Rowan's Final Speech
New England Fluency Program
Hello. My name is Rowan. It is now and it was before this program. That is one of the only things that hasn't changed during this program. Before this program I wouldn't have been able to introduce myself as Rowan without prolonging the “R” in Rowan. Before this program I would have been embarrassed beyond belief to give this speech! Before this program I would have been talking at breakneck speeds. And before this program I had never met so many devoted people at the same time.
But how has it happened. Adriana doesn't have magic fluency dust. It's no secret. It's called practice! The first thing we learned how to do was to conquer our fear. That's why week one was called “fear factor” week. We did surveys about stuttering with complete strangers. We also made phone calls to random businesses and asked them when they closed. If you think that's easy, THINK AGAIN! But we did it, and due to that I'm not embarrassed right now.
During week two we turned into the ice patrol, freezing every stutter in town. Oh, but before I continue I'll explain what a freeze is. A freeze is a way to release the tension in your mouth. What you do is, when you have a stutter you stop talking, but still hold your lips in position. Then you release all the tension by loosening up on your articulators. Then once all the tension is gone, you start talking again.
While we were still practicing freezing we started in on stretched speech. Stretched speech to most people is known as slowing down. This sounds easy, but combined with easing into the word, and using a voice monitor, it's hard! I did one hundred pages in the book practicing stretched speech.
In week three we practiced all these behaviors in real life, doing surveys and telephone calls. These three weeks have been very hard for me, but I can't imagine how hard it was for the clinicians to do this for the WHOLE summer, and put up with me......an amazing feat for most people. I thank you all for listening.