on personal preference and individual needs.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Fluency Shaping?
- 2 Stuttering Modification Technique
- 3 Fluency Shaping vs. Stuttering Modification
- 4 Role of SLP
- 5 Conclusion
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Fluency Shaping?
Fluency Shaping is a type of speech therapy primarily used to treat stuttering. Therefore, it is sometimes called ‘speak more fluently’ therapy. The ultimate goal of Fluency Shaping Therapy is to eliminate stuttering by teaching the person who stutters (PWS) to adopt new speech patterns.
The therapy involves learning and practicing different strategies that lead to more fluent speech. For example, one commonly taught technique is prolonged speech, where the individual is instructed to stretch out or elongate certain sounds or syllables. Other techniques include:
- Gentle onset: refers to the technique of beginning a word or phrase with less vocal tension. It’s an approach widely used in Fluency Shaping Therapy and aids in managing stuttering. By initiating speech softly, the person who stutters can avoid the abrupt, forceful vocal cord closures that can trigger stuttering. This approach demands significant practice, as the speaker needs to retrain their speech muscles to start vocalizing with minimum tension. However, with consistent practice, gentle onset can lead to a smoother, more natural speech flow and a more relaxed speech pattern overall.
- Continuous phonation: It is another crucial technique used in Fluency Shaping Therapy. This technique encourages the speaker to maintain vocal cord vibration throughout speech production. Keeping the voice ‘turned on’ during the entire speech can help prevent speech blockages and interruptions that often characterize stuttering. In addition, it’s beneficial in promoting fluency during longer phrases or sentences. This continuous sound production method makes the speaker’s voice more fluid and can minimize stuttering moments. It’s important to note that mastering continuous phonation can require considerable practice but can significantly improve fluency with consistency.
- Reduced articulatory pressure or using less force when producing speech sounds is another beneficial strategy in Fluency Shaping Therapy. This technique involves lessening the physical force used in speech articulation, particularly in tongue, lips, and jaw movements. Excessive articulatory pressure can contribute to stuttering, leading to abrupt and forceful speech sounds. By consciously reducing this pressure, the person who stutters can help reduce the chance of blockages or breaks in their speech. Although it requires consistent practice to alter habitual speech patterns, reduced articulatory pressure can lead to a smoother, more relaxed speech flow, improving overall fluency.
Fluency Shaping typically starts with slow, controlled speech, allowing the individual to practice these new speech patterns. Then, as the person becomes more comfortable and skilled with the new speaking techniques, the therapy gradually works towards a more natural speech rate, with the ultimate goal of fluency under different speaking situations.
One of the essential techniques in Fluency Shaping Therapy is diaphragmatic breathing. This involves fully engaging the diaphragm, a horizontal muscle located between the chest and abdominal cavity. Often referred to as ‘deep breathing’ or ‘belly breathing,’ diaphragmatic breathing aids in managing stuttering by controlling and slowing the breathing process.
Relaxing the vocal cords and reducing tension promotes a more steady flow of speech. This mindful approach encourages more deliberate speech and aligns with the principles of Fluency Shaping Therapy. Regular practice of diaphragmatic breathing can provide a strong foundation for adopting new, fluent speech patterns.
Stuttering Modification Technique
Stuttering Modification Therapy, also known as ‘stutter more fluently’ therapy, provides a different approach to reducing the negative impacts of stuttering. Instead of striving to eliminate stuttering entirely, it focuses on lessening the fear of the condition and modifying moments of faltering to be less severe. This therapy is structured around making stuttering more manageable and less disruptive in the individual’s daily communication.
The therapy employs several essential techniques to achieve its goals. These techniques include the initial set, pull-out, and cancellation methods. Each of these is designed to reduce the physical tension and struggle during stuttering moments, making the experience of stuttering less intimidating and more manageable for the person who stutters. Thus, this therapy aims to help individuals navigate stuttering more calmly and confidently.
Fluency Shaping vs. Stuttering Modification
The distinction between Fluency Shaping and Stuttering Modification therapies essentially boils down to the different goals and techniques used in each approach. Fluency Shaping focuses on reducing stuttering by developing new speech patterns. At the same time, Stuttering Modification aims to manage stuttering by decreasing its severity and associated anxiety.
In Fluency Shaping, the therapy tends to be more intensive and structured, often involving specific drills to train new speech behaviors. In contrast, Stuttering Modification typically involves more self-analysis and self-awareness, teaching PWS to monitor their own speech and respond at the moment to stuttering instances.
It’s crucial to note that the choice between these therapies largely depends on the individual’s unique needs and preferences. For example, some individuals prefer to eliminate their stuttering as much as possible. In contrast, others may wish to reduce the impact of stuttering on their lives without necessarily eradicating it. Regardless of the approach chosen, the ultimate goal is to enable people who stutter to communicate more effectively and confidently.
Role of SLP
Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) play a crucial role in helping individuals who stutter. They typically use two different approaches: Fluency Shaping and Stuttering Modification. In Fluency Shaping, the SLP teaches the individual strategies to increase their fluency.
Conversely, Stuttering Modification aims to help individuals modify their stuttering behaviors. The SLP often creates an individualized plan for each person, which may include counseling, developing effective communication skills, providing speech exercises, or applying assistive technology. The ultimate goal is to help individuals reduce their stuttering and improve their communication capabilities.
In conclusion, Fluency Shaping Therapy and Stuttering Modification Therapy offer unique approaches to managing stuttering with distinct goals and techniques. Fluency Shaping Therapy aims to eliminate stuttering by teaching the individual to adopt new, more fluent speech patterns, incorporating techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing and gentle voice onset. On the other hand, Stuttering Modification Therapy doesn’t seek to eliminate stuttering but aims to reduce its severity and the associated anxiety, making it less disruptive for the individual.
Frequently Asked Questions
What techniques are used in Fluency Shaping Therapy?
Techniques used in Fluency Shaping Therapy include prolonged address, gentle voice onset, reduced articulatory pressure, continuous phonation, and diaphragmatic breathing.
How does diaphragmatic breathing help in Fluency Shaping Therapy?
Diaphragmatic breathing, or ‘deep breathing,’ aids in managing stuttering by controlling and slowing the breathing process. It helps to relax the vocal cords, reduce tension, and promote a more steady flow of speech, aligning with the principles of Fluency Shaping Therapy.
Which is better, Fluency Shaping or Stuttering Modification?
The choice between these therapies largely depends on the individual’s unique needs and preferences. For example, some may prefer to eliminate their stuttering as much as possible, while others may wish to reduce its impact on their lives without necessarily eradicating it. The ultimate goal is to enable people who stutter to communicate more effectively and confidently.
What does it mean by ‘speak more fluently’ therapy?
‘Speak more fluently’ therapy refers to Fluency Shaping Therapy, which aims to reduce or eliminate stuttering by teaching new speech patterns to the person who stutters.