Date of Award

5-2016

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Speech and Hearing Sciences

First Advisor

Ramesh Bettagere, Ph.D.

Advisor Department

Speech and Hearing Sciences

Abstract

For over 70 million people who stutter, it is a disorder that can affect a person’s social, emotional, and professional life on a daily basis (Gordon, 2002). Stuttering is defined as a fluency disorder that includes the repetition of words, pauses in speech, or sound prolongation (Hedge, 2001). Although there are many different theories as to what causes stuttering, the etiology of stuttering remains undetermined. As a result, much research has been done on various treatment approaches to try and ease the effects of stuttering. One particular approach is the Easy Onset Time approach. This approach encourages the client to use slow, relaxed speech and begin speech gently rather than with a hard glottal attack.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of Easy Onset Time treatment approach on the voice onset time (VOT) in individuals with stuttering. Using a single-subject design, this study showed the effect of the Easy Onset Time treatment for one client over eight treatment sessions. For each of the eight treatment sessions, the client read a list of ten words. The clinician then modeled the Easy Onset Time treatment approach, and the client repeated each word after the clinician using the same prolonged, slowed speech. After the treatment in each session, the client read another list of ten words spontaneously. The Computerized Speech Lab (CSL) was used to record all of the speech productions and to measure the VOT of selected sounds. The data were then transformed into a waveform and spectogram, and the VOT was calculated and displayed on a time series graph. It was determined that although VOT decreased during the actual treatment, it was not maintained after treatment. Futher research is needed to establish the effectiveness of the Easy Onset Time approach on VOT deviations.

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