Resonance a Critical Element For Maintaining an Ideal Voice Image

Producing a perfect voice image is a blend of proper diaphragm breathing, speaking within your ideal pitch range and resonating properly. The idea of ​​resonance seems abstract to non-voice experts but it can be easily explained. Resonance is the amplification of speech sounds occurring in the cavities of your throat, mouth and nose. The tone of voice produced at the level of the vocal folds is resounded within these cavities influencing vocal quality. To simplify, resonation has to do with where the voice is “placed” by the speaker.

There are 3 types of resonance: pharyngeal, oral and nasal. Pharyngeal resonance (ie, the area in your throat cavity) is highly important for voice quality since proper voicing is produced with the throat relaxed and in an open position free from tension. Oral resonance is where voice is placed in the mouth cavity. Any movement large or small with the lips, cheeks, soft palate, or wall of the throat will affect the resonance by shaping the sound waves or harmonics. You can learn to control where the voice is placed in these two cavities to create your best astatically pleasing voice. Nasal resonance is when the voice sounds as if it is being projected through the nose creating a tone quality that is nasal, high in pitch or sounds like whining. When the tone is placed too high in these cavities the result is a nasal sounding voice, or when the tone is too low a harsh orrained vocal quality can be heard. Placing your voice properly in your pharyngeal and oral cavities is key for a rich, robust voice with natural projection and ideal tone quality. This can be achieved with awareness, proper diaphragm breathing, voicing at your optimal pitch range and placing your voice correctly in your pharyngeal and oral cavity for ideal vocal resonance.

The 3 American Speech Sounds Produced in the Nasal Cavity

There are 3 American speech sounds that do resonant in your nasal cavity. They are / m /, / n / and / ng / as in song. When these sounds are produced, sound waves vibrate in your nasal cavity producing a buzzing vibration in the bridge of your nose that can be felt with your fingers tips. Try it. Say “mom”, “name”, and “rung”. You should have felt a buzzing vibration in the bridge of your nose. A buzz should not be faulted with all other non-nasal sounds. If a buzz is felt in your nasal cavity with non-nasal speech sounds then too much nasal resonance is being used.

A Simple Test for Nasal Speech

Place your fingers on the middle portion of the bridge of your nose and say the following words:
Sour Hot Sauce Cat Book Bracelet Briefcase Telephone

A buzzing vibration should not have been felt because these words do not contain the sounds that resonate in your nasal cavity. If a buzz was felt then your voice was placed too high in your nasal cavity creating nasal resonance. Lower your voice by speaking in your optimal pitch range and speak from your oral and pharyngeal resonating cavities. Strategies are provided below.

Try these phrases. Again a buzz should not be in the bridge of your nose.

o The drink was sour.
o I went to ride the bike.
o Please pass the hot sauce.
o The oven is hot.
o Put your briefcase here.

CAUTION: Be careful with words that contain the vowel sound / a / as in cat. This sound can easily be directed up into your nasal cavity creating nasal sounding speech. Practice saying the words below that focuses on the / a / vowel sound. If a buzz from your nasal cavity is felt then your speech and voice is resonating in your nasal cavity. Lower your voice placement in your pharyngeal and oral cavity to avoid nasal resonance.

Pass Candy Laugh Raft Apple Taffy Have Math Cash

Producing a Resonant Sounding Voice

Real World Practice Strategy Training

Select a strategy that will assist you with producing your voice with good resonance. After you have selected a strategy that works best for you, practice speaking with oral and pharyngeal resonance!

1. Identify Where Voice is Placed in Other People
Now that you are savvy with the 3 different types of resonance, listen to other people while they are speaking and estimate where they are “placing” their voice. Does the pitch sound too high? Is the quality nasal? Having awareness on where other people are placing their voice will strengthen your ability to recognize good and poor resonant voice qualities. Randomly select 3 people you see on a daily basis at work or in your personal life and estimate where they are “placing” their voice.
These are the 3 people who I will evaluate their voice quality.

2. Maintaining Diaphragm Breathing, While Speaking With Your Optimal Voice Pitch Range
Using proper diaphragm breath support and your ideal pitch range will almost always have you placing your voice properly in your pharyngeal and oral cavity.

3. Visualize where you want the sound to be placed If your voice is too high
Visualize speaking from your breastbone or shoulder area. For many people this will automatically lower their voice from the nasal cavity and place it more within the oral and pharyngeal area. Following this strategy will create a voice that is richer and sounds more commanding.

A. If your voice is too high
Visualize speaking from your breastbone or shoulder area. For many people this will automatically lower their voice from the nasal cavity and place it more within the oral and pharyngeal area. Following this strategy will create a voice that is richer and sounds more commanding.

B. If your voice is too low
Visualize speaking from your eyes. This will bring your voice up higher in the resonating cavity and produce a warm and sincere tone quality.

C. Demonstrate your flexibility!
To further understand voice placement and resonance practice speaking in tones that are nasal, high and low in pitch. Develop flexibility on how to place your voice in other places so you can become skilled at consistently placing your voice properly in the pharyngeal and oral resonating cavities.

4. Speak With Your Mouth Open Slightly Wider
This is important for the / a / short vowel sound as in apple, or rat. When the mouth is tight or not opened wide enough the sound is more likely to resonant through your nasal cavity. Having awareness of your mouth placement during conversation will assist you with decreasing nasal speech particularly for words containing the vowel sound / a / and improve you oral resonance.

* Tape record your practice and be mindful of where your voice is being placed and how you are moving your articulators.

Sentence Practice
o The air conditioner is up too high again.
o School will be dismissed on June 25 this year.
o Your appointment with Dr. Smith is at 3:30.
o Tell Joe to relax and that it is only just money.
o My office can comfortably hold 4 chairs.
o The kitchen needs a major cleaning.
o When its 95 degrees it is too hot for bike riding.
o There is a concert in the park on Sunday
o The lion is magnificent and beautiful.
o I do not want to have to look for a new apartment.

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Perfect Articulation and Diction For Common Mispronounced Words

When speakers speak too quickly, often sounds or syllables are deleted creating speech sounding unpolished or similar to street language. Speech is connected and all sounds require articulation. These speech errors are detrimental during professional speaking engagements and can significantly impair credibility. Listed below are common words speaker's use that get chopped, or deleted reducing diction and intelligibility.

1. AND
Often speakers will delete the final / d / sound blending words and phrases such as: “Peanut Butter 'an Jelly” or “Saturday' n Sunday.” Transitioning the tongue from the / n / position to form the / d / sound is a specific movement and voicing is also required. Omitting the / d / sound is easy to do however, compromises diction in conversational speech.

2. CAN
Often the vowel sound / a / is omitted causing, “I cn do it later.”

3. WAS
Again the vowel sound / a / becomes deleted creating statements such as: “She wz tryin 'ta help.”

4. WHAT
Often this becomes WT or WD creating, “WTime do we leave?” Egypt “Wd do you think?”

5. ARE
This becomes a different sound, “er”. For example, “What er ya doin?” This error type does not reflect well in professional speech.

6. OR
This also becomes a new sound “er” as in, “This er that one”

7. FOR
The letter O + R is a fine oral motor movement and it is easier to substitute it with another sound. Often “for” becomes “fer” as in, “This is fer you.” Again, this error type does not represent well in professional settings.

8. IN
Often the sound / n / is the only sound produced resulting in, “I walked 'n at 5:00.”

Real World Practice

Strategy Training

1. Say Every Sound in Every Word
When speaking concentrates on producing every sound in every word. Using this technique will assist you with being aware of your articulators (lips, tongue and jaw) moving at a controlled rate so that they do not trip over one another during conversational speech. This strategy will assist you in two ways by decreasing your rate of speech while improving articulation.

2. Midsection Breathing
Use your midsection breathing strategy. Incorporating proper breathing techniques will prompt you to decrease your rate of speech allowing you to produce all sounds and words.

3. Feel Your Articulators Touch
Control your rate of speech where you can feel your articulators touch. Feel your lips and jaw move as well as your tongue contacting your teeth and jaw. Visualize your articulators working together and making light contact. This will help you to produce perfect articulation.

The Rules for “A, An, The and The Thee”

These terms are often used interchangeably however; Specific rules are applied with how they are utilized. To be considered an articulate speaker it is important to use these terms correctly.

“A and An” “A” is used when the next sound in the word begins with a consonant such as “a boy”, “a cat”, “a restaurant”. “An” is used when the next sound in the word begins with a vowel such as, “an apple”, “an elephant” or “an accident”.

“The” is used before a consonant for example, “The cat” or “The boy”. The word “thee” is technically used before a vowel although it is rarely used in American standard speech anymore. Examples include, Thee other day. The colors of the American flag are red white and blue.

To be perceived as articulate and well spoken, it is necessary to pronounce all sounds and words used during speech. When speaking consider your rate of speech, the movement of your articulators and producing all sounds in every word to avoid these speech errors and present with excellent diction skills. The provided strategies will assist you with producing perfect articulation and diction.

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Damaging Verbal Filler Words – Repairing Your Speech

Damaging verbal filler words are terms used in speech that are not necessary such as, “um, like, ya know, uh-huh”, tongue noises, lip smacking, throat clearing or a bodily movement not related to your message. Any type of non-meaningful verbal noise made during speech is a damaging filler word. Teenagers commonly use this type of terminology and who wants to discuss business or make critical decisions with someone who presents like an adolescent? These behaviors cause disruption with the flow of speech and discount your credibility and level of confidence.

Why are damaging filler words used during speech?

1. Nervous Behavior

When distracted by the effects of nervous behavior, speech will be impacted as a result of anxiety. Filler words are infected as the speaker is coordinating their thoughts, speech and anxiety at the same time.

2. Reinforced Habit

When speakers are excited about what they want to say or their thoughts are moving faster than what their speech mechanism can accommodate, habitual filler words may be used. They are not necessarily being used due to nervous behavior but became habit at some point. Often the habit is used as a “filler” to buy time to organize thoughts. Filler words become infected such as, “you know” or “sure” to buy a moment of time while thoughts are being arranged. Many speakers are not even aware they use those terms.

Regardless without the cause is due to nervous behavior or reinforced habit, filler words damage the reputation of a well-intended speaker and serve no purpose in professional situations.
Increasing your Awareness

1. Identify Your Personal Filler Words.

Is it a nervous behavior or reinforced habit? Create a list of your filler words and the situation when they are being used. Having awareness is 80% success.
Words / Phrases Situations

2. Keep a Tally

This is to improve your awareness of the behavior. If you are unaware of the frequency these words are used it will be difficult to end the habit. Keep scratch paper near by and each time you use any term not necessary for your message, add a tally mark. People are astounded at the amount of tally marks found on their paper. This is a good strategy for increasing your awareness so you can discontinue the behavior.

State your plan for keeping a tally.

3. Find Support

Elicit support from a trusted friend or colleague who can give you a signal or monitor every time you use a filler word. This is a good approach for learning how many times filler words are actually used.

These are people I can use for support:

Eliminating Verbal Filler Words

Real World Practice

Strategy Training

1. Rephrase It

When you catch yourself in error, repeat or paraphrase the statement without the filler word. This
will reinforce your awareness, which will make you one step closer to eliminating the habit.

2. Use Carrier Phrases

A. Try a carrier phrase to transition you toward your next thought. If you find yourself using the term “ummmm” frequently, use another word or phrase to transition you toward your true message such as: “well, actually or as a matter of fact”.

* Vary your carrier phrases or you will have a new poisoning verbal filler word!

B. Often filler words are used as an immediate response to a question or to confirm specific information. The words are used automatically as filler while thoughts are being organized. Plan carrier phrases to use in advance and practice it instead of using that old, “ya know”.

Suggestions:

“Good question, Interesting point, To clarify, To confirm, As a follow up”

Plan a few personal carrier phrases to replace verbal viruses:

3. Predict Questions and Plan Your Responses in Advance

If you are going to speak on a topic or lead a meeting chances are you can predict a question someone may want to ask you. Predict 2-3 questions that people may want to ask and plan your response in advance that will allow your speech to flow and be free of verbal viruses. This activity will make you better prepared and automatically increase your confidence.

4. Intentional Pausing

When you feel the need to say “ummm” resist the urge to use a filler word and replace it with a silent pause. In addition, this strategy will allow you to control your rate of speech while allowing time to generate the real word or thought needed to clarify your point. It is a misconception that pausing will be noticed by listeners and create awkward moments. Most filler words are caused by a fast rate of speech where words and thoughts are competitive to come out. Adding a pause will improve your thought organization as well as rhythm and intonation.

5. Say It in your Head

If resisting the urge to say, “ummm” is too great go ahead and say it! However, say it in your
head silently the verbally continue with your message. This is a win-win solution because you can use your verbal virus freely but your listener will never hear it.

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Serving Up Strong Language, Speech and Academic Skills Through Cooking and Kitchen Fun!

Cooking and baking is an outstanding opportunity for building your child's developmental language, thinking and academic skills through activities that are fun and enjoyable. Children love to bake. This article will present learning opportunities that are easy to identify and incorporate while bonding with your child during everyday kitchen activities.
Vocabulary Enhancement

Expose your child to vocabulary while organizing the materials needed for dinner or a baking project by naming all of the items required (ie, pan, drainer, counting out 3 eggs etc.). Once all of the items are present have your child identify specific objects by asking, “Where is the egg?” “Please hand me the___”. Or “Can you find __”? This will be a natural opportunity for your child to name or identify items.

To address verbal expression, find ways for your child to identify or describe items. Avoid asking, “What's this?” Egypt “What's that”? Your child will feel like they are being tested and may become frustrated and not fully engage in the activity.
Ways to pose questions

What do you want / need?
What can I get you?
Tell me about …
If your child is unable to provide a full response always reward their effort and model a more complete answer. Encourage your child to offer some type of a verbal response as opposed to pointing or gesturing. For example, if you child responded with “ju” for juice, praise their efforts and model, “Here is the lemon juice”.
Describing Actions and Concepts

Cooking is a great opportunity for labeling actions and exposing your child to language concepts. Report actions as they are being demonstrated. “I am stirring”. Or “I am cracking an egg”. This will allow your child to associate the action with the language being presented. Encourage your child to use language to describe what they are doing. To stimulate a response say, “I am cutting apples. What are you doing?” Ideally your child should report, “Stirring”. To elicit more language you could say, “Tell me more”. Or “Use your words to tell me about it.” This technique can be used to coach your child into using more words and longer phrases. “I am stirring the dough”. Or “I am stirring the dough in the bowl”. A single word response larger into a longer phrase or sentence.

Setting the Table
Have your child set the table for the family. This is an ideal time to set a pattern and have your child follow it. Following patterns facilitates attention and thinking skills. It teachers matching and prepares children for reading. Be rich with concepts. Have your child count all of the forks needed for the meal or all of the total dishes. Have them count all of the silverware in the dishwasher. Have you child put the silverware away to match items and categorize. While setting the table, discuss things that are round, square, long, short, thin, thick. There are endless opportunities. Make a game out of it by asking your child to find something smaller than a dinner plate, longer than a spoon, etc. Have you child follow directions such as placing the knife next to the plate. Place the spoon on the napkin. This is fun for children and they will become more sophisticated with concepts and be better prepared for classroom lessons.

Baking Cookies
This is an easy activity to do with children while providing language and academic teaching moments. After cookies have been placed on the pan, experiment with concepts. Have your child find cookies on the top and bottom row. Identify cookies in the middle or center. Count cookies in a diagonal position. Look at all of the concept exposure your child could experience. Divide the cookie sheet in half and create a pattern on the top and have your child copy it on the bottom half. If working with cookie cutter designs, follow a specific pattern. For example, if during the winter holidays create a pattern of a snowman, snowflake, candle, wreath on one row and have your child follow it on the next. Vary it for the next row and continue. The cookie sheet can be turned the long way for a longer more complex pattern. Discuss concepts such as above, below, next to. Once all of the cookies have been placed on the sheet have your child identify a particular cookie (wreath) and say, “Find he cookie above the wreath”. Identify another cookie and ask: what is below, next to, on the right of, to the left, etc. Make it play-based. Switch rods and let your child have you find a cookie using the concept words.

Incorporate A Recipe
There are many recipe books available for small children that use short pictures and phrases. Incorporate them into cooking activities to expose your child to print. To facilitate reading skills even at a pre-reading age it is ideal to provide your child with as many opportunities to observe letters and printed words. Follow along with the recipe. Read the first part together. Use your finger as a guide pointing attention to each word you read. After the recipe has been completed review what was done first, second and third to address sequencing and use more descriptive language. Sequencing is a cognitive skill that promotes logical thinking, order and thought organization.

Play With Textures And Senses
While baking identify textures that are hot, cold, sticky, smooth, rough and compare them. Bread is smooth until it isasted then it feels rough. Cookie batter is smooth and soft until chocolate chips are added then it feels bumpy. The shell of an egg feels rough, however, egg yolk fees sticky.
Identify smells. Have you child close their eyes and present them with scents to see if they can guess what they are. Present smells such as pasta sauce, which is nice, but oregano by itself is unsuitable but is an ingredient in the sauce. Compare salt and sugar. They look and feel the same but the taste is extremely different!

Be A Problem Solver
Cooking provides many natural opportunities to solve problems and reason. Discovering solutions to problems will promote self worth, confidence and thinking kids. Brainstorm solutions for common kitchen mishaps such as not having the proper pan size for the recipe, missing an element or accidently adding too much of an ingredient. Facilitate a discussion on how problems can be managed and demonstrate that there are usually more than one choice. Brainstorming more than one solution will promote mental flexibility.

The kitchen is an exciting and stimulating place for learning opportunities through activities that are stimulating and exciting. Exposing your child to language and cognitive activities will strengthen their skills and prepare then to be strong students in school.

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Speaking in Your Ideal Pitch Range

When individuals judge their voice they are usually commenting on the quality of their pitch. The concept of how pitch is defined can be easily misunderstood. On a technical and scientific level, vocal pitch is described as how the vocals chords vibrate together to create sound. For a non-technical individual, pitch is often perceived as how the voice sounds. For example, the pitch being too high, low, wavering or sounding thin or weak. Learning to speak in your ideal pitch range is important for presenting with strong, rich tones that are aesthetically pleasing for your listener. Describe your current pitch style to strengthen your awareness.

Voice therapists describe two different types of pitch, habitual and optimal. Habitual pitch is your regular and consistent tone of voice. It is the pitch you use automatically for speaking but it may not need to be your best vocal quality. Optimal pitch produces a rich and pure tone where the muscles of the vocal mechanism function at their best to produce an ideal quality voice with natural projection. Speaking in your optimal pitch range would be preferred for professional speech and voice since that is where the most vibrant and resonant tones are produced.

If there is a significant difference between your habitual and optimal pitch it is most likely due to the fact that you find it easier and more comfortable speaking with your habitual pitch range. This is the pitch level most people use automatically. Many speakers with a high, thin or nasal sound pitch are speaking from their habitual pitch range. Learning to speak from your optimal pitch level is an easy adjustment to make and the benefits will significantly improve your voice and professional image.

Finding Your Optimal Pitch Range

The Uh-Huh Trick

Produce the word “Uh-Huh” naturally and comfortably. Move down in your pitch when you say it. Say it 3 times. When you are saying the word, “Uh-Huh” you are producing your ideal and ideal pitch range. The “Uh” is the upper limit for optimal pitch and the “Huh” is the lower limit for this range. Be aware that this is a pitch range and it should fluctuate.

The key is to consistently speak comfortably within your optimal pitch range. The most resonant voice with good tone quality will come from the “Uh-Huh” range. When individuals speak below their optimal pitch limit, a low tone or strained voice can be heard. When individuals speak above their optimal pitch limit the result is a voice with a higher pitch, thinner sounding tone with more nasal resonance that can be unpleasant for the listener. Speaking from your optimal pitch will allow you to produce a rich tone quality with natural projection that will give you command of your voice to persuade, lead and radiate confidence.

Using a Piano

Another approach for finding your optimal pitch is using a piano. With an open and relaxed throat produce the sound, “Ah”. Play each note down the scale until you have reached the lowest comfortable note you can produce with ease. From that note, move up 3-4 notes. The range of the 3-4 notes is your optimal pitch range. You will recognize your optimal pitch because your tone quality will be strong, resonant and physically comfortable to produce.

Initial Pitch Practice

Now that you are familiar with your optimal pitch range, experiment with your new tone. Say “ummm-hmmm” with deliberate intensity and volume. This humming sound produces your natural and optimal pitch just like the “uh-huh” pitch pattern. Producing this sound will create a vibrating buzz in your nose and around your lips. Touch your lips and nose with your fingers to feel the buzz. Produce this hum a few times to familiarize yourself with the tone. When you are speaking with your optimal pitch range a subtle buzz will always be present.

Note: Producing “ummm-hmmm” has the same effect for finding your ideal voice as the “uh-huh” trick. This is another quick and subtle technique for finding your optimal pitch range before you begin talking.

Pitch Practice Using Single Words

Begin practice with producing single words in your optimal pitch range.

o On a full breath from your diaphragm, count aloud:

Uh-huh one, Uh-huh two, Uh-huh three ….. until 10

This will assist you with speaking single words from your ideal pitch range.

o Produce the words below in your pitch range. Place your fingers around your lips and nose.

If you are in your optimal pitch range a subtle buzz should be detected.

Hello No Monopoly Experiment
Right Run Minnesota Refrigerator
Beautiful Happy Apartment Particular

o Select a word and insert it into the “Uh-Huh counting pattern

Right-one, Right-two, Right-three ….. until 10

Beautiful-one, Beautiful-two, Beautiful-three ….. until 10

Pitch Practice at the Sentence Level

o Practice with connected speech. Remember diaphragm breathing!

Select a word from above and say it in a sentence that you create.

For example, “I am happy to be speaking using my ideal voice.” Creating your own sentences will help you keep your practice more spontaneous and simulate natural conversation.

Spontaneous Speech Practice

o Using your ideal voice and proper diaphragm breathing, produce a short story using 2-3 sentences about:

-A New York City cab driver and an anxious tourist

-A sea lion and a scuba diver

-China Town and a feisty lobster

-A lottery ticket and a cold day in winter

A crooked chef and a smart FBI agent

Note: Notice how diaphragm breathing and speaking in your optimal pitch range generates natural projection and richer vocal tones.

Do not Be Alarmed! Are these new voice habits causing you to feel like you are speaking with excessive loudness? Do not worry. Your volume is appropriate. You are receiving some internal feedback from how your sound waves are resonating in your throat and oral cavity. This can create the perception that you are being too loud when in fact you are speaking with rich full tones that project naturally. This is your new voice which may require some time getting used to it. If you continue to have concerns ask a friend if they feel you are speaking too loudly. Chances are they will report that you sound great.

Dress Rehersal

Real World Practice

Listed below are suggested activities where you can practice speaking in your new ideal and optimal pitch range. When speaking at the sentence level remember to speak on a diaphragm breath, maintain a relaxed throat and speak in your perfect pitch.

1. Produce your ideal voice with proper breathing during all of your morning greetings to co-workers or anyone you would like to greet.

2. Produce your ideal voice with proper breathing while you are speaking on the phone. Place a note near the phone to prompt you. This is a great opportunity to speak at the conversational level while incorporating your new voice skills.

3. Order coffee or any food item using your ideal voice. Lunch is a great time

4. Speak using your new voice at every meal you share with someone.

5. Make an association where you can associate a practice opportunity with a simple daily activity such as speaking in a meeting, greeting a certain co-worker or client, speaking to an employee from the dry cleaners or convenience store. Organize in your mind a regularly occurring event or person where you can use that opportunity to remind yourself to practice.
Identify 3 opportunities where you can associate a practice opportunity in your regular routine.

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Screening and Testing For Dyslexia

Here are a few reasons to get tested to determine if you are dyslexic and some of the advantages of getting a formal assessment from your doctor.

The first thing that may be uncoovered is difficulties that can be overcome by simple training or outlining a strategy for order and understanding.

An assessment may clarify problems with your written work and help you to understand why you are having these difficulties. You may be able to develop strategies that can help you with your handwriting work once you understand that there is a problem that you need to make adjustments for.

When you put your difficulties into perspective you will also be able to define the areas that you have strength in. This will give you a much more complete picture of the assets that you have to work with.

The information that you glean from the test will be useful for employers or student administrators in placement decisions for work and learning activities. This information can also be used to secure grants to pay for training and equipment that might be needed for you to progress.

To compensate for being dyslexic the test may reveal that extra time would be appropriate for some examinations and tasks to be completed.

There are two types of tests for dyslexia: screening tests and comprehensive tests.

The screening tests is designed to be used on a group of people. The screening test for dyslexia is used to narrow down the group and select the members that might need a more thorough test for possible dyslexia.

Comprehensive tests for Dyslexia look at a subject and examine the cause of learning difficulties in the light of research into dyslexia what causes dyslexia. These tests examine which brain functions are interfering with the acquisition of normal learning. Tests of reading, spelling, drawing, math and intelligence are given to the subject. Other tests that are used include visual tests, visual scanning tests, sequencing and several other tests depending on the case.

After the testing, the results are assembled into a complete report that outlines the conclusions and the evidence collected from the battery of tests.

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Additional Information Regarding Speech and Language Issues

What Are the Signs of a Speech, Receptive or Expressive Language Delay?

Difficulty processing or following directions. Sometimes parents might think of this as a behavioral issue. Children may not fully participate in the classroom since they may be unaware of the direction or what is expected of them. Some children might only follow simple directions and have difficulty with longer ones. Children may point or gesture to make their needs known to someone.
Verbal expression may only occur with a few words. Some children have behavioral issues due to frustration when not being able to communicate effectively. Uses mostly vowel sounds to communicate. Will substitute easier sounds for more difficult ones such as “lelleo” for yellow.

Other Signs:

-Limited recognizable vocation at 2 years of age
-Limited understanding by 3 years of age
-Little understandable speech by 3 years of age
-Frequently uses incorrect grammar after 5 years of age
-Not producing most speech sounds by 5 years of age

What Parents Can Do To Strengthen and Build A Child's Speech and Language Skills

Modeling language is an easy and outstanding approach for facilitating speech and language with children. It is reasonable for children to make errors while they are learning their speech and language skills. During the developing years, a child might say, “I raned after the doggie.” Or “I like dat one”. To offer a natural learning opportunity simply model the correct form naturally in the conversation. “You ran after the doggie? That's nice” or “You would like that one? Okay.” In both examples, modeling the correct from made the correction by not pointing out that an error was made that can frustrate children as they are experiment with their new speech and language. Numerous studies demonstrate that modeling the correct form of language is an effective method for foster speech and language development.

Offer choices to provide opportunities to use language and experiment with vocabulary. For example: “Would you like orange juice or grape juice?” In this approach, children are placed in a position to have to give a verbal response. which fosters their self-esteem and minimizes behavior.

“Give me more language.” When a child has emerging speech and language and is beginning to speak in sentences, encourage your child to speak in full thoughts and complete sentences whenever it is naturally appropriate. When your child is giving you information prompt them by saying, “Give me more words” when their thought is only a phrase or shortcomings detail. For example, If your child reported, “We played,” ask them to use more words to tell you about it by saying, “tell me more”. In another example, when your child is doing a task, ask them what they are doing. Say, “Mathew, what are you doing?” He responds, “cutting.” You say “use your words and tell me in a full thought”. Mathew replies, “I am cutting my banana.”

Keep talking natural and fun. There are many ways to expose children to speech and language through everyday activities. Have fun and enjoy your child's speech and language development. If you feel it is appropriate to obtain speech therapy services, please feel free to contact us.

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The Real Cure For Stuttering

If you're looking for the cure for stuttering then you will be happy to learn that there is such a thing. You may have heard other, but that is because the mainstream approaches for treating stuttering is more geared towards treating the effects of the problem rather than tackling it at the root of the issue. This cure for stuttering, may almost seem too simple, however I am happy to tell you that it worked for me and if learned correctly, it will work for you too. It is not really complicated at all, in fact, it continues to amaze why the speech therapists have not caught onto this and do not include this cure for stuttering in their therapy sessions.

Most of us that stutter, do not stutter on every word we say. Why is this? It is not really because there are certain words that you have difficulty saying. Our stuttering is actually triggered by certain emotional states of mind. It is these specific emotional states, that cause us to stutter not the words themselves that we have difficulty producing while in this condition. This is why if we were to talk to ourselves while we are alone, we would be more fluent in our speech, compared to when trying to converse with others.

So what exactly changes between our nerves and emotions while in this emotional state of mind? What happens is that we become unable to properly release our breath while trying to speak, resulting in the stuttering.

The real cure for stuttering, lies in reprogramming our habitual breathing patterns that has subconsciously become irregular. How can this be accomplished? We can do this by remembering to breath properly while speaking. This takes practice, and you may have to make a strong mental effort at first but it can be done with persistence.

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Are You Trying to Find Help For Stuttering?

Do you need help for stuttering? If so, then this article is for you. As a former stutterer myself, I know first hand, how frustrating it can be trying to look for help for stuttering and not having much luck finding it! The internet is a huge world of digital information, unfortunately it seems that help for stuttering is one area that it seems to be lacking in.

In this article, I want to share with you some tips that helped me reduce my stuttering over time.

1.) Before you begin to speak, try taking a slow and deep breath. I know this is easier said then done, but try to avoid worrying that you might stutter. Truth is, the more you worry about it, the more you will find yourself stuttering more often.

2.) Ever watch the news and hear how those anchors always speak in a low tone from the chest and emphasize each syllable? This may sound silly, but I actually tried copying this and found that I would tend to stutter less. Later on, I found out that this is no coincidence. By taking the sound away from our problem areas, which is actually our vocal chords and mouth, stutterers will tend to have less issues.

3.) Before you say something out loud, take a brief moment and rehearse what you are about to say mentally before you begin to say it.

There you have it folks, these are three tips that I've used that were of great help for stuttering.

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Are You Considering Therapy For Stuttering? Read This First!

If you're considering taking up therapy for stuttering, then this article is for you! Therapy for stuttering is one of the most common forms of treatment for individual's that have a tendency to stutter. However, therapy for stuttering does not have it's pros and cons. In this article, I am going to try and give you a brief overview of what it consists, of and what to expect from it.

At around the age of 8 years old, my parents started to notice that I had developed a stuttering problem. They were quick to try and correct this, so they sent me to therapy for stuttering. After a few months of seeing my speech therapist, I began to improve significantly and after a couple years I no longer needed to continue my sessions with my therapist.

I no longer stuttered, all through elementary school. However, in my high school years my stuttering gradually started to come back. By the time I reached college, it began to become worse than ever.

Why was I able to cure my stutter as a child, only to have it return as a teenager? Not to mention, having it develop into a severe condition as a young adult? I decided to do research on this, and discovered that the answer lies in the fact that therapy for stuttering, fails to address the root of the problem. It is only effective in appreciating the effects of the condition. Our stuttering, is actually triggered by specific emotional states of mind. When we are in this emotional state, we are unable to properly release our breath as we speak, which then causes us to stutter.

Therefore, the only real way to address this problem is by learning techniques to learn how to change our habitual breathing patterns. Unfortunately this is something that therapy for stuttering fails to address.

Therapy for stuttering might be the answer for some individuals with a mild stuttering problem as a child. However, it is not the most effective solution for most people. It was mere a temporary solution for me, but in the long run it did not help me much.

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Learn How to Stop Stuttering Fast!

You Can Learn How To Stop Stuttering

As a person that had coped with a habit of stuttering most of my life, I know first hand how frustrating it can be. If you want to learn how to stop stuttering, then this article is for you. I am going to share with you some tips that helped me learn how to stop stuttering in a minimal amount of time.

The most important thing when trying to learn how to stop stuttering, is to never give up trying to improve your speech. Every time you stutter, do not let it discourage you from talking. Talking and conversing with other people, is the only way for you to practice.

If you try and avoid speaking alike, because you feel too awkward or embarrassed of your stuttering, it will only make things worse. The more you practice speaking, you will find yourself feeling more comfortable and confident. In effect, you will notice you will also tend to stutter less.

Simply forcing myself to speak as much as possible went a long way for helping me learn how to stop stuttering. Here are some other tips that helped me as well:

1.) Try starting your day with some quiet meditation in the morning. This does not have to be anything complicated or fancy. Just try and set aside 5-10 minutes for meditation. It will help you relieve any nervousness or tension which can make a person have a tendency to stutter.

2. Practice taking a deep breath, and take a moment to form your sentences mentally before saying them out loud. Often times, stuttering can happen due to our mouth getting ahead of ourselves before we can process our sentences in our head.

There you have it, these are two great techniques you can try to help reduce your tendency to stutter.

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Get Help With Stuttering Therapy – How a Stuttering Cure is Possible

Most everyone knows someone who stutters. Perhaps you stutter. TV and Movies have many prominent or supporting characters who stutter, whether for comedic or dramatic effect. Everyone knows about stuttering but much of what they know is less than true.

Here are a few misconceptions about stuttering and stuttering cures.

Stuttering Is A Psychological Problem

There are several causes of stuttering While stuttering can be a manifestation of other psychological issues, this is rare. This misconception stems from people observing the effects of stuttering and mistaking it for an indication of the cause. Stuttering will naturally have emotional and psychological effects on the suffer, who will often exhibit nervousness, frustration, stress, and anger. This misconception has caused many therapists in the past to create ineffective stuttering cures that attempted to deal with the wrong undering cause.

Stuttering is a sign of lower intelligence.

Stuttering has no correlation to lower intelligence. The neurological form of stuttering can affect any one at any intelligence level. Developmental stuttering which affects children during their formative years, can actually be a sign of higher intelligence, as the child attempts to use words that are beyond the limits of their undeveloped speech center and facial muscles.

Stuttering is always a life long affliction.

Not all types of stuttering are a life long problem. Developmental stuttering caused by a child overtaxing their ability to speak, will often disappear when the child is older and fully developed.

There is no stuttering cure for neurological stuttering. While there is no treatment that will take away the tension to stutter, many sufferers from neurological stuttering have overcome this affliction. Modern medicine does not yet fully understand the causes of neurological stuttering but it is believed that certain pathways in the speech center of the brain malfunction, causing signals to get blocked or repeated. These signals control the muscles in the body that create speech. To address this and effect a stuttering cure requires the patient to create a new way of speaking using a different section of the brain and speech center. Through hard work and practice, a life long stutter can become an effective speaker.

The patient may return to the old stuttering pattern from time to time, especially when under stress. But with care and self control, this can be can be avoided.

Stutterers will never be good public speakers.

This is completely false. In fact, just the opposite is the case. Since overcoming stuttering requires hours of practice and careful control of each word spoken, those who have had a stuttering cure often are better public speakers than those of us who never had a stuttering problem. Notable examples of these are actors James Earl Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Stuart, Bruce Willis and Harvey Kitel, as well as political figures like Joseph Biden and Winston Churchill.

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Experience Sharing Communication

Take a moment to read this short conversation between a mother and son. As you read, think about what is being communicated. Are you able to get a picture in your head?

“Hey mom, you'll never believe this! I saw a baby turtle in the road.”

“Really, I wonder how big it was.”

“Very small, only this big (indicating the size of a half dollar with hands).”

“Wow, I'll bet he was scared being in the middle of the road.

“I did not think about him being scared; maybe I should move him out of the road.”

“I think it would be very nice if we go back down and move him out of the road. much as little boys. ”

Vignettes like this are very common place among parents and children. This is an example of experience sharing communication at its best. The majority of the communicating we do is for experience sharing purposes.

Now read the following conversation between a mother and her son. Do you notice a difference?

“Hi Jimmy, how was your day?”

“Fine.”

“What did you do at school today?”

“Nothing.”

“You did not do anything?”

“No.”

“Did you read any books or do any math?”

“Yes.”

“What book did you read?”

“I do not know.”

“Did you go to gym today?”

“Yep.”

“What did you do in gym?”

…… And on and on it goes.

Does this exchange sound familiar? This dialogue is an example of imperative communication. Were this mother and son conversing? Yes. Were they communicating? No. Is the son in this vignette even really listening to what his mom is asking? He does not need to put a lot of thought into his answers, especially since these are probably the same types of questions he is asked every day. He understands the format for this type of conversation: someone asks a question, I answer; another question is asked, I answer; and so on. The parent in this scenario is not inviting responses; rather, she is expecting them. She is looking for information, but is only receiving one and two word responses that hold little or no meaning.

Imperative communication is made up of questions and demands. In general, people use this type of communication approximately 20% of the time in their day to day interactions. Imperative communication is a necessary part of daily life, but it should not make up the majority of our communication experiences.

On the other hand, we use experience sharing communication approximately 80% of the time in our daily interactions with others. The ability to share our experiences with someone is a uniquely human characteristic. No other species has the ability of sharing thoughts and feelings. Sharing experiences allows us to communicate about not only our external world, but our internal world as well. It provides us with the opportunity to talk about our past, present, and future. Not only are we able to share our experiences, but we are able to learn about others' experiences. We can determine what thought processes they are using, and how they may be feeling about a shared experience.

The percentages listed above for experience sharing and imperative communication relative to the average person. For parents and others who live or work with children with autism spectrum disorders, those percentages tend to be reversed. It is not uncommon for parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder to have 80% of the communication with their child be imperative, and 20% being experience sharing. This generally happens because parents want to talk with their child, they want information, or they want their child to do something; and asking questions or making a demand seems to be the only way to do this. Often, parents feel that if they do not ask the child a question, they will never know what they are thinking. It's not just parents who communicate in this way; but other people in the child's environment, such as school staff, do so as well. What tends to happen for children whose environment is filled with imperative communication is that that they learn to talk in this way. Much of what they communicate is related to getting needs met, or sharing the same information over and over. Children in these environments learn that when someone asks a question, they need to answer; but they do not needarily learn how to think and provide a thoughtful answer. They also tend to learn that many people ask the same types of questions, so that they can give the same response over and over without needing to think about it.

What are some ways that you can begin to change the way you communicate with children on the autism spectrum? Begin slowly, by deciding on a particular time of day that you will practice using experience sharing communication. Try to make comments about the things you are currently doing. If you find that you are having difficulty not asking questions, try just being quiet or talking about yourself. Spend some time listening to snippets of other people's conversations in a coffee shop or mall, or even while watching TV. Think about what you hear, and how people are communicating with each other. Chances are, they will be using experience sharing communication.

While imperative communication is necessary at times, to make requests and gather information, we need to think about how much we use it. Striving to use experience sharing communication at least 80% of the time will bring about a much richer experience for everyone involved. Helping children with autism spectrum disorders beginning sharing experiences, in a meaningful way, works to improve the core shortcomings of autism and the quality of life.

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The Three Speech Deficiencies, Do You Know Them?

Speech therapy involves much more than simply teaching a child to correctly pronounce words. Speech therapy is a specialized therapy done by speech therapists who treat patients with communication delays, communication deficiencies or communication disorders. Speech therapy software has been clinically proven to help patients improve speech & language.

It is important for you to have a clear idea about your motivation for going to therapy because your reasons for seeking treatment will help you decide if the speech-language pathologist is right for you; The amount, length, and cost of treatment, Possible goals for speech therapy and, The amount of success to be expected.

All these things should be discussed thoroughly and frankly with the speech-language pathologist. It's important to ask about stuttering therapy in particular because many of the insurance companies will pay for therapy if it isorative.

Many different articles are used specifically for the children speech therapy Such as The new animal parent and babies clipart section, worksheets, flashcards, speech therapy games, general educational resources and other teaching aids. Where children are being given therapy, most centers will insist that the parents become involved with the therapy on behalf of the child. The role by the family is a critical part of the child development.

The three speech disorders:

Articulation disorders, resonance or voice disorders and fluency disorders

Of these three, each one must be treated differently and with several different treatments or therapy techniques.

Therapy for stuttering is boring, slow and too hard for young children. Therapy for stuttering can be stopped as soon as a child speaks fluently. These speech therapy programs can help speech therapists save time and deliver better results. If a survivor's progress is not consistent, measurably improving, insurance companies typically will end therapy. Voice Therapy-Trains clients to reduce vocal abuse and use strategies to help lessen the effects of vocal pathologies such as vocal nodules.

Stuttering tends to run in families so it is usual to find more than one member of a family who stutters. Stuttering is a normal part of a young child's speech development. Stuttering, for example, can often be remedied in weekly group sessions with “homework.

Speech centers now have a ready to use therapy programs that provides a management system that allows speech language pathologists to manage their caseloads in less time. There is also online assessment tools to more efficiently assess the specific needs of each child, immediate and continuing training by speech language pathologists whose efficiency is enhanced through a turnkey, demand access to online information to easily explain to parents their child diagnosis, treatment, and the results they can expect from speech therapy This also will introduce children to new skills and concepts in engaging ways as they reach beyond the classroom by integrating technology into their speech therapy.

In conclusion, most speech problems can be deal with if the pathologist and parents have patience and ability to remain with the program until it is completed. Just depends upon everyone involved. Surely you will make it through for you child.

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Am I Dyslexic?

Am I dyslexic? Well, are your oral language skills significantly more developed than your skill with the written word? Do you have Attention Deficit Disorder or any of the associated symptoms, such as difficulty focusing your attention? Is learning through reading a terrible chore that's best avoided? Is your writing work consistently of poor to below average quality? Have you ever had difficulty recall right from left or vice versa? What about difficulty with math or problems with sequencing? Or even chronic difficulty with time management? These are the most common symptoms of dyslexia, and if you are exhibiting three or more then I urge you to consider a comprehensive test for the condition.

You see, experts agree that today as many as forty million Americans have dyslexia. That's the equivalent of one in fifteen people, children and adult alike. Worse yet, these same experts say that 90% -95% of the adults with the condition do not even know that they have it. A sad, sad state of affairs, to be sure.

So, what is dyslexia? Dyslexia is a inherited condition that causes difficulties for the subject by dramatically increasing their difficulty with written reading and writing skills, despite proven oral language skills that would seem contrary to the first observation. This is due to a chromosomal defect on the number six chromosome that results in a slightly enlarged right side of the brain. This is believed to account for dyslexia subject aptitudes at various skills which are known to draw upon right-brain strengths.

So, Am I dyslexic? A good question to be sure. And one that we should all be asking ourselves. Again, if you answered the questions above and felt that you suffered from three or more of the symptoms then you are a likely candidate for further more comprehensive testing.

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