Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Severe stutterer and AAF

Wow, he stutters quite severely. I have been recorded once that comes pretty close, but the next moment I was nearly fluent...

Regarding AAF (Altered Auditory Feedback), I am quite skeptical for the long-term effectiveness. I saw a presentation in Dublin about a preliminary study but I was not very convinced.

I wonder whether we can do the same with IVF (Instantaneous Visual Feedback i.e. speaking while looking at yourself in the mirror)?!


Unknown said...

Tom, I saw this video today as well and it was very sobering, to say the least. I can't imagine what his childhood must have been like.

For myself, I have Garageband on my MacBook and it has a feature where you can hear yourself through the headphones with both delayed audio feedback and frequency modification...almost like the SpeechEasy...and using it, I am 99% fluent. I was amazed.

Like you, I am interested in knowing about the long-term effectiveness...though, one article I read said that no noticeable diminishing effect was noticed after some amount of time...can't remember which.

I do know that this device has become very popular with the American media, particularly the talk-show circuit. You can see videos of people's lives have been changed on such shows as Good Morning America and The Oprah Winfrey Show.

No doubt, such coverage is due to Janus' (manufacturer) own PR work. :)

Unfortunately, I can't afford this device...$4000 is just way too much.

Anonymous said...

My stutter was very different then his, but I was more severe when I was a teenager.

These programs usually make me angry. They rarely mention long term success and only show the magical short term fluency. I have seen too many people spend the 5K only to lose their fluency a couple of months afterward. I do know one person who had success long term, but he wore his device only in special situations.

Jerome said...

Very interesting video.

I stuttered as hard as he did, sometimes it was even worse. I grimaced a lot more and sometimes totally blocked and couldn't get a single syllable out. During a therapy it got filmed (and a 'after'-version without the stuttering as well but that didn't last outside the therapy at the time ...) as well. Still can't really watch it (besides I've got no VCR anymore, lol).

Back to the video: $4000 is a hefty price ... I'm glad there are other ways too. But the effect is obiously spectacular (as are other before-after videos).

Unknown said...

I recommend that anyone who is interested...hold off on purchasing it and use the online versions you can download and use with headphones...use it as much as you can in front of your computer...maybe for a year's time...and see if any diminishing effect occurs. I agree that spending upwards of $4000 is not wise if you have no guarantee of long-term success.

I looked into getting one here in San Diego and the two places that offer it also charge you an assessment fee of over $300 just to see if it will work for you.

I believe that Janus is using gouging techniques...cornering the market, and capitalizing on the public's desperation for something that works. I hate big corporations for that.

Jerome said...

Law Student: Even though I think there are other, better ways to overcome stuttering I'm curious, where are these online versions?

Devices like those are a crutch in my view but they may help to build your confidence which in turn can help you to get more fluent without it. Step by step of course.

JZ said...

There are researches using delayed visual feedback, and reported positive result to stuttering, but not as strong as auditory feedback.

Unknown said...

As far as online versions, you can do a search on them and find is one that offers a free trial:

I achieve mine using GarageBand on my MacBook. I'll see if I can dig up some links later.

Using it on your computer is really only for testing purposes...I can't live with my computer in my lap. But, having a portable one, while certainly being a crutch, is no different, IMHO, as having a crutch if you need one for a broken leg...or using a hearing aid if you can't hear well.

I can't speak I need this device to alleviate my dysfluency.

AAAlbert, I find nothing online about visual feedback devices for treating stuttering...I can't imagine how this would treat stuttering. Can you elaborate more on that?

JZ said...

Law Student, the study on delayed visual feedback was done by Vikram Dayalu on his doctoral dissertation in East Carolina University. I guess you might purchase it from some online database if you need it. Anyway, he used a pipeline (mfd by primeimage) to produce delayed visual feedback alone, delayed auditory feedback alone, and combined condition. I could not remember clearly about the result, except that the DAF condition is much more powerful than DVF. The explanation, according to my mentor, Dr. Kalinowski, is that speech is a series of gestures that may be regulated by mirror neurons, and studies have shown that when hearing speech sound or seeing gestures, that area of brain will be fired.