COMPONENT 4. CONTROLLING SPEAKING RATE Rationale: Use of a slowed-speaking rate enhances the spacing and timing of articulatory movement as well as the coordination and integration of respiratory, phonatory and articulatory systems necessary for the production of fluent speech. Research: Conture (1990) - agrees that changes in speech production behaviors which are conductive at modifying the client's physical tension and rates of production appropriate for their age should be incorporated into the treatment plans for children who stutter. Gregory and Hill (1980) - recommend the use of a slower rate with easy initiations and smooth movements through the utterance may facilitate fluency development. Meyers and Woodford (1992) - incorporate the rule of "slow versus fast" in their fluency development program. Stressing the importance of conceptually-based therapy activities, children learn to experience "slow versus fast" through motor, language, reading, and speech activities. Perkins (1986) -stated that a reduced rate of speaking facilitated the coordination of phonation with articulation while maintaining normal prosody. Perkins advocated rate reduction by use of a prolongation tactic. Shine (1980) - discussed how reduced rate and intensity serve to modify physiologic and aerodynamic speaking variables which are compatible with fluency and incompatible with stuttering. Wall and Meyers (1984) - "Our experience is that the slow, normal rate of speech - perhaps incurring a simplification of motor timing - usually reduces the number of repetitions and prolongation of speech sounds." Wall and Meyers (1984) - "The slower rate of speech is thought to give the child more time to make the complex, physiological adjustments required to synchronize the movements of the vocal tract." Activities/Techniques: 1. Introduce the concept of a reduced, controlled speaking rate by attaching a meaningful name to it. "Turtle talk" and "slow, easy speech" are popular names. "Slowed rate" and "slowed speech" are more appropriate for the older client. 2. The clinician provides frequent models of reduced speaking rate. Emphasis is placed on smooth articulatory transitions, slightly prolonged consonants and vowels, and natural sounding intonation and stress patterns. 3. The clinician can incorporate natural, language-based activities which allow the client to experience fast and slow through body movements, singing, coloring, writing, etc. Compiling a photo/picture album of fast and slow animals, and then imitating their body movements can be a fun learning experience for the young child. 4. Playing "Traffic Cop" with young children is another way of demonstrating the consequences of "going fast" (both in the car and in one's speech). The child can issue the people in his environment tickets when they "speed in their speech", thus incorporation the home environment in the therapy process. 5. A delayed auditory feedback (DAF) can be used to facilitate a slowed rate of speech. The client may begin at a very slow rate and gradually increase to a level reasonable for fluency. The DAF is gradually faded and the slow rate is transferred to spontaneous speech. 6. Gestural cueing may be used during structured and unstructured activities to facilitate increased awareness and control over rate.