I know that many people who stutter have gone through intensive stuttering therapy already. Prolonged Speech or Fluency Shaping programs have been the traditional standard for adult and teenager residential or intensive stuttering treatments.
I attended such a program myself many years ago. After I graduated from the Stutter-Free Speech Program developed by Dr. George Shames, I came back to California and treated hundreds of mild to severe people who stutter with this prolonged speech program.
The treatment is called prolonged speech because it always starts out with a very slow speaking rate – usually about 2 seconds per syllable. We know that people don’t stuttering at that rate but it sounds very unnatural. That’s why the rate is gradually changed to faster rates in several steps until it is about a normal rate. When the person can produce stutter-free speech at this rate using target speech behaviors like continuous phonation and rate control, they then return to their home environment to try to use the the speech they learned out in the real world.
Most important, after establishing stutter-free speech in the clinic, is the transfer of your new speech behaviors into real world speaking situations. This is where most stuttering treatments and most people who enroll in these programs have a problem. The transfer or followup in the real world must be carefully managed by an experienced stuttering specialist clinician. Nobody can produce their new stutter-free speech all day long right after the intensive learning period. They must gradually insert this new speech into their speaking environment a little bit at a time. They also must evaluate how they are doing so that they can become stronger in their new speech abilities.
The Power Stuttering Center monitors transfer with weekly phone calls. We go over how the client did the previous week and set goals for the next week. We do this for as long as it takes, probably six months to one year until you are speaking with whomever you want all day long.
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