From Stuttering to Fluent Speech Through Controlled Breathing

Stuttering is, among other things, associated with breathing irregularities. Scientists researching the disorder found out that a stuttering person sometimes stops breathing completely or starts breathing in a wrong way, eg inhaling while speaking instead of exhaling. Therefore, creating proper, for some people new, breathing habits may become the first step to getting rid of stuttering and regaining fluency of speech.

There are some simple breathing exercises that can help you relax your body, put your mind at ease, and get your message through in undisturbed manner. The first thing to do is to observe yourself. How do you breathe? Do you take deep breaths using your diaphragm (you can tell this by observing your belly movement; if your belly moves forward when you inhale the air, you use your diaphragm; if not – you use only your chest muscles to breathe). If no, this is the first step to learn. Again, you can find many materials relating proper breathing on the Internet, and you can also consult your physician.

What is the pace of your breathing? Do you usually breathe slowly, so taking deep breaths providing your body with more oxygen? If your breath is fast and shallow, you might want to start controlling it as you learn to breathe in a proper way. Quick and shallow breaths invoke quick and nervous speech, and this usually leads to stuttering.

There is one interesting and effective exercise that I would recommend. It is aimed at regaining regular and natural breathing during speaking. It is best done with a partner, as it requires someone you can talk to. Ask your partner to ask you questions, reply to what you say, so that you can have a regular conversation. When it is your turn to speak, take a deep breath, inhale the air, say one word while exhaling, inhale, say one word while exhaling, and so on until you finish the sentence. Next time try to say two words on one breath. Then three, four, until you can say one full sentence on one breath.

Another exercise consists on making a list of words difficult to you, and learning to say them correctly. You breathe like in the first exercise, but this time you divide the word into syllables. Take a deep breath, say the first syllable, breath, second syllable … When you master this, try to say two syllables on one breath, then three, then the whole word.

These are simple exercises, but very effective ones, and you'll see the results of your efforts very quickly.

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Forget “Stop Stuttering” – Think “Speak Fluently”

Let me start with a question: why are you reading this article? How did you find it? I can say with great confidence that you put something like “stop stuttering” or “get rid of stuttering” or a similar phrase in your search engine, and somehow landed here.

What else? Why did you use those search terms? Because you stutter, and you'd like to find a way to get rid of it.

Now, if you look at the first paragraph, it's all about you stuttering and looking for a way out, but how are you going to find the way out if you concentrate on the problem itself and not on the solution or the end result you ' d like to reach? It's just like you cut yourself to blood and started screaming; “I'm bleeding. What can I do to stop bleeding. Can someone help me stop bleeding,” instead of looking for the first aid kit.

So, let's concentrate on the final, desired result, and this is, in most cases. fluent speech. Therefore, the question you should ask is: “What can I do to speak more fluently?” Egypt “How to speak more fluently”, because this is, or at least should be, your real goal.

Another reason why you should change focus from “stop stuttering” to “speak fluently” is this strange accessibility of our brain to really differentiate between negative and positive orders. Please, do not think about pink elephants now! I can bet a hundred bucks on what you are thinking about now. Therefore, no matter how often you say to yourself “stop stuttering”, “do not panic”, “do not get nervous”, your brain processes “stutter”, “panic”, “nervous”. And the end result is far from the expected one.

What you must learn to do is to convert all those negative orders into positive ones: “speak fluently”, “remain calm”, “relax”. This might not be easy, but this might be the first baby step towards more fluent speech, with calm mind, and in a more relaxed way. This, combined with appropriate breathing, strong affirmations, and vivid visualizations can help you speak more fluently in much shorter time than you think.

Although experts say there is no cure for stuttering, there are certainly ways and techniques to turn your attention away from your conditions and direct it towards the desired result, that is fluent speaking. What is the most important, however is the mindset. If you keep repeating “do not stutter, do not stutter” you WILL stutter, but if you say to yourself “I'll do what it takes to speak more fluently”, you'll definitely achieve your goal.

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Why Is Everything Only About How To Stop Stuttering?

I am fluent now. That's my side of the story. He is stuttering. That's someone else's opinion. I can clearly see the other side again now as I have been looking for a new job. Having interviews is a great opportunity to observe people's reactions. I was at my previous job for nearly two years, and I stopped thinking about how to stop stuttering.

Once you start at a new position, there is this introductory period where you try to speak as fluent as possible and to impress (even if you do not admit it, come on!). Later everyone hears that you do have a speech obstruction anyway and finally you give up worry, because people get used to it, get over it and realize that you are a nice person. You find new friends, became more confident and speak better. Job done.

Is it really that easy? Why do we then always look for solutions on how to stop stuttering? It should be about us feeling good in certain situations where we do not feel that comfortable. Or is it only about what others say? Does is matter at the end? I used to think that was the most important think in the world.

I had a second interview for a huge media company and they told me to prepare a presentation for around 20 minutes. My heart nearly jumped out my throat. I did not sleep for two nights. But I did it! It was hard, I was scared of talking in front of people I did not know and who were there to judge me. I have been through many similar situations before and learned that they can only get … well … me. I am who I am and this is what they wanted anyway. I passed the first round and was not 100% fluent. They decided to call me for the next round to see me in action. I was impressed by it and felt good, although I was terrified of public speaking.

Most of people who stutter spent every minute of their lives thinking about being fluent. I got fed up one day and decided to move on. Everyone has something, it is just not visible. I can say I am in a quite difficult period of my life where I look for a new job and have to face situations out of my comfort zone. And the longer I live the less I think on how to stop stuttering. It is just not as important as things you know and what kind of person you are. Do not you think?

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Stuttering and Phone Calls – 5 Strategies That Will Help You Speak Freely On The Phone

Speaking on the phone is a nightmare for a person who stutters. It is a situation which one AVOIDS at all cost. I hated it, because I was not able to do such an easy job when EVERYBODY else was doing it like a piece of cake without even thinking about it. But, does it have to be that way? Can you learn to speak freely with ease and confidence on the phone? In this article, I am going to share 5 killer strategies with you which will help you to speak freely on the phone.

As a stutterer myself, I used to avoid phone at all cost.

I chose email or text messaging instead of calling a place. I never was the one who answered our home-phone. I avoided speaking on the phone in the presence of others, never made a phone call in front of my friends or workmates. In fact I made all my phone calls at work during lunch time so nobody would be in our office to hear me speaking on the phone. Instead of ordering a pizza just by making a simple 1 minute phone call, I drive all the way to there, order, wait, pick it up and drove back to home. I hated phone calls which I needed to introduce myself to the person on the other side of the line.

Do you know how it FEELS when you know you need to make a phone call and you just do not because of the fear of stuttering and the possible negative emotions it may bring to you?

No, if you are NOT a stutterer, you CAN NOT!

I am not telling you all these so you feel even worried about yourself and your stuttering. I am telling you these because I want you to realize how negatively stuttering affects your life … therefore how you can positively and completely change your life once you learn HOW to over it.

Below are 5 strategies which you will help you speak freely on the phone.

1. Speak when you are ready to speak not when you think you are expected to speak. Do not rush, take your time, feel free to even pause before you speak.

2. How you start is very important. If you start good, there is a high chance the rest of the conversation will go good. Start with a strong voice tone, not a weak tone for not to be heard by others. When you start strong, you will not hold back which is the core of stuttering behavior.

3. Your posture and body movements will reflect to your inner game and that will reflect to your speech, therefore make sure you act as if you are relaxed and confident.

4. Focus on your techniques and the conversation. Isolate yourself from negative thoughts (what others are thinking about your speech). If you have hard time focusing, use either a physical or mental object to help you focus. For example, you can pick an object around you and use it as a focal point through your phone conversation. As an alternative, you can also completely isolate yourself from the environment and focus on an imaginary object in your mind.

5. Let me give you an advanced strategy as well. Let the person on the other side of the line realize that your speech is not “normal” and you are using some tools and techniques to manage your speech. Remember, we need to accept who we are before we can change and become who we want to become! This will take the burden on your shoulders, because you would not have to be perfect and hide your stutter anymore. Do this with strength and pride … and you'll see that as a by-product it will reflect to your speech in a very positive way.

Now go and try those strategies. The more you do it the better you'll become and ever you'll start even enjoying making phone calls, which would be a great feeling … until you see your phone bills ๐Ÿ™‚

Phone calls are a mandatory part of a daily life. Think about how many times we are forced to be on the phone (especially at work). We can not just avoid it all the time. No matter how many times we avoid there will be times which we will not be able to.

Therefore, it all comes to this question …

Are you going to keep avoiding and going through all those negative feelings every single time you face such a situation? OR Are you going to do something about your speech today and start changing everything for better?

Honestly, I can not answer that question for you. It is your life, so it is your choice.

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Should I Correct My Child’s Speech Errors?

It can be frustrating when your child makes repeated articulation errors. In some cases, you KNOW that the child can produce the sound if you ask him to. But, should you stop your child frequently to make corrections? Will that help to improve his speech, or will it just frustrate him?

Mastery of speech sounds follows an order of progress. First the child learns to imitate the sound by itself. Then he learns to produce it in single words. At this point, it still takes some focus and concentration to produce it correctly. In conversation, however, the child is thinking about his ideas and has little awareness of what his mouth is doing to produce his sounds and words as he speaks. For sounds to be produced correctly in connected speech, the habits of correct language placement have to be automatic.

So …. stopping your child while he or she is speaking will likely result in little or no improvement in his speech. He is simply unable to monitor every speech sound and effectively communicate his message at the same time. What correction of conversational speech is likely to do is to make your child self-conscious of his speech and less willing to talk. It may also make him feel that you are uninterested in his ideas and stories. Remember that the transfer of ideas and back and forth interaction is the ultimate goal of communication. Any attempts to improve your child's articulation should not interfere with that.

If you want to point out some sound errors to your child, or to encourage better speech, try choosing a time when you are not busy or hurried. Model one of his difficult sounds and have him try to imitate you. If he is able to imitate the sound, have him repeat some words beginning with that sound. If he has trouble repeating the sound, have him watch your mouth carefully. Think about what your mouth and tongue are doing, so that you can explain it to him. For many children, this simple activity will encourage him to master the sound and eventually carry it over into conversation, although this is illegally to happen immediately. The Super Star Speech book includes a separate page of instructions for teaching your child almost every speech sound as well as picture cards and other activities for practicing sounds.

Be patient with your child's progress, work with his speech sounds in a low-pressure way, and seek professional help if needed. But above all, make communication a positive experience for your child!

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Childhood Speech Dysfluency

Stuttering, or stammering as it is more often called in Europe, is one of the most common childhood speech disorders. It is lumped into the leader category of speech dysfluency. Normal speech dysfluency tend to be differentiated from stuttering in that it is less frequent, lessothersome to children, and less likely to be associated with other signs of stress like tics, physical movements or physical tension around the lips. Varying degrees of speech fluency problems are quite common, and usually resolve within a few weeks when they do happen.

Mild stuttering is often associated with more frequent repetitions of sounds, often about 3% of words affected. It is also sometimes associated with facial expressions like eyelid closing or blinking, looking from one side to another, or pursuing of the lips. It is more often present than it is absent, though may sometimes come and go to one degree to another. Mild stuttering tend to resolve more often on its own than does more sever stuttering, and referral is often indicated if there is a high degree of parental concern of if it persists for much more than 2-3 months.

Severe stuttering is really not difficult to recognize as stuttering. In different stutterers the repetitions occur in about 10% of words, tend to be present in nearly all situations, and are usually quite consistent and do not fluctuate much at all. These children tend to become quite frustrated, and often become embarrassed. They tend to avoid situations where they will need to speak. Starter words like “um” and “er” may be used often. Speech pathology is generally indicated for severe stuttering, and long-term therapy may be needed for some children and adults. The recent movie The King's Speech that won the best picture Academy Award in 2011 portraits the king of England and his struggles to fulfill the demands of his role as the King during World War II while overcoming his sever stuttering. It is a pretty realistic portrait of the state of the art at that time, although progress in speech therapy since then has been significant.

Less than 1% of adults still stutter, with about 80% of childhood stutterers ruling by adulthood. Early referral of severe stutterers may lead to better results, and moderate stutterers should have speech therapy referral if the stuttering persists for more than 6-8 weeks. Children with normal speech dysfluency usually do not require intervention. In summary stuttering is common, more common in men, and tend to resolve in about 80% of cases.

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How Did Stuttering Influence My Public Speaking And Anxiety

Public speaking and anxiety were my closest partners for many many years. Phone calls were another issue, but I managed to overcome this inconvenience. You can read about it in another article I wrote. I mentioned there that talking in front of other people makes me scared and that I did not have any opportunity to practice. Until recently …

I look for a new job now and I had a second interview for one company where they asked me to prepare a 20 min presentation. Imagine that! My heart jumped and my stomach shrank immediately. The last one I did was at my final exams in June 2001. Now is February 2011. I thought I would faint. J

I had two options: runaway or do it. What do you think I chose? Of course I thought about the first one, but there was no choice. It had to be done. The best way to face your fears is when the only possibility is to make that particular thing happen. And I had to do it. I did not sleep for two nights, it was that challenging for me. First of my stutter, secondly for my English language skills and then there was the pressure of being good enough for the role.

I gathered all my experience and thought about it this way: I am good enough at what I do, my English is not perfect and so is not me speech, but that's me and I like my self this way. Most of people I told about this presentation had the same reservations for public speaking and anxiety coming with it. So I prepared as best as I could, because training is the core. I practiced the speech more than 5 times and off I went to the interview. I was very nervous, but belly breathing and affirmations calmed me down. The beginning was a bit rough, but as I was prepared my self-confidence got better and better.

And I did it! I was proud of my public speaking and anxiety which I had to overlap in order to get that job. It was not perfect, but that was not my target. I wanted to be me and give my best. Maybe you ask if I stuttered. Of course I did, but it was not that bad and it was not important. I did not concentrate on the way I spoke, but on what I was talking about. I was very happy with my performance …

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Stuttering and Dating – How To Turn Your Stuttering Into An Advantage When It Comes To Dating

Dating is a very important area of โ€‹โ€‹a stutterer's life which is negatively affected by his / her stuttering. When it comes to dating, stuttering can be a huge setback for a person who suffers from stuttering. In this article, I'm going to cover some tips and advices which you can use to …

1) not to miss a cool date
2) create attraction by USING the fact that you stutter.

The word “dating” and “stuttering” are surrounded by a lot of limiting beliefs, therefore most PWS are missing this FUN side of their life.

Here are 6 Tips and Advices which will help you when it comes to your stuttering and your dating life.

1. Never give the impression that you believe you are pitiful and your stuttering makes you less than others.

2. Bring the topic of stuttering and your speech to the table as early as you can. You might be asking:

“How could I do that? Admitting this fact to even myself is a nightmare, forget about admitting it to somebody who I am interested in” … and you are right to a point.

You are right that demonstrating it to him / her is not easy at all, but if you know how to communicate that the RIGHT way you can use it even to your advantage and leave a great impression on him / her. The more you keep this obvious “secret” in you, the more it'll distract you, your thoughts and your emotions.

3. Talk openly about your stuttering, make jokes (without putting yourself down) and laugh. It'll communicate all the right things about you.

4. Bring the topic to judging other people, tell him / her you accept people the way they are and you do not judge people too early. Tell him / her that you used to go through tough feelings because of your stutter but now that you are a lot stronger character you do not mind them judging or talking negative about you! You might also want to take it to the next level, be on the fun side and say: “In fact I kinda like it, the fact that all those people are talking about me makes me feel like a celebrity” ๐Ÿ™‚

5. If you do not make a huge deal of it, he / she will not either. Do not talk about your speech in a negative way. People who do not know you well usually typically get an impression of you depending on the way you COMMUNICATE. So be careful how you COMMUNICATE and how you POSITION your stuttering in your life.

6. Communicate as if stuttering is a cool feature of you. However, do this with humor so you do not sound like a dork who are trying to hide his / her insecurities ๐Ÿ™‚ Do it in a playful and fun manner.

For example, tell her / him “Lets make a deal. The dinner is on you … and in return, I'll let you borrow my cool” speech “for a day. with my “speech” to reflect charisma and become the coolest person in your social circle “ . ๐Ÿ™‚

Does that make sense?

If your mindset is “stuttering makes me a less person, therefore I do not deserve you” then she / he would play along and comes to the conclusion that if you are probably right.

However, if your attitude is exactly the opposite and you communicate it the right way, then she / he will go with your beliefs as the “reality”!

How do you communicate it the right way?

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Help For Stuttering: What Angers You Conquers You

My life underwent a dramatic twist in 2010. I was ill in January, the illness came back in February and at that time I hated everything and everyone. I did not like my life and felt hurt by it. I would never ever think that one year later I will write an article about help for stuttering and be happy what I have achieved.

I attended several courses and read plenty of books in 2010 that changed my way of thinking andave me a massive boost into the future. And what was the lesson with capital LI learned last year? As you might already think it is the sentence which I used in the name of this article.

I think the sentence does not need any further explanation. “Who angers you conquers you” is valid for all aspects of our lives. It took me very long time to sign a peace treaty with myself and especially with my speech. That was the best help for stuttering I could have ever imagined.

I used to be so angry with myself even for a small invisible speech imperfection. Just have a guess what happened after a public speech or conversation which I was not happy with! The anger was so huge that thinking back I am surprised i did not hurt myself. Honestly!

And since I realized that without respecting myself and my speech I will not make it very far I have forgiven myself. I learned how to love my speech, my past and everything I have done. It was not easy, but it definitely works. I recommend you do the same as soon as possible.

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Kill the Stutter and Speak Eloquently

Stuttering is not as uncommon as you might think. Although it affects mostly children, it also occurs among adults. Moreover, the males are more likely to stutter than the females, because because the latter can better organize thoughts and articulate them into words.

Stuttering can be very detrimental for anyone, especially for the older people. It can reduce their self-confidence and prevent them from getting involved in social interactions. There's a lot of fear of not finding a good job or of being the source of jokes among people. Children, meanwhile, can be subjected to bullying because of it.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways on how to reduce or get rid of stuttering.

What Is Stuttering?

Stuttering is one of the speech or world problems. It is characterized by speaking in broken words or sentences and repeating certain syllables. The person also offers to produce dragging sounds. A stutterer may experience trembling lips and rapidly blinking eyes when speaking.

There are a number of reasons why an individual stutters. It may have something to do with the way neurotransmitters work because of genetics or head or brain injury. The person may also stutter because of a traumatic event. Speech may remind him or her of that violent episode.

Among children, they stutter because they're still developing their language. Almost always, by the time they grow up, they no longer suffer from it.

How to Reduce or Eliminate Stuttering

The best step is to actually search for a speech therapist, who is trained to deal with stutterers ..

Meanwhile you can make the training more worthy if you yourself do something about it:

Think of what you're going to say. Before you start speaking, think of what you're planning to convey. Allow the words to form in your mind and articulate them as slowly as possible.

Speak a lot. Make your stuttering your motivation to speak more often. If you are afraid of talking to a lot of people, consider getting a buddy, someone who's going to be patient enough to listen to you.

You can also make it even more fun by letting your friend ask you a question and trying to answer it as fast and as fluently as you can.

Sing. Do you know that majority of the sufferers do not really stutter when they sing? What's more, singing improves your breathing, which is essential when speaking-and it's a very interesting activity to do.

Read aloud. Grab a good book or magazine then read aloud. Read every word per line, per sentence, per paragraph. If you can not articulate some words, then do not force it. You can just mark them and go back to them at a later time.

Eliminate anxiety and stress. Being angry can sometimes cause you to stutter. Fear can be so overwhelming you can not think straight and breathe properly. You feel tongue tied.

You can use subliminal messages for effective stress management. Before you speak in front of the public, you can say, “I am ready for this,” “I can see myself allowing the words to flow smoothly from my mouth,” and “I am excited to hear the applause.”

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Why Speech and Language Therapy Doesn’t Give Us The Results We Want and What to Do About It

Speech and language therapy or any traditional treatments for stuttering is probably the first treatment alternative we choose to go with when it comes to eliminating our stuttering problem. Most of us (me included) start this “the journey of hope to get rid off stuttering” with speech and language therapy. It may be a private SLP (Speech Language Pathologist), a well known speech therapy program or a speech therapy clinic in our city or university. In my case, I tried ALL of them with either NO or TEMPORARY results.

To be honest I never heard a PWS telling me “I went through speech therapy when I was on my twenties for the first time and I overcame my stuttering”.

Is this a coincidence?

I do not think so.

Does that mean speech and language therapy sucks and has no value?

No, that is not the case either.

So, what is it?

Why does that happen? After all, speech and language therapy has been around for years and the sessions are held by professional speech and language therapists.

The reason is one of the below … if not both.

1. The specific speech and language therapy program you chose to attend was not good enough.

The traditional speech therapy techniques and applications may be very similar in general but your speech and language pathologist and his / her skills are critical and plays a huge role in your success when it comes to achieving your desired outcome.

You and your stuttering iceberg need to be ANALYZED and UNDERSTOOD very well. If you do not feel understood and instead you feel more like a “one fits all” straight forward approach are being used on you, then there is a high chance that you'd lose interest in the program and you stop believing that he / she can help you.

What I am trying to say here is that the name “speech and language therapy” should not be enough for you to make a decision. WHO you are going to work with and whether they involve the psychological aspect of stuttering in the stuttering treatment or not are extremely IMPORTANT factors which you should definitely take into consideration before you make a decision.

2. You simply were not ready for the change.

It might not be the right time for you … or the way you approach the problem may not be right … meaning it is not supporting the effective use of those speaking techniques.

This is mainly about the MENTAL side of the equation and it is closely related to the inner game of stuttering. Before going through speech and language therapy or any traditional treatments for stuttering, your expectations should be set right and realistically.

One of the WORST mistakes we make is going through a speech therapy program with the expectation of curing our stutter in a very short period of time by learning traditional speech therapy tools and techniques. You might think that those physical techniques are the solutions which will bring you fluency the next day, but in reality they are only tools which will help you to take YOURSELF to fluency.

I can hear you saying;

“OK Chazzler, I understand that those are the possible reasons …

but then tell me what to DO about it ”

Here are some tips and advices for you …

-> Do your RESEARCH. If possible, go through a free consultation to meet your speech and language therapist before deciding on anything.

-> Make sure you are in the right MINDSET and you set your expectations and goals right … in a “smart” way!

-> Ask yourself if you are READY to make a CHANGE in your life. If you do not have strong reasons to make it happen for you, then you'll probably not be able to experience positive permanent results no matter how effective the techniques are.

-> And last but not least, I strongly suggest you to learn about the inner game of stuttering before shooting for any speaking tools and techniques.

One last point is …

Research and get familiar with other solution alternatives on the market today.

Especially now that there are A LOT of those.

You may want to consider them either in CONJUNCTION with your speech and language therapy sessions or just independently as a solution alternative which will take you to your ultimate goal.

… and you might be asking …

What are the most popular solution alternatives on the market today and how do I choose one so I can make sure it'll meet my needs and expectations so I will not end up going through all those frustrations when I realized it did not work again ?!

… and I think I may have an answer below to your question.

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Speech Therapy to Decrease Fall Risks

Falling is NOT a normal part of aging. A careful analysis of contributing factors should be made each time an elderly person falls to insure that the cause (s) is identified and appropriate treatment interventions are provided. It is common for older people who have fallen to be referred immediately to a physical therapist. Occidentally, a referral may also be made to an occupational therapist. Unfortunately, it is rare to find a “fall” team that makes a referral to the speech pathologist. This is unfortunate because it means that some contributing factors may be missed.

So what causes an older person to fall? Any of the following can be to blame:

  • A recent illness that has caused fatigue
  • Fatigue related to poor sleep patterns
  • Side effects of medicines
  • Vertigo
  • Impaired vision (macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, visual perception problems, etc.)
  • Gait distortances
  • Balance disorders
  • Poor safety awareness, problem-solving, and / or planning
  • Reduced hearing
  • Postural hypotension
  • Dehydration and / or poor nutrition
  • Confusion and / or disorientation
  • Environmental hazards
  • Incorrect use of adaptive equipment such as walkers, canes, wheelchairs, grab bars, etc.
  • Inability to request assistance in a timely fashion when needed
  • Central nervous system disorders

Some of the factors listed above can be evaluated and addressed by a speech pathologist, thus reducing the risk of further falls. So how can a speech pathologist help?

Speech pathologists are uniquely trained to identify a patient's ability to solve problems, predict outcomes, and communicate effectively. One of the first steps in a comprehensive fall assessment should include an evaluation of the patient's cognitive abilities. Are they able to focus their attention when walking and identify possible hazards? Once they recognize a possible hazard, are they able to respond appropriately? If they need help with walking are they able to request this help directly or through the use of a call system? Do they have the ability to wait for assistance or are they impulsive and motivated by immediate graification? Do they understand how to use adaptive equipment (walkers, canes, etc.) once they have been taught? These are all questions that need to be answered accurately to both identify the cause (s) of a fall, as well as the appropriate approaches to prevent further falls.

A second step in the evaluation process should include an assessment of hearing and vision. Can the patient hear instructions for fall precautions? Can they hear instructions related to the use of adaptive equipment? Can they hear environmental hazards that may signal a potential hazard? Does the patient see clearly so that they can scan the environment for fall risks? Can they read warning signs that are posted? Can they actually locate a call system if there is one in place?

The last step in the evaluation process should include an assessment of nutritional intake and hydration. A patient who is not able to take in adequate nutrition or is dehydrated is at a greater risk of falls. Many times there may be underlining that a patient is not able to meet their nutritional needs or is routinely dehydrated. These can include swallowing problems, inability to request food and drink, or reduced self-feeding due to dementia. All of these problems can be addressed by a speech pathologist.

Even when a speech pathologist is not directly involved in ongoing treatment, they can be a tremendous resource in helping other healthcare professionals to develop cueing strategies, task segmentation, and spaced retrieval techniques to help reduce fall risks. They can also assist by helping to develop written materials that are appropriate to the cognitive level of the patient.

The next time a patient falls remember to ask: “Have they been evaluated by a speech pathologist?” This one simple question may prevent another fall in the future or at least reduce the chance of a fall.

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Improving Self Confidence

I had two major speech therapies in my life. One took maybe 6 months when I was 13 and the other one about 1 year when I was 21. But the biggest problem with my speech was not actually the speaking technique, I knew I could talk as I was fluent when talking to myself or to my therapists. The problem was that I did not want to open my mouth in front of more than one person. Improving confidence was the key.

I worked with two psychologists between my age 14 and 21 and one of them got it. Unluckily, when I visited him 2 years ago his college told me he had died. I did not have the chance to tell him, that he was right. I told the other one though. She is a lovely lady and I explained her, what was the biggest issue.

As you can now guess, it was the lack of improving self confidence. I was told all the tricks, did the exercises, explained all the feelings from my childhood and underwent everything else I had to in order to be fluent, but no one gave me exercises that I could use in real life. And that was the missing link in my therapy. I had to discover that in another country.

After I moved to London my speech was terrible. I was hired as a receptionist at a 4 star hotel, do not know how, and that was the start of everything. But first I was terrified of talking in front of the guests and I never made it to the check-in / check-out process. Three days later I asked to be transferred to the Concierge desk as I wanted to escape this hell and that department appeared the best shelter. I was still running away from talking. It was actually even more talking demanding as I discovered later …

The head of Concierge hired me and later he told me he had married so much after my interview. But he gave me a chance and I did not let him down. I was the best one in his team, although my daily tasks involved 100% communication about things I had no idea at the beginning. I had to answers questions, was under stress 24/7 and had to make difficult decisions and supervise people. I would have never imagined I could do that. Honestly.

I still stutter, but you would not sometimes notice. The main point is that with improving my self confidence I started to see the world from a different perspective. I do not hide as before although I have my days. But everyone does, no one is perfect. Now I just do what you have to do. I got into this stage being thrown into the wild river without knowing how to swim. And it helped …

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How Severe Is My Stuttering and Will I Be Able To Stop My Stutter?

The answer of this question is important because the next thing it relates to is the question “how to stop stuttering”.

Can you answer that question for me?

You probably can, but the important thing is, are you answering it right ?!

The word “severity” is used a lot in the stuttering community. Sometimes it is used to compare two PWS's spikes and sometimes it is used as an excuse such as

… I CAN NOT overcome my stuttering challenge because I am a SEVERE stutterer.

First of all, how can somebody tell how severe his / her stuttering is? … and secondly, how does one come to the conclusion that if he / she is a different stutterer there is nothing that can be done ?!

There might be 3 levels (mild, moderate, severe) but within those 3 levels I think there are 2 components of stuttering severity.

1. The severity of one's physical speech struggle (solution: outer game of stuttering)
2. The severity of one's stuttering mindset (solution: inner game of stuttering)

The physical speech severity is the amount of speech struggle you experience during your speech. On the other hand, the severity of stuttering mindset is the degree your stuttering affects your beliefs about yourself and your life.

Let me give you an example to both of those cases.

Stutterer-A: Blocks every 2-3 words and strictly puts a sentence together without going through serious speech struggle. On the other hand, Stutterer-A does not try to hide his / her stuttering, is open about his stuttering and does not think stuttering defines who he is and instead he believes stuttering is what he DOES, not what he IS!

Stutterer-B: Sometimes can speak fluently to a level that people can not even realize he has a speech impediment. He is very good at “hiding” his stutter by using tricks such as avoidance, word substitution, using filler words, etc. However, he faces with problems when he speaks in some specific situations or have to use some words which can not be substituted. Every time he avoids a situation he feels very bad deep inside, he has a “hidden” low self-esteem and a very low self-confidence. Stuttering is a huge burden on his shoulders. He thinks about his stuttering and how low it makes him continuously. Stuttering shapes all his beliefs, decisions and choices in his life. In simpleest terms, he lets stuttering to hijack all his life! The primary concern in his life is his speech and how others will perceive him. His life turns around HIS STUTTERING.

Now, when you look from outside, Stutterer-A may look a lot more more than Stutterer-B, right?
But is it really the case?

Yes, speech wise Stutterer-A has a lot more obvious speech struggles which can be considered as severe, but that's the amount of affect stuttering has on him.

On the other side, Stutterer-B continues to worry about his speech and are extremely focused on hiding his speech so no one would REALIZE it. This brings a HUGE stress on Stutterer-B and would definitely make it a separate stutterer INSIDE. I think the damage stuttering creates on Stutterer-B is a lot more than Stutterer-A which would make Stutterer-B a lot more severe stutterer.

Now, think about how different your stuttering is. Physical wise it is not a tough question. However, there is also the second component which you can not afford to miss. How severe is your stuttering inside? How much power does your stuttering have on YOU and on your life?

I suggest you to give it some thought and answer those questions for your case. Because only then you can tell where you are and where you need to go to achieve your desired results!

Depending on your severity level, you would need to focus on either the inner or the outer game of stuttering.

I can not tell you how different you are without speaking to you personally and listening your story, but I can honestly tell you that no matter how severe you think you are, there is a HUGE room for improvement. You can improve your speech to a level where stuttering would NOT be an issue in your life anymore.

HOW do you do that?

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Auditory Dyslexia

Auditory dyslexia, otherwise known as “dysphonetic dyslexia,” is a more common type of dyslexia than visual dyslexia. It is a learning disability that involves phonological processing issues. If you have this condition, you will have a difficult time distinguishing individual letter sounds (or phonemes) within words. Although auditory dyslexics can pick up sounds, their brain has difficulty making sense of the sounds they hear.

The most common dyslexia sign of this type is the inability to follow verbal instructions or directions. Other symptoms include: poor spelling, mistaking R and L sounds, constantly needing information to be repeated, slow response in conversations, and saying, “What” or “Huh” frequently. If you are suffering from auditory dyslexia, you will definitely be averse to vowels, which have two different sounds or are silent letters in some letters. Remembering one sound for each is hard enough for you! Students with this condition struggle the most in school as their problems are almost always coupled with visual dyslexia. Dyslexia prevents them from performing at par with children in their academic level. Simple instructions during class exercises are tough to deal with and often cause dyslexic students confidence issues.

It is always advisable to seek professional help when it comes to children who may be perceived to have learning difficulties. You must realize, of course, that learning disabilities caused by processing problems may not always be attributed to dyslexia. Hearing impairment, attention deficit disorder (ADD) and other neurological learning disabilities must first be ruled-out before testing and treating your child for dyslexia. Auditory Dyslexia and ADD are two very different conditions, although they are initially determined by similar symptoms of poor memory, short attention spans, and poor pronunciation, among others. Also, dyslexia and ADD are highly correlated and if there are learning issues, both conditions should be screened. Thus, it is imperative to have the child assessed to determine the appropriate treatment.

The condition in adults is also a serious condition. Adults face a great obstacle in employment opportunity and almost no career promotion. Therefore, evaluation and treatment is as important for adults as it is for children.

Fortunately, testing, training and treatment centers are available to provide the necessary professional assistance for dyslexics. Treatment for auditory dyslexia concentrates on phonemic awareness. The teacher exercises games that first gauge the specific needs of the dyslexia students. This education is geared towards enabling the students to learn, say, identify, spell, recognize and read letters.

If you have auditory dyslexia, there are also strategies you can employ in the workplace to make you more efficient. You can ask your boss and co-workers give directions or instructions one at a time. If possible, you should be given instructions slowly, clearly and in a quiet area. You can also use a Dictaphones if you need to confirm instructions. It is likewise advisable to ask your boss to allow you to repeat the instruction for him / her to verify whether you understood it correctly. Most importantly, ask your boss to write down important instructions to ensure that no detail will be overlooked. There are many technology tools that you will find useful in dealing with your condition on a daily basis, relating auditory dyslexia.

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