What is SpeechEasy?
SpeechEasy is a small and inconspicuous fluency-enhancing device for people who stutter. It is a fully portable prosthetic device that is worn in or behind one of the client’s ears.
How does it work?
For years, it has been known that when people who stutter speak the same material in unison with another speaker, they become more fluent. This is known as the ‘Choral Speech Effect’. With SpeechEasy, this effect is achieved through a combination of Delayed Auditory Feedback (DAF) and Frequency Altered Feedback (FAF). Using DAF allows the client to hear his or her own voice with a slight delay, similar to an echo. FAF allows the client to hear his or her own voice with a shift in the pitch. The combination of DAF and FAF is referred to as Altered Auditory Feedback (AAF). The brain perceives this AAF as someone different speaking along with the person who stutters therefore creating the Choral Speech Effect.
How long has SpeechEasy been around?
The first SpeechEasy prototypes were received in April 2001. Sales of SpeechEasy began in June 2001. Currently there are over 15,000 clients worldwide.
What shell styles of SpeechEasy are available?
SpeechEasy comes in four shell styles. The Behind-The-Ear (BTE), In-The-Canal (ITC), Completely-in-the-Canal (CIC) and the Comfort Fit (CF). There are different advantages associated with each shell style. The client and the SpeechEasy Provider will discuss the options during the evaluation and determine which style is most appropriate. The size and shape of your ear and ear canal may also play a part in determining the best style for you.
How is SpeechEasy programmed?
Our trained Providers program SpeechEasy by using a computer and special programming software. DAF, FAF and volume can be programmed for each individual’s needs.
How effective is SpeechEasy?
Empirical data collected from thousands of clients shows that the vast majority of those who have tried the device have shown a marked improvement in their fluency level. This level of fluency improvement varies for each individual client, and depends on a number of internal and external factors.
What evidence is there of the fluency enhancing effects of DAF and FAF?
Twenty years of scientific research conducted at Dalhousie University and East Carolina University have shown that the use of DAF and FAF can significantly enhance fluency levels in a variety of situations including reading, monologue, using the telephone and speaking in front of an audience. This research has been published in top scientific journals.
Will SpeechEasy cure stuttering?
SpeechEasy is NOT a cure for stuttering. There is no known cure for stuttering. We compare using the device to traditional therapy. Clients are asked to be active participants in the treatment plan and many need additional sessions to work on using the device and maintenance of skills.
Do the effects of SpeechEasy wear off?
As with traditional therapy, the effects of the SpeechEasy can depend on the efforts supplied by the client. Some clients will have to use little to no effort to achieve fluency with the device while others may need to employ speech therapy techniques (in conjunction with the device) to receive the maximum benefit. When the device is used correctly the fluency effects will be ongoing and long lasting.
Is SpeechEasy an alternative to stuttering therapy?
SpeechEasy may be viewed as an alternative or adjunct to stuttering therapy. Some clients require no further training when using SpeechEasy while others require minimal training. People who have learned traditional therapy techniques and employ them when using SpeechEasy report much higher levels of fluency enhancement and more natural sounding speech when using SpeechEasy. Our integrated approach to stuttering management includes our own helpful workbook and SLP involvement used in conjunction with the added benefits of SpeechEasy.
Can children benefit from wearing a SpeechEasy?
Yes, in some instances children can benefit from wearing a SpeechEasy device. As with any client, no matter what the age, there are factors that play a part in how much benefit can be gained. Some characteristics to consider when determining if someone is appropriate for SpeechEasy are: maturity, responsibility, motivation and previous therapy received. We recommend children be at least 8 years old before trying SpeechEasy.
Can the SpeechEasy help with any other disability or impairment?
SpeechEasy was developed for use in decreasing stuttering. However, many individuals with concurrent disabilities or impairments in addition to stuttering have been evaluated for the device. Benefit is variable and is dependent on many factors. SpeechEasy has been used in treatment of some individuals for certain symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, Tourette’s Syndrome and Autism. The only way to find out for sure if benefits can be gained is to be evaluated by a SpeechEasy Provider.
How do I get a SpeechEasy device?
The first step is to schedule an evaluation with one of our Providers. The process consists of a stuttering evaluation, followed by testing and demonstration of the SpeechEasy under various settings and during different speech tasks. Each evaluation typically takes between 2 to 3 hours.
What cost is associated with obtaining a SpeechEasy device?
Your Provider will charge for their services. These fees vary depending on your Provider office policy and location. The charge for the actual SpeechEasy device ranges from $2500 to $4500 depending on the model you choose. Two states (CA and IL) also have an applicable sales tax.
How long will it be until I receive my custom SpeechEasy device?
It typically takes 7-15 business days, depending on the model chosen, for Janus Development Group, Inc. to manufacture your device once the order and funding are received. Once completed, we ship it to your Provider for a final fitting. Rush service, for a fee, is available.
What if I purchase a SpeechEasy, but I am not satisfied with the benefits?
We feel confident that SpeechEasy is a revolutionary product, and to this end we offer a 60-day money back guarantee on all SpeechEasy devices. If during that first 60 days you decide that SpeechEasy is not for you-for any reason- you may return your undamaged device to your SpeechEasy provider for a refund, less 10% of the MSRP price.
How do I pay for SpeechEasy?
SpeechEasy is purchased through Janus Development Group, so any payment for a Speecheasy device needs to be made to Janus Development. There are many payment options including an approved check, major credit card and the SpeechEasy Pay Plan upon approval. Funding sources also include some government agencies such as Vocational Rehabilitation and Veterans Affairs. There are other funding sources and we would be glad to discuss those with you.
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