Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stuttering Therapy App Launches After a Year of Clinical Testing

/PRNewswire/ -- Following a year of clinical trials, Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI – www.stuttering.org), a non-profit center for stuttering research and treatment, has introduced a sophisticated stuttering therapy application that runs on iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch devices. Featuring proprietary voice monitoring technology, the app serves as a fluency training and home-practice tool for HCRI therapy program participants.

The new app evaluates, scores, and provides immediate feedback on physical speech behaviors taught during HCRI's 12-day stuttering treatment program. During the program, participants learn how to replace faulty muscle contractions that cause stuttering with new muscle behaviors that generate fluent speech.

When therapy participants use the app in daily situations, such as a visit to a shopping mall or in a business setting, fluency measurements for each utterance are displayed in real time on the device screen. Having this data immediately available makes speech practice more effective and enhances long-term fluency outcomes. The net effect is that the user becomes more aware of what he or she is doing in order to become and remain a fluent speaker.

In addition, the app records every speech sample as an on-board file for later transmission to HCRI. This information enables the Institute's therapists to provide more detailed and precise feedback to clients, as they learn to apply new speech skills in everyday situations.

"We developed the stuttering therapy app to help program participants more easily transfer skills learned in the clinical setting to real world environments," said HCRI Founder and President Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D. "Along with being an excellent tool in the context of therapy, the app helps clients stay on track with their new fluency capabilities once they return home."

During the testing period, the application was only used during HCRI therapy so it could be closely monitored for effectiveness, accuracy, and user appeal. With the release, program participants continue to use the app in therapy and also have it installed on their devices for home-practice purposes. Former HCRI therapy participants can get the iPhone/ iPad/ iPod Touch app by emailing app@stuttering.org for downloading times and instructions.

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