How this course differs from traditional fluency-shaping courses

 

Traditional fluency-shaping programs attempt to make you responsible for consciously controlling all the small details of synchronizing movements of the speech articulator muscles. That’s not really feasible. That’s the brain’s job. The brain is designed by nature to take care of these details automatically. Plus, if you are constantly concentrating on the muscle movements, it’s difficult to think about what you want to say. Traditional fluency-shaping courses, by focusing on muscle movement of the external articulators, inadvertently get it half right.

The important thing is not the external muscle movements, though, but the brain pathways that output the signals which activate these muscles for speech production. There’s nothing wrong with your muscle movement function. What is wrong is the way the brain processes and outputs the signals to the muscles. The plan for motor output of words occurs in the brain, which then directs the articulator muscles to move in the proper way to form the words vocally. The synchronization and coordination between the neural and muscular systems has to be exquisitely timed. The flaw that causes stuttering somehow disrupts this process.

The Home Course exercises are designed to repattern brain speech circuits from the ground up using the principles of frequency, duration, and intensity in a systematic, sequential way, over and over again.

Because the neural pathways for speech function (and stuttered speech dysfunction) appear to have a more fundamental basis than classically learned skills such as golf, tennis, and typing, it takes an exaggerated, extreme form of “practice” using neuropatterning techniques to change them. In other words, it takes concentrated effort to bypass the old dysfluent neural speech ruts and dig new, fluent ones.

Traditional fluency-shaping courses focus on using word sounds only to teach proper muscle movements. This course goes a step further by using word sounds to create new, fluent speech output pathways in the brain.

By knowing that our target is the brain, we can drop much of the unneeded techniques of the fluency courses and add neuropatterning techniques to work on the brain more effectively.

Unlike fluency courses, this course recognizes the importance of using a systematic way of combining first and second word sounds in a sequential manner. The 50 or so speech sounds that make up all words are combined in specific ways.

There’s no need for the nearly impossible task of monitoring “target behaviors”–as traditional fluency-shaping programs require–during everyday conversational speech. With the Home Course, you use the techniques only during the repatterning sessions, then, in everyday speech, you let your brain do what it does best–take care of the myriad details of proper articulator muscle movements for speech. The only techniques you’ll try to be aware of and use in everyday speech, until you reach a certain level of fluency, are proper breathing, easy onset, and slowing speech down a bit if your natural speech rate is too fast.

In a nutshell, you equip your brain with the tools for fluent speech and then let it do its thing.