Helping Clients Regulate Speech Rate

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Re: "Mastery" of Level

From: Ken Logan
Date: 22 Apr 2010
Time: 13:41:44 -0500
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Hi Nicole, That's a great question, and probably a very good topic for somebody's thesis or dissertation. I've used articulation rate management much more with people who stutter, and in that population, the newly learned rates seldom seem to become automatic in the sense that, say, learning to drive a stick-shift car eventually does. That is, the speaker may need to expend some energy (mental resources) on monitoring speech production even after many hours of practicing. Some of the old fluency shaping programs (e.g., Shames & Florence, 1980) set time- + fluency-based criteria (e.g., 30 minutes of continuous talking at __ syllables per second with little or no stuttering)as evidence of sufficient mastery. Once that was met, the client could move on to the next rate. But I don't know that anyone has ever really examined if, say, 20 minutes of meeting criteria is just as good as 30 minutes. As with most things in life, more practice is probably better than less, as it makes it more likely that you will be able to use the new skill (rather than reverting to previous patterns) in "real-world, time-pressure situations". Now...all of the above is about stuttering...there has been little research on these issues with cluttering (at least to my knowledge)...but I think the stuttering criteria would be a good place to start in work with cluttering. Another variable to consider is naturalness...the client should practice until the new speech pattern sounds natural to others and feels relatively natural to the speaker. If the latter two goals aren't met, then I think it's less likely the speaker who clutters will want to use the technique when it really matters to them.

Last changed: 05/06/10