The treatment of stuttering for individuals who find it difficult to initiate speech, known as silent block, remains a challenge to the stuttering community. External initiation of particular sounds can overcome the block. The web based tool, Tandem Talk, delivers exogenous vowel/sounds combinations to the user and reduces or eliminates the effect of silent block.
Dr. Joseph Kalinowski, Dr. Andrew Stuart and Dr. Michael Rastatter of East Carolina University’s Department of Communications Sciences and Disorders in the School of Allied Health Sciences are pioneers in the world of speech communication for individuals who stutter. Although numerous products exist to help individuals reduce stuttering, none help to overcome the “silent block” that prevents many individuals from initiating speech. The research group found that by providing individuals with single vowels or vowel combinations, this “ silent block” is reduced and an individual could can speech. The technology is currently in the form of a web app and features an easy-to-use keypad that allows users to select over nine different vowel combinations.
Kalinowski, J., Dayalu, V. N., Stuart, A., Rastatter, M. P., & Rami, M. K. (2000). Stutter-free and stutter-filled speech signals and their role in stuttering amelioration for English speaking adults. Neuroscience Letters, 293(2), 115-118.