19-Oct-21 | News

Focus on what I’m trying to say, not how I’m saying it

Showing a guy trying to speak with showing so many alphabets coming out of his mouth

Microlink wants to encourage you to support and celebrate International Stammering Awareness Day with us, on October 22nd 2021. Living with a stammer is often frustrating so, when having a conversation with someone who stammers, it’s important not to interrupt, to try to help the person stay relaxed and most importantly be patient. Visit our website to discover our assistive technology solutions for anyone who has a stammer.

Stammering is a neurological condition that makes it difficult to speak or have a conversation, as it often makes the person feel frustrated and distressed. Someone who stammers may repeat, prolong or ‘get stuck’ on words or sounds.

Thanks to the evolution of technology, there are now lots of apps that can be used to help reduce stammering. Many of these apps use Altered Auditory Feedback (AAF) or Delayed Auditory Feedback (DAF). An example of one of these is DAF Pro. This app allows users to hear their own voice played back to them at a slight delay, which has been found to improve fluency of the speaker and makes their speech clearer to others.

Other types of apps, that don’t primarily use AAF or DAF include BeneTalk, which uses speech tracking technology to monitor the user talking and gives feedback in real time to help make changes to their speech. Another app is Samurai. As well as using DAF, Samurai also helps users practice their reading aloud and gives guided meditation and breathing exercises. Theses can be particularly useful as many popular methods used to control/ reduce stammering involve ensuring the person who has a stammer is relaxed or speaking slowly.

Furthermore, there are 2 main types of devices that can be used to reduce a stammer. Firstly, there is a single component device, such as Speak for Less or SpeechEasy. These fit in or around the ear, similar to a hearing aid and increase users’ ability to communicate effectively and confidently. Similarly to the AAF/DAF apps, these devices alter sounds that go through the device so that users can hear their voice at a slight time delay and at a different pitch.

Lastly, the second type is a multi component device consisting of a box carried in the pocket, plus an earphone. The link from the box to the earphone may be wireless (which makes the device less visible), or through a wire. The choice, between wireless or not, gives the user the opportunity to use whichever they feel more comfortable with. The VA601i Fluency Enhancer (available in the UK) from VoiceAmp is an example of this device, providing wireless or wired options and offering helping hand to achieving stammer-free speech.