Kassel stuttering therapy

A long-term study shows that with the help of the Kassel stuttering therapy, around 70 percent of the participants can speak fluently in the long term. With this therapy, patients gain speech control through new speech patterns. Breathing, voice and articulation train you to speak softly. The therapy, a three-week intensive course, is aimed at young people and adults and is accompanied by a computer program.

learn control

Control is the magic word in all speech therapy for stutterers. In Kassel stuttering therapy, the patients gain speech control through new speech patterns. Breathing, voice and articulation train you to speak softly. At the same time, they learn to break old behavioral patterns: people who stutter avoid situations in which they could stutter. By actively shaping and controlling the statements, they replace the unpleasant experience of failure and helplessness.

After all, the patients should prove their confidence in their new ability to speak in an emergency. For example, after their three-week intensive on-site therapy, they have to ask for directions in the city – a situation that stutterers usually avoid. Parallel to the therapy, the patients check their voice use with a computer learning program.

Lasting success

A long-term study by Professor Harald Euler from the Department of Psychology at the University of Kassel has shown that speech disorders can be remedied with Kassel stuttering therapy, especially in the long term. Around 450 people between the ages of twelve and 65 took part in the study. Over 70 percent of patients can speak more fluently than before. They had to prove their ability to speak in various situations, for example in an interview with a passer-by or when making a phone call.

Before the therapy, those affected stuttered about twelve percent of the spoken syllables, immediately after the therapy they stuttered on average one to two percent of the syllables. In the longer term, the average stuttering rate has leveled off at three to four percent. The three percent limit is considered the limit of inconspicuousness, because even non-stutterers occasionally show speech blockage.

Brain activity altered in stutterers

As several studies have shown, stuttering is probably a neurological defect. In people who stutter throughout their lives, parts of the left hemisphere of the brain may be altered. Doctors at the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf found that connections between brain regions responsible for speech appear to be disrupted in stutterers. The nerve circuits between the centers responsible for planning and executing language in the left hemisphere are defective.

The brain areas that control the correct interaction of the  tongue , the pharynx and the vocal cords therefore react with a delay. In parallel to Professor Euler’s long-term study, the Frankfurt University Clinic, in cooperation with the Kasseler Stuttering Therapy Institute and the University of Kassel, has been examining the brain activity of stutterers and the changes after therapy over the past three years.

Nine clients were examined before the start of therapy and one year and two years later using magnetic resonance imaging, with which activated brain regions are visualized. One result is that the disturbances in the left hemisphere found in stutterers are compensated for by the fact that neighboring brain regions are activated to a greater extent after the therapy. Whether the costs for Kassel stuttering therapy are covered by statutory health insurance depends on the individual case. 

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