The Use of Altered Speech Feedback in Stuttering Management

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Re: perceptions

From: Greg
Date: 10/15/02
Time: 8:40:25 PM
Remote Name:


Hey Judy,

So is that a target painted on my chest? ;-) In all seriousness, I was expecting quite a bit of flaming – and to date, there’s been none. And to be honest, this surprises me.

If we take the Kuhnian perspective of scientific evolution, it makes every bit of sense that a certain percentage of established professionals from within the SLP community would hold a negative prejudice regarding prosthetic stuttering management.

What’s always interested me is how other professionals respond to the idea of prosthetic management. Certainly, they can’t argue with the present data – although some have tried. Others may cite that the speech feedback phenomenon “adapts”, although I’ve not seen any data that has suggested as such. I’ve talked to other professionals in the field that suggest that prosthetic stuttering management would inhibit the acceptance of stuttering, and therefore should be avoided. While this may or may not be true, it astounded me that one might make such a personal value-based judgment for another – especially since it hasn’t even been tested. (Furthermore, I’m not entirely sold on the notion that quality of life and stuttering frequency are directly correlated.) Other professionals have told me that they didn’t like the idea of a prosthetic device because it was a “quick-fix” or a “crutch.” While I can almost understand their perspective – in the end, I really have to (personally) disagree with it. I use appliances (i.e., quick-fixes and crutches) _all_the_time_. My dishwasher saves me time and personal-energy. I can’t imagine living without a clothes washer and dryer. And with the advent of the internet and broadband, the idea of physically traveling to the library to get an article seems archaic. Granted I _could_ do all of the above the old-fashioned-way, but I don’t have to; technology is a good thing. Technology, through inconspicuous and wearable prosthetic stuttering management, is offering people who stutter with new management choices – and to me, new (and more) choices is a good thing.

I have also had professionals tell me that they didn’t agree with how certain prosthetic devices have been advertised. To be honest, I haven’t even seen these advertisements – so I can’t really comment.

So, to be honest, I’m not entirely sure why professionals would hold negative prejudices against prosthetic stuttering management right out of the box. Maybe it could be differing personal and/or professional values, differing etiological perspective, or perhaps even self-preservation – but until there’s actual data, I think it’s best to simply inform those wishing to try-out prosthetic management that they are “early adopters” and that the long-term effects are currently unknown.

When I was preparing the manuscript, it really struck me that the choice of prosthetic stuttering management is a personal decision. Since there isn’t a definitive stuttering management, any dogma surrounding any particular treatment is pretty senseless. My personal view on prosthetic stuttering management is that it should be a client’s personal decision, based on their treatment goals, values, and our best interpretation of the existing data.

My two cents *plink plink*

Last changed: September 12, 2005