Why Do So Many Stutterers Fail to Stutter When Alone and How Can This Phenomonen Be Used in Treatment?

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Adverse signal-to-noise ratio

From: Ed Feuer
Date: 04 Oct 2007
Time: 15:18:12 -0500
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In answer to your question, consider the possibility that people who stutter display a physioneurologically based, adverse signal-to-noise ratio in their speech mechanism manifested under communicative stress. When our "radars" are turned on, the noise disrupts the signal, making the speech mechanism go haywire. That is why an experienced SLP can get a person who stutter "fluent" in the clinic room. In that clinic room the "signal" is all speech and speech mechanics. When that happens, there is no overt "noise" such as the listener finishing what we try to say. More importantly there is no self-generated noise such as memories of stuttering related consequences, shame, fears, etc.. Similarly, in places of low communicative stress such as when we speak when alone, we turn off those internal "radars" that cause the bad signal-to-noise ratio. In electronics, the engineers fix adverse signal-to-noise ratio by installing filters. High quality stuttering therapy involving desensitization, healing and strengthening would be a good filter. A temporary filter would be so-called fluency shaping which is good as far as it goes, but does not nearly go far enough. Lesser quality filters include all manner of distractors. edfeuer@mts.net

Last changed: 10/25/07