Plagued his entire life with a severe stuttering problem, 23-year-old Kelly snow is all aglow, thanks to a tiny earpiece called the SpeechEasy. The SpeechEasy was developed by a team of East Carolina University researchers from a decade of studies.
The SpeechEasy has people talking around the world. "When someone who stutters speaks in unison with someone, they're very fluent. That's called Choral Speech. That effect has been known for some time, hundreds of years," said Andy Stuart, PhD, and SpeechEasy Developer. "What we're doing with this equipment is just mimicking that by introducing their voice either by a short delay, so it sounds like they're speaking with themselves, or shift their voice pitch so it sounds like there's another person speaking with them."
I't's hard to imagine Kelly as he was just twelve months ago undergoing experimental testing for his SpeechEasy fit. By the way, he was also the pioneer patient.
People are skeptical, and they should be because nothing's worked before. "He could not say a word," said Dr. Michael Rastatter, SpeechEasy Developer. "Pretty much locked up the whole time."
Dr. Rastatter says poor confidence believed in the past to be the cause of stuttering is now recognized as the direct result of a physical abnormality. "This is the brain of a person stuttering, and we see the right side and left side are highly reactive during the speech task," said Dr. Rastatter. "We believe these interfere with each other and cause stuttering. Put the device in and we see a big difference."
For more information on the SpeechEasy program (click here).