I have written a summary of some therapies available for stuttering, as well as a summary of studies into how effective they are. You can find this and a downloadable handout at www.stutteringtherapyonline.com.
I've put together a handout for people who are thinking about starting therapy for stuttering. You can find the downloadable handout at www.stutteringtherapyonline.com.
It is well known that a metronome beat can help people who stutter achieve more fluent speech. It may also be helpful for people with Parkinson's who present with rapid or dysfluent speech. I am interested in vibrating metronomes (i.e. small devices that allow you to feel rather than hear a beat) as a way to help achieve more fluent speech.
If you want to know whether a metronome beat might help you, try an online metronome (Google has its own here) and set the speed to something low like 70 beats per minute. There are also vibrating metronome apps available for your phone - however, I find the vibration too loud to use in real life, but this might be a good way to see if a vibrating metronome could help you.
Once you have a metronome running, try speaking one syllable or word per beat. This creates a very slow, rhythmic speech that often results in more fluent speech. Now try speaking with the metronome beat again and this time speak at a more normal rate while only focusing on the beats when you are expecting a word to be difficult. If you found the metronome beat helpful then a vibrating metronome might be useful for you.
Below is a description of how to put a Bluetooth vibrating metronome together. It doesn't require any electronics skills! This project makes use of a smartphone with Bluetooth, a small vibration speaker, a Bluetooth receiver, and (optional) a small Bluetooth remote to let you trigger a vibrating metronome when you need it. It has the following advantages over more complicated and much more expensive devices like SpeechEasy and VoiceAmp:
Setting it up:
Creating the ankle mount:
Make the Bluetooth media button easy to use in your pocket:
I've created a free online tool for speech and language therapists working in the field of aphasia. The Aphasia Therapy Planner is designed to help speech and language therapists find and deliver evidence-based aphasia therapies. Treatments are arranged according to the type and severity of aphasia.
Each entry includes a brief introduction to the therapy approach, details of how it can be delivered, and a research summary.
The Aphasia Therapy Planner is available free online and for purchase as a mobile app on the Google Play store (paid version includes links to PDFs of entries). Coming soon to iOS.
Social stories and comic strip conversations are established therapy approaches that provide written and visual structures to help people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) understand and learn effective behaviours for a given situation. Typically these kinds of social stories are linear, i.e. a straight-forward narrative is presented.
Recently, I have been experimenting with creating computer-based interactive therapy stories that allow students with ASD to make choices at each stage of the story and see the repercussions of their decisions. For example, in an interactive therapy story about 'listening to instructions in class' a student can choose whether to 'listen to their teacher's instructions' or 'talk with friends and play' and then see the likely outcome of each choice.
You can download an example of an interactive therapy story about listening to instructions at the bottom of this page. It is in .html format which means it will open and display in your internet browser.
These stories can be personalised with photographs or drawings for the student to increase the likelihood that they will carry over the skills learnt in the interactive story into the desired environment. It's also possible to build random events into a story so that students do not learn from the story that a particular behaviour always leads to a particular result - something that is likely to be particularly important for students with ASD.
At the moment I make interactive therapy stories using free software called Twine (www.twinery.org). It can also be used online, without installation of any software.
I will be uploading more interactive therapy stories here in the future. Leave a comment below if you have feedback or already use a similar approach.
I've made an online game targeting spatial prepositions. It's a work in progress.
At the moment it targets comprehension of 'in', 'in front of', 'beside'/'next to' and 'behind'. Instructions, e.g. "click on the cat beside the tree", are written on screen and read aloud for users to follow. It should work on desktops and tablets.
Click here to try it out.