Archive for March, 2009

Comparing self- and externally-generated speech feedback

I’m glad someone finally got around to this one.  Tim completes a study comparing the fluency enhancement resulting from self-generated speech feedback (i.e., altered auditory feedback) and externally-generated speech feedback (i.e., choral speech).  Intuitively, since the stutterer has to initiate their own speech w/ AAF, it shouldn’t work as well.  But the person who stutters stutterer gets to ‘follow’ an externally generated speech signal, which better bypasses the stuttered neural problem (i.e. gestural initiation).  I’ve yet to read the article, and I’m curious as to how they quantified “moments of stuttering”, especially given Kalinowski’s paper on sub-perceptual stuttering.  In any event, these guys are good and I tend to believe they did this right.

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More on Old People who Stutter

March 19th, 2009 4 comments

More on Old People who Stutter StutterersTom is likely unconscious at this point, due to repetitive blows (i.e., head banging) against the wall.  Somewhat inexplicably, this qualitative / survey study got published w/ a whopping n of 11.  No external validity problems there!  And, as always, internal validity plagues qualitative survey-style “research” for any number of reasons.

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Episode 36 of the Stuttering.Me micropodcast is up…

March 19th, 2009 2 comments

Episode 36 is up.  On Eleanor Roosevelt, First of Seven Habits of Highly Successful Stutterers, and Forgiveness…

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An only slightly less than blatant snake-oil cure…

I should really stop posting the snake-oil links, but this one amuses me. Russian (?) stuttering “research” amuses me.  And that’s what it’s all about tonight–self amusement.

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Indecipherable research on old people who stutter…

Indecipherable research on old people who stutter stutterers.  A most useless link on OPWS; the sole purpose of the posting is to draw attention to the new person-first term: Old People who Stutter stutterers.  This is me, amusing myself.

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Cargo Cult Science: The Lidcombe Program

March 15th, 2009 3 comments

The Lidcombe Program is a great example of Cargo Cult Science, as it tries to follow the process of science, without adhering to the fundamental components of preserving internal validity.  (Internal validity is the knowledge and confidence that you are really controlling what you think you are controlling and measuring what you think you are measuring.)  They’re known for making some pretty incredible claims of success, which haven’t been replicated by those outside of their immediate research group.  Another tell-tale sign of it’s cargo-cult status is how they handle failure–which is to blame somebody (rather than admit that the ‘science’ or treatment is flawed).  But I’ve got to give it to them, rather than blaming the stuttering client (which is almost inherent with traditional fluency shaping), they blame the parents.

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Yet another hysterical title for a (stuttering) blog entry

March 15th, 2009 2 comments

Update: It suddenly dawned on me that each time I link to this (insert the word of your choice here), his page rank goes higher.  As a result, all links to him have been removed; and no more posts about him in the future…

While I’m not sure, nor do I really care to find out, it looks like repeat offender snake-oil vendor…he who tries to profit off of the ignorance and the desperate hope of others…posted yet another bogus article entitled “Good Ways Of Communication With Stuttering Victims.”  So, tell us how you really feel, Steve?  I’d say your views on stuttering victimhood seem commensurate with the way that you’re currently trying to take advantage of them…  To My Stuttering Peoples: Victimhood is optional.

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A great post by an overtly mild & likely covert PWS

March 15th, 2009 6 comments

Ran across this post today, and it’s really a great entry.  She describes her stuttering experience in a very real way; I also love the way she describes how she has learned to manage stuttering moments–which is essentially a Van-Riperian Slide-Out.  In any event, it sounds as if stuttering does not stop her one bit!  Fascinating, and definately worth your time…

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On Semi-Serious Stuttering Research…

Tom posted a commentary about stuttering and science.  Pretty interesting post actually, as the (original) questioner (to which Tom replies) was in need of some clarification.  In any event, I got labeled as a semi-serious stuttering researcher–which I honestly find quite a bit of good humor in.  So let’s delve into that a bit…

First off, I am semi-serious.  To be absolutely honest, I value my relationship with God, my wife and my two daughters much more than I value my profession.  If I wanted to be a serious researcher, I would have found a post-doc in neurophys and then pharmaceuticals, and then sought out a position at a real R1 university.  But post-docs have awful hours and pay, and I owed it to my wife to begin earning a career.  Further, I’ve never met a happy alpha-researcher.  And further, I honestly don’t see any (stuttering) paradigmatic revolutions in the near future, as we (i.e., humanity) doesn’t even have a clue as to how to conceive of the phenomenon.  Even the top (or most “serious”) ‘researchers’ in the field continue to see it as a speech pathology, and most view it as a behavior.  Fail on both accounts.

In short, we cannot measure what we do not recognize.  And I am utterly confident that we are not recognizing the stuttering phenomenon for what it is.  As a result, stuttering research is really nothing more than cargo-cult science.  Consequently, this allows me to focus on the now–the personal empowerment of the stuttering community–as a means of improving the Quality of Life in people who stutter stutterers.

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Prejudicial pseudoscience even from within our own…

March 13th, 2009 9 comments

Ran across this post today.  Apparently, researchers think they can selectively remove specific fearful memories in rats–so theoretically they could do the same thing in people. Now-I’m not sure how one could know that: (a) fearful rat memories are being removed, and (b) these memories are being removed without side effects–so right there, I’ve got a few internal validity questions.  But what I do not understand is that a (stuttering SLP) blogger writes that this technology’s “application for stuttering is obvious“.

No, I’m not getting it.  Just exactly how is removing bad memories an obvious application to stuttering?  This perspective assumes that stuttering is psychological in origin, and if I can “forget” something traumatic in my life that causes stuttering (or at least distract me from it), then I’ll be fluent?  Or that it will help me?  That a traumatic life event is the cause of persistent developmental stuttering?  *smacks forehead*

When is enough, enough?  When do we give up on bad ideas?  Is some 70+ years enough?  The author of the blog is a legitimate nice guy, and I’m confident he’s a good therapist; but how on earth are we to make significant improvements in our scientific or clinical understanding of stuttering when we’re still on the 1930s playbook?  It would be insane to expect different or better results from the same tired actions or perspectives.  It’s time for a paradigm change…

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