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Patient Perspectives: Stuttering Management

Patient Perspectives: Stuttering Management
July 14, 2003
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Patient Perspectives: Stuttering Management

DD
Tampa, Florida

SP/Beck: Good Morning. Thanks for meeting with me to share your story.

DD: Hi. Thanks for inviting me.

SP/Beck: Can you please tell me a little about your personal history with stuttering? When did it first occur?

DD: I've been told that the first time I stuttered I was around 7 years old, but the first time I remember stuttering I was about 10 years old. I did seek help until I was 20 years old. College and the prospect of job interviews made me address the issue more seriously. I did some research and came across a "fluency institute" which I attended for 4 weeks. Not having much success with that program I started seeing Janet Skotko. Janet is my speech language pathologist.

SP/Beck: Do you know if there is a family history of stuttering?

DD: My father had a brief speech dysfluency when he was a teenager, but it went away. Apart from that, no history that I'm aware of.

SP/Beck: Can you tell me a little about programs that didn't work - and importantly, why do you think they didn't work?

DD: From my experience, the least useful program I went through was the one I mentioned a moment ago. It was very structured and didn't address me as an individual or my particular and specific problem. I went through the program with 12 other individuals. Each of us stuttered in a different way, but the program didn't accommodate or target our individual problems. The basis of the program was slowing down my speech and using easy onset, my speech became very robot-like. Two months after I left the program, my fluency reverted back to the original starting point.

SP/Beck: What was the most useful program you went through?

DD: I think the breathing exercises that Janet Skotko taught me through a series of tapes were the most useful and helped me the most. It taught me to monitor my breathing as well as to regulate my breathing using the stomach muscles. The breathing exercises are the foundation upon which I have added bits and pieces of different programs, combining them into what works for me.

SP/BECK: Can you please tell me a little about the bits and pieces from other programs? What have you added?

DD: Apart from breathing exercises I found that pitch exercises help me quite a bit. These exercises allow me to relax my vocal cords and use all the air I have inside. To be honest these pitch exercises also give me a very good feeling when I'm done. What I've added myself are just variations of the exercises, for example changing the intervals of the pitch exercises from 4 seconds to 6 seconds and so on. I try not to allow myself to adapt to the exercises.

 


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