Similar to popular anti-stuttering devices such as SpeechEasy, FluencyCoach features two types of altered auditory feedback (AAF): Delayed Auditory Feedback (DAF) and Frequency Altered Feedback (FAF). Both types of AAF essentially simulate the effect of “choral speech”, (speaking or reading simultaneously with another person) known for years to promote fluency in individuals who stutter, as well as some people who suffer from Parkinson's Disease.
An important concept to keep in mind while working on your fluency is the idea of “constant voicing.” Usually, people who stutter have the greatest difficulty with the starting and stopping of speech. When a fluent person is speaking, their words tend to run together to create a continuous flow. If you can grasp the concept of running your words together, or linking them, to create a smooth, constant voice, you may have a greater capacity to optimize and maintain the choral speech signal generated by FluencyCoach.
If you are familiar with therapy techniques such as gentle onsets and/or prolongations, you may want to employ those as you use this software. Keep in mind that if you do not see immediate effects that does not necessarily mean that AAF does not work for you. Instead, you may want to consult with a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) regarding your stuttering in general and how FluencyCoach can work with various fluency strategies.
An SLP can teach you techniques you can use with or without FluencyCoach that may help alleviate your stuttering. In addition, if you find an SLP with experience using DAF and FAF in therapy, then they may be able to help you better target where your optimal settings are.
FluencyCoach features Delayed Auditory Feedback range of 25 to 225 milliseconds in 10 millisecond increment steps allowing for client's gradual transition from slow speech targets to normal speech rate. The wide range of DAF also allows you to use shorter delays than any other solution currently available—an essential quality for therapies and treatment protocols that do not include slow speech rate targets, but rather focus on phonation or desensitization.
The application provides Frequency Altered Feedback, range of one–half octave down to one–half octave up. At 0 mark, the FAF is disabled.
The Altered Auditory Feedback buttons turn the AAF on and off. This functionality is particularly useful when you need to record natural speech unaffected by DAF and FAF using Recording and Playback functionality for self–evaluation purposes. Auto Start feature, when activated, will automatically start the sound playback when you launch the application. The application will start with Volume, FAF and DAF settings configured during previous session.
Recording and Playback feature allows you to record your speech and save it to a file which you can play back directly from FluencyCoach or from your default audio player. This is particularly useful for the self–evaluation component of speech therapy or for transcription of your speech in order to identify particular words, syllables or sounds which give you the most problems and to compose word lists for reading practice on the basis of the transcription. Your recorded speech can also be useful to an SLP when planning your therapy and to track your progress.
Auto Save feature, enabled by default, automatically saves DAF and FAF settings when the application is closed and restores them when restarted.