We happen to have a massive toolbox of evidence-based strategies that we can use to help our students who stutter become more fluent. Every student is different, and part of therapy is exploring the different fluency techniques and seeing what the student prefers and/or what helps the most. A student may only need one technique, or a student may benefit from multiple techniques. A technique may work for a day, or it may work for years.
That said, it is unlikely that any one of these techniques will decrease stuttering by 100%. That’s why we talked about how to set the foundation for stuttering therapy last week.
Here’s an example of how I would teach the “Cancellation” technique.
Introduce the Technique (What Is it?)
A cancellation is a stuttering modification strategy that is used after a disfluency occurs. It helps the student produces a less tense disfluency.
How Will It Help?
Many times, people who stutter will ratchet up a lot of tension in their mouths and throats as they try to wrestle their words out. The Cancellation Technique allows people who stutter to “let out” that tension and say their desired word more fluently.
Demonstration of the Cancellation Technique
• Being aware of and identifying when you’re in a moment of stuttering.
• Being able to release tension in certain parts of the body.
How Do I Do It?
1. Once you’ve started stuttering on a word you want to say, stop. Pause.
2. Bring your attention to where the stuttering is happening in your mouth or throat and become aware of the tension built up there.
3. Consciously release the tension. (Practice learning how to release tension in your body with the Progressive Muscle Relaxation Technique).
4. Then, say the word again, strrrrretching out the sound you stuttered on now with less tension and keep on speaking.
Check out a quick video demo below:
Want more of these techniques (including handouts and practice sheets)?
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