There are several programs and practices out there to address fluency. Most involve some types of strategies or fluency enhancing behaviors (FEBs) to teach those who stutter how to manage their fluency. I use these strategies daily with my fluency kiddos and have found them to work very well.
I try to spend time practicing each behavior with them, so we can find the ones that they are the most comfortable with and that works best for them.
Here are the most common FEBs that I use:
My fluency student and I came up with visuals that help him to remember the strategies. These remind him of what the strategy is and how he’s supposed to use it.
- Slow rate = turtle: We needed something that was known for being slow in order to remind him to slow down his rate of speech. He decided on a turtle (a snail would also work).
- Light contact = feather: We used feathers to remind him to keep his articulators light and loose and not tense.
- Easy starts = green light: In order to explain this one better I used the green light example. You know when a car is stopped at a traffic light and then it turns green? Cars should begin to go again slowly and easily. If they gun it quickly without looking or thinking, they could cause an accident. If we start talking quickly and without thinking, it could cause our speech to be bumpy.
- Pausing = stop sign: This strategy is also called grouping. We used the stop sign analogy to help him remember to stop and pause every so often when speaking. This strategy is most easily practiced during readings.
- Stretchy speech – rubber band: Rubber bands are a perfect visual for stretchy speech. We practice with an actual band and stretch it out when we start speaking and slowly let it back it.
- Full breath = whistle: My student chose this one. I think he just wanted to play with a whistle lol. You breathe in when you get ready to blow a whistle and we practice relaxing our mouth and throat as we blow out.