Stuttering is a disorder which causes non fluent speaking, as yet the causes of which are unknown. Since the origin of the disorder is unidentified, proper medication has not yet been formulated to relieve the condition. But anti-stuttering devices have been introduced into the market for this purpose. These devices help the sufferers to speak fluently while using the device.
Though the use of treatment can totally eliminate the problem, it is only effective with children and young adults. These devices are mostly used by adults with the stuttering problem as there are no other effective ways for them to get rid of the problem. These anti-stuttering devices work for the stutterer as long as they are in use and cease to reduce stuttering when removed.
These devices also known as electronic fluency devices help sufferers to speak fluently by using the theory of altered auditory feedback. According to this, it is assumed that a stutterer's fluency improves if his own voice is heard while speaking. The control over breathing and phonation is determined by the anti-stuttering devices using computer technology. Anti-stuttering devices are similar in size to hearing aids and are also used in a similar fashion.
The anti-stuttering devices have been based on three types of altered auditory feedback namely delayed auditory feedback, masking auditory feedback and frequency shifted auditory feedback. The basic concepts on which these devices work are to make the stutterer listen to his own voice during his speech. The feedback is said to be heard as an echo or a chorus and this stimulates the stutterer to speak fluently. While the delayed type of feedback delays the speech by one second before it reaches the stutterer, the frequency type varies the pitch. Of the three types on which the devices are based, the delayed type is said to be the most effective.
The effectiveness of the use of these anti-stuttering devices is highly arguable with a success rate varying from 40% to 80%. Though some of these devices claim that the use of them would gradually reduce and eventually remove stuttering, that is far from the truth. Not all who use these devices are benefited from it and it sometimes even causes side effects in certain stutterers. But these anti-stuttering devices have been very useful to stutterers as it provides at least some temporary relief to the stutterers.
Hope this information can helps sufferers.