The first step in seeing if SpeechEasy or SpeechEasyPD is right for you is to attend a SpeechEasy evaluation with one of our trained Providers. EverySpeechEasy Provider is a licensed and certified Speech Language Pathologist qualified to help assess and recommend fluency options for our clients.
The Speech & Hearing Center is the only local, certified dispenser for SpeechEasy®, a fully portable and inconspicuous fluency-enhancing device for people who stutter. It is a prosthetic device that fits in the ear, similar to a hearing aid. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about SpeechEasy®.
What is altered auditory feedback (AAF)?
AAF simply means hearing your own voice in a manner that is slightly different from the way you normally hear it. It allows the SpeechEasy® user to listen to his/her own voice with Delayed Auditory Feedback (DAF), Frequency Altered Feedback (FAF), or a combination of the two. Using DAF allows the user to hear his/her own voice with a slight temporal delay, similar to an echo. FAF allows the user to hear his/her own voice with a shift in the pitch, so the signal heard is either at a slightly higher or slightly lower pitch than the person's own voice.
How do DAF and FAF help people who stutter become more fluent?
For years it has been known that when people who stutter speak the same material in unison with another speaker they become fluent. This is knows as "choral speech." By allowing the user to hear his/her own voice with a pitch shift, a slight time delay, or a combination of both, SpeechEasy® creates the illusion of another speaker speaking at the same time. It is an emulation of choral speech.
What evidence is there of the fluency enhancing effects of DAF and FAF?
Ten years of scientific research conducted at Dalhousie University and East Carolina University have shown that the use of DAF and FAF can significantly enhance fluency levels in a variety of situations, including reading, monologues, using the telephone, and speaking in front of an audience. This research has been published in top scientific journals.
Will SpeechEasy® cure stuttering?
SpeechEasy® is NOT a cure for stuttering. We compare using the device to wearing glasses. The effects are present while the device is in use and absent upon the removal of the device. Some users report "carry over" fluency, meaning that their fluency persists for some time after removal of the device. However, no data exists to support this notion, and it is recommended that users of SpeechEasy® wear the device as often as possible to get the best effects.
How well does SpeechEasy® work in children?
Children seem especially susceptible to the beneficial effects of SpeechEasy®. Every child tested to date has responded very well, showing very high levels of fluency while wearing SpeechEasy® with almost no training. It should be noted that the ITC model is recommended for children.
Is Speech Easy an alternative to stuttering therapy?
SpeechEasy® may be viewed as an alternative or adjunct to stuttering therapy. Some users require no further training when using SpeechEasy®, and some require minimal training. People who have learned traditional therapy techniques and employ them when using SpeechEasy® report much higher levels of fluency enhancement and more natural sounding speech when using the device.
Will medical insurance cover SpeechEasy®?
Due to the number of variables associated with medical insurance (provider, amount of coverage, state where located, etc.), it is highly recommended that each customer make it his/her responsibility to explore this method of payment.
Are there other sources of funding?
Please check with Vocation Rehabilitation Services, VA benefits, Flexible Spending Plans through your employer, civic organizations, community organizations, and foundations.
To see if SpeechEasy® might be right for you, please visit www.fluencycoach.com for a free demonstration of how the technology works.
For specific information regarding SpeechEasy® evaluation procedures and costs, please call 423.622.6900 or email us at [email protected].