Stuttering is a speech disorder characterized by involuntary disruptions to speech which impede the capacity to communicate effectively. The best way to treat stuttering is to tackle the problem at the earliest point possible. The disorder becomes less traceable and far less responsive to treatment during the school years, and by adulthood, stuttering is often a long-term problem.

 

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder also called social phobia, is intense anxiety or fear of being judged, negatively evaluated, or rejected in a social or performance situation. People with a social anxiety disorder may worry about acting or appearing visibly anxious (e.g., blushing, stumbling over words), or being viewed as awkward or boring.

 

Why Are These Two Associated?

There are many reasons why stuttering may be associated with social anxiety disorder. Stuttering is accompanied by many negative consequences across an individual’s lifespan which may increase vulnerability to social and psychological difficulties. These consequences often begin in the early stages of childhood with children who stutter. They are often bullied, teased, and excluded. Going further into the education system, students that stutter are often put into more social/speaking situations. Resulting in further embarrassment and exclusion.

With these various consequences that affect people who stutter, there is a presence of heightened anxiety in stutterers. In order to avoid embarrassment and anxiety, people who stutter are known to avoid socially threatening situations. It’s no surprise because they frequently experience social exclusion and harm.

Individuals that stutter are more likely to fear negative evaluation in social situations. This fear of negative evaluation is a main effect of social anxiety disorder and is a significant part of why avoidance is a defense mechanism.   

 

What Can SpeechEasy Do For You?

SpeechEasy is similar in appearance to a hearing aid. However, rather than amplifying sound, SpeechEasy alters sounds that go through the device so that you hear your voice at a slight time delay and at a different pitch. The purpose of the delay and pitch change is to recreate a natural phenomenon known as the “choral effect.” The choral effect occurs when your stutter is dramatically reduced or even eliminated when you speak or sing in unison with others. This choral effect has been well documented for decades and SpeechEasy utilizes it in a small, wearable device that can be used in everyday life.

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