What is Freedom to Speak?
Freedom to Speak is a specialized speech therapy practice, designed specifically for people with disorders of fluency; most commonly, stuttering and cluttering.
What is Stuttering?
Stuttering is a serious, debilitating communication disorder. It remains one of the most misunderstood disorders in the world. Stuttering may be defined as an interruption in the forward flow of speech. These interruptions are the characteristics of what we label stuttering and include:
- Blocks - A total stoppage of sound
- Prolongations - A tense, continuation of a sound (ssssssssstop)
- Sound and Part-Word Repetitions - Repeating a single or group of sounds (y-y-y-y-y-you, be-be-be-be-because)
Other types of interruptions may be labeled disfluencies/nonfluencies/dysfluencies. The quantity of these disruptions may be just as destructive to the communication act as "true stuttering" behaviors listed above. These disfluency types include:
- Word Repetitions - Repeating a word (The-The-The)
- Interjections/Fillers - Words and sounds used to avoid the possibility or inevitability of stuttering, to stall for time or avoid having to speak at all (um, uh, like, well, cause, etc)
- Hesitations - Unusual and arrhythmic pauses within the speech pattern
- Phrase Repetitions - Repeating a phrase (I want-I want-I want).
What is Cluttering?
Cluttering is similar to stuttering, but different. Cluttering is characterized by abnormally high rates of speech and irregular rhythm. Presented are "typical types" of interruptions such as; word repetitions, phrase repetitions, interjections and hesitations. Cluttering is often labeled a language disorder because, those who do it may leave out parts of words or say only parts of sentences which may be disordered with regard to syntax, grammar and semantics. This often leaves speech unintelligible and confusing. Other learning problems often accompany cluttering. Stuttering and Cluttering may exist simultaneously.
People who stutter/clutter:
- Are as intelligent as other people
- Are as mentally stable as others
- Do not want to stutter
- Are of various cultural and ethnic backgrounds
- Were born with the predisposition to do so
Theories about the origin of stuttering abound and have been documented since Egyptian times. Scientists are convinced; that stuttering stems from genetic, neurophysiological differences in the brain. Scientists are identifying gene mutations which result in abnormal speech motor production. In addition, improved technology has allowed identification of structural as well as chemical brain differences. These differences, when influenced by other variables including environment, personality and cognitive traits, produce the characteristics we commonly term stuttering.
People who stutter experience the problem differently from one another. Although commonalities exist, not one person experiences this disorder in the same fashion as another.
Who operates Freedom to Speak?
- Owns and operates: Freedom to Speak, her private practice, exclusively treating, children, adolescents and adults who stutter
- Holds a Master’s of Arts Degree in Speech/Language Pathology (1984)
- Is licensed in the states of Florida and New York
- Is Board Recognized as a Fluency Specialist
- Serves on IFA Committee 2013
- Member of ASHA Convention 2012 Program Committee
- Served on the Steering Committe for Special Interest Group4; Fluency and Fluency Disorders (2009-2012)
- Served on the Specialty Board for Fluency Disorders (04-07)
- Chaired the Task Force on Schools (05-08) for Special Interest Division 4; Fluency and Fluency Disorders
- Speaks nationally and internationally on the topic of fluency disorders
- Mentors others in becoming Board Recognized as a Fluency Specialist
- Has focused her career on treating people who stutter for 31 years
- Worked in the public schools for 18 years
- Serves as an adjunct professor, teaching the graduate course on Fluency Disorders
- Is committed to improving the lives of people who stutter sharing her experience, knowledge, and clinical proficiency with those who stutter, their families and other professionals wishing to acquire further knowledge in the field of fluency disorders.