The mysteries of speech unravelled

A short week last week because of the bank holiday, but two new participants came on board and we connected (more or less!) successfully. With one of the sessions, the audio and video were out of sync, which was a bit disconcerting, but we still managed to have a a great first session. Still not convinced we are using the best software, but the therapy seems to be going well!

Today saw the first of our follow-up appointments – it’s always lovely to see people back again and inspiring to hear their accounts of bravely talking with other people about their stammer and coming for speech therapy. I often find that when people start to talk about their stammer, they are surprised that the reactions of others are not what they imagined at all.

In our sessions today, we went through the mechanics of speech, a process that most of us completely take for granted. This is something I often like to do early on in the therapy process, and people are generally amazed at what needs to happen in order for us to speak. Did you know, for example, that when we speak, our brain is having to coordinate the movement of over a hundred individual muscles, using millisecond timing? Demystifying these processes and helping individuals to relate them to their own experience of stammering seems to be a helpful thing for most people who stammer. It’s certainly a nice moment when somebody says, as happened today, ‘I can’t wait to go away and try this out!’

If you want to know more about speech production, the university of Iowa has developed a great app called Sounds of Speech, which uses animations to show how the different speech sounds are formed – click here for the link.







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