Ways to stop stuttering – PROLAM-GM as one of the tried and tested methods to stop stuttering

“W-what are you doing?”, “Today is sssssssunday”, “That’s a… (block) kite”. These are just some examples of expressions of people with stutters. Also called stuttering, stuttering as a speech and communication disorder is characterized by repetitions, prolongations, and blocks that interfere with the flow of speech and effective communication. Stuttering can also be characterized by the inclusion of interjections such as “um”, “uh”, and “like” between expressions. When these are usually present when speaking, they may indicate the presence of stuttering disorder. Speech pathologists are the professionals who help stutterers. These professionals teach stutterers during their therapies different ways to stop stuttering and methods to prevent it from recurring.

The different ways to stop stuttering taught to patients are under the broad category called PROLAM-GM. This is made up of types of changes implemented in the patient’s speech to reduce the occurrence of stuttering events. The acronym stands for these intervention strategies which branch out into numerous techniques that are taught to stutterers. These strategies involve physiological manipulations, reduced rates, operant controls, length and complexity of expression, attitude changes, monitoring, generalization, and maintenance.

What does PROLAM-GM mean?

The first set of ways to stop stuttering are physiological manipulations. These change the position of articulators (eg, teeth, tongue, lips) in producing speech. These strategies are made up of breathy voice and soft touch. These two techniques teach the stutterer to whisper the statements and produce the sounds as softly as possible, respectively. Second, speed manipulation changes how quickly sounds are produced. This involves prolonging the sounds and basically slowing down the production of sounds.

This is based on the belief that prolonging and slowing down the rate of speech production will give the speaker more time to plan the production of sounds. Operational controls, the third set of ways to stop stuttering, are made up of positive and negative reinforcements given to stutterers whenever they produce fluency and speech without stuttering. Positive comments such as “good job” and “great job” are thought to inhibit stuttering moments.

Speech length and complexity, the fourth set of techniques to stop stuttering, involves the systematic application of techniques from short to longer speech. This gives the stutterer the opportunity to learn the techniques gradually. The patient will not be able to proceed to the application of techniques with words if he does not apply them successfully with syllables first. A change of attitude, the fifth set of ways to stop stuttering, is to teach the patient to eliminate the negative feelings that have developed because of the stutter. This teaches the patient to see the disorder from a better perspective.

The sixth set, monitoring, teaches the stutterer to be aware of how his speech is produced, allowing him to have full control over moments of stuttering. This teaches the stutterer to monitor stuttering moments and stutter-free moments. Generalization, the penultimate set of ways to stop stuttering, involves transferring fluency techniques to different environments with varying degrees of pressure. Generalization can be done first in the clinical setting, then at home, then at school or the workplace. Maintenance, the latest set of intervention strategies and ways to stop stuttering, seeks to prevent the relapse of stuttering moments and ensures the incorporation of the techniques taught in the speech of the stutterer forever.

Why PROLAM-GM?

PROLAM-GM as one of the ways to stop stuttering focuses on the general speech of the patient. It involves modifying the physical and emotional aspects of stuttering. It gives the patient a complete recovery plan because it provides benefits for life. PROLAM-GM is incorporated into all types of speech therapy, making it one of the most proven ways to stop stuttering.