|About the presenter: Joseph Donaher MA., CCC/SLP is the Program Coordinator of the Stuttering Program at the Center for Childhood Communication at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.|
Evidence based practice dictates that clinicians routinely monitor and evaluate progress in their clients. Progress can be defined as making improvements towards specific goals. In stuttering therapy, these advancements can be found in the affective, behavioral and cognitive realms. Thus, clinicians routinely seek novel tools to assist them in tracking changes in all domains.
Researchers frequently videotape an interaction, transcribe the sample, code disfluencies and then analyze the data in an effort to track behavioral changes. This method has been highly effective and is utilized for the majority of research projects requiring a comprehensive, micro-analysis of stuttering behaviors. However, clinicians often report that these methods are not practical for the clinical setting due to time limitations, lack of equipment and minimal training opportunities.
In an effort to meet the needs of clinicians, ³real-time² techniques were created for rapid analysis of stuttering behaviors. These methods can reliably measure the number and types of disfluencies (Yaruss, Max, Newman, & Campbell, 1998; Yaruss, 1998). Basically, these techniques have the clinician listen to a speech sample while coding each word or syllable as fluent or disfluent. Fluent syllables are marked with a neutral dash while disfluencies are marked with an abbreviation indicating the specific type of behavior. In this way, the clinician can rapidly and reliably calculate overall frequency of stuttering behaviors, and proportional frequency for specific types of disfluency (Yaruss, Max, Newman, & Campbell, 1998; Yaruss, 1998).
The CHOPPER Fluency Meter was developed at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to provide qualitative and quantitative measurements of the speech skills of individuals who stutter. The program is free and can be easily downloaded to any PDA using the Palm OS technology. Using the CHOPPER Fluency Meter, speech language pathologists can quickly and accurately calculate data including: overall frequency of stuttering behaviors, proportional frequency for specific types of disfluency, durational measurements, secondary stuttering behaviors and rate of speech.
Below you will find a detailed description of how the program works. However, there is a great deal of flexibility built into the program to allow clinicians to adapt the program for their individual needs. If, after using the program, you have any suggestions or ideas on improving the system, please contact the author.
After you stop the calculation process, hit the Results box to display the results. There you will see the rate of speech listed as Rate. This was calculated by dividing the time by the number of syllables counted. You will also see a breakdown for each type of disfluency listed by count number and by percentage of overall disfluency.
Secondary Behavior Mode
Note: You can flip between each mode without loosing calculations. The system stores the results from the last session until they are erased or that mode is reactivated.
Yaruss, S., Max, M., Newman, R., and Campbell, J., (1998). Comparing Real-Time and Transcription Techniques for Measuring Stuttering. JOURNAL OF FLUENCY DISORDERS, 2, 137-151.
Yaruss, J.S., (1998). Real-Time Analysis of Speech Fluency: Procedures and Reliability Training. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY, 7, 2, 25-37.
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