Thursday, June 23, 2011

I am President of Greenhearts Toastmasters Club

I spoke about Toastmasters many times before, and what a great learning environment to face up to your speaking fears and develop public speaking skills. Ideal for the transfer and maintenance phase of an intensive therapy.

I am now President of Greenhearts Luxembourg Toastmasters Club. At first, I declined because I felt it was too much work. ;-) But then I realized that I should do what I fear, am uncomfortable with, or do not have experience of. Being the president of a club of 50 people is definitely a useful experience. On the organisational, behind-the-scenes, and running the committee side, I don't see much problems (so far). Also because my fellow committee members are all reasonable people. ;-) But I am not really a natural presenter when it comes to thanking everyone, being nice to everyone, only mentioning the good side, and so on. I need to talk at each meeting, and report on our activities. That's slightly different to preparing a speech and knowing it by heart.

So I challenge you to join Toastmasters or go into a new experience! What doesn't kill you makes you tough!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Great StutterTalk interview with a mother who did Lidcombe

Great interview by Peter from StutterTalk on a mother's experience with Lidcombe. And how she got promised the gold standard, and she was told how all experts agree. Again the same fallacy. Lidcombe works perfectly, so if it doesn't work, the parents are to be blamed or the treatment has not been done correctly.

Listen from 28:00 onwards for a very powerful report of the mother...

Even though it's a good interview. It's still frustrating to see how the mother struggles to understand the phenomena and commits fallacies, but also Peter's replies and statements on the evidence base on Lidcombe is not exactly correct. But mind you even what Nan Ratner said on StutterTalk was not exactly correct. This is just the trouble of the whole field, the debates are filled with not exactly correct statements.

Outcome trial on Phonation Intervals Program

I want to share with you this information on a big outcome trial founded by the NIH. Roger Ingham told me about the trial several years ago when I visited him in Santa Barbara. The program runs from 2006 to 2012. I don't know much about the Phonation Intervals treatment. He explained it to me, but I forgot. I think it's based on the idea that speech initiation is the core issues and phonation is trained, similar to fluency shaping?
The context for this study is an exhaustive empirical examination of a research-based and computer-managed treatment for adult developmental stuttering known as the Modifying Phonation Intervals (MPI) program. Within that context, the studies described in this proposal will test a number of hypotheses concerning the relationships among several critical factors: stuttering behavior, the neurology of stuttering, the cognitive and affective components of stuttering, stuttering treatment approaches, and the maintenance of stuttering treatment gains. Thus, this proposal simultaneously addresses two overwhelming needs: efficacious stuttering treatments for adults, and the integration of

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mindfulness in stuttering?

Boyle wrote an article on the potential use of mindfulness in the treatment of stuttering. The abstract is well written and the article looks worth reading. I myself have tried out mindfulness but not on a long term basis. The idea is simple: you just sit silently and direct all your attention to a single source of attention: be it breathing, eating a grape, your inner self, or focusing on a visual stimulus. Even five minutes give you a sense of peace. But of course no cure at all for stuttering, but rather gives you the ability to take a step back from daily life, reduce your stress levels, and reflect on your condition. I see mindfulness as a non-pharmaceutical treatment to decrease anxiety and stress in order to start working on stuttering or the psychosocial maladaptations.

Some readers always imply that I am against qualitative research or discussions. That is not the case. However, I do take the view that you either write qualitatively about techniques or experiences, OR you write a serious scientific articles. The mixture of both is usually a disaster.

Here is the abstract:
The use of mindfulness training for increasing psychological well-being in a variety of clinical and nonclinical populations has exploded over the last decade. In the area of stuttering, it has been widely recognized that effective long-term management often necessitates treatment of cognitive and affective dimensions of the disorder in addition to behavioral components. Yet, mindfulness based strategies and their possible usefulness in stuttering management have not been described in detail in the literature. This article seeks to engage professionals who treat stuttering in a conversation about the possible usefulness of incorporating mindfulness training into stuttering management. A review of the literature reveals that there is a substantial overlap between what is required for effective stuttering management and the benefits provided by mindfulness practices. Mindfulness practice results in decreased avoidance, increased emotional regulation, and acceptance in addition to improved sensory-perceptual processing and attentional regulation skills. These skills are important for successful long-term stuttering management on both psychosocial and sensory-motor levels.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Ready to help researchers?

Researchers are always looking for experimental subjects: a resource and time intensive part of being a researcher. In February, I posted a call for volunteers from Deryk Beal: see here. His call is still active, so please if you can get to Boston and you stutter, let him know! Sending me your calls for volunteers or other causes makes sense as TheStutteringBrain reaches out to many worldwide:
Hi Tom

Thank you for posting our call for research subjects on your blog. As a result of your post at least 3 different people who stutter contacted to participate. It may not sound like much, but that is a large number of people considering that your post is free and originates in Luxembourg! One of those people was able to go on to complete both an experiment at MIT and later one at BU. Unfortunately the other two were not able to participate.

We are still actively seeking participants. We have currently recruited 11 PWS who have completed the study, over a 8 month period, but we need approximately 10 more PWS