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The Smalltalk immediately reduces stuttering, while training you to no longer need the device. It’s the world’s smallest DAF/FAF anti-stuttering device, and now includes Bluetooth wireless technology.
Altered Auditory Feedback (AAF) Features
The SmallTalk provides two types of altered auditory feedback (AAF).
Delayed auditory feedback (DAF) immediately reduces stuttering about 70% at normal speaking rates without training, mental effort, or abnormal-sounding or abnormally slow speech; and trains 55% carryover fluency (after removing the device), without speech therapy. With speech therapy, DAF can induce a slower speaking rate with stretched vowels to make even severe stutterers nearly 100% fluent.
Pitch-shifting frequency-altered auditory feedback (FAF) immediately reduces stuttering about 70% at normal speaking rates and induces speech motor changes in stutterers. Combining DAF and FAF increases effectiveness. Only Casa Futura Technologies anti-stuttering devices have clinically proven pitch-shifting FAF.
The SmallTalk works with all standard headphones and microphones. Three headsets and earsets are provided:
The Sennheiser PC131 full-size headset gives you the best sound quality and maximizes the SmallTalk’s effectiveness. By using the full-size headset on telephone calls, in speech therapy, and in stressful conversations such as public speaking, you’ll maximize carryover fluency and not need to use the device for easier conversations. The full-size headset also allows listeners to try your SmallTalk to hear what it sounds like. Then they’ll want to talk to you about stuttering and you’ll discover that there’s no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed about your speech.
A Plantronics MX100S binaural (two ear) wired iPod-style earset is included. These sound good, are comfortable, and are simple and easy to use. Any other standard wired earset can be used.
Your choice of either a Plantronics Voyager Pro Bluetooth wireless cellphone earset with a Jabra A210 Bluetooth adapter; or an Iasus NT3 throat microphone with a download code for MPiStutter. Jabra has discontinued the A210 Bluetooth adapter. We have to replace the batteries and these units look “refurbished” instead of new.
Optional accessories include hearing aid-style receivers and other microphones.
The SmallTalk is the only AAF device that works in noisy environments, such as classrooms or restaurants. The Sennheiser PC131 headset has a noise-canceling microphone to eliminate noise at the source. Electronic circuits in the SmallTalk filter high-frequency noise above your vocal range. Moderate (-0.4 octave) FAF effectively reduces stuttering yet is acoustically transparent if the device picks up background noise. The SmallTalk has a push-to-talk button that completely eliminates background noise anywhere. The push-to-talk feature is ideal for a student in a classroom who is mostly listening to the teacher and is called on to talk occasionally, or if you go out to dinner with friends and spend more time listening than talking. An optional throat microphone eliminates background noise even in extreme conditions.
The SmallTalk plugs into telephones. You hear your voice and the caller’s voice in both ears; the caller hears your normal voice. Leave your SmallTalk plugged into your telephone and practice speech therapy on every call. Many states provide Casa Futura Technologies AAF devices free to qualified residents who stutter.
Two clinical studies have investigated the SmallTalk:
Eight adult stutterers used SmallTalk devices for oral reading and spontaneous speech (16 tests). The device reduced stuttering in 14 tests. The other two tests found mild stuttering or no stuttering both with and without the device. In 7 of the 16 tests, no stuttering was heard when the device was used. DAF and FAF settings were not standard for all subjects; rather, best settings were selected for each subject. 1
A study of 30 adult stutterers compared the VoiceAmp and SmallTalk devices. The VoiceAmp was set at 50 ms DAF and 250 Hz addition, with a monaural miniature cellphone earset. The SmallTalk was set at 50 ms DAF and 0.4 octaves downshift, with a binaural full-size headset. Test conditions were 5 minutes reading aloud, 5 minutes monolog, and 10 minutes dialog in a quiet speech clinic. The overall results were that both devices reduced stuttering 34%. The frequency of disfluencies was reduced but there was no change in the duration of disfluencies. No change was found in speaking rate or articulatory rate. Both devices were more effective for blocks than for repetitions or prolongations. Both devices were effective for reading aloud, monologues, and dialogues. Both devices were more effective for moderate and severe stutterers and less effective for mild stutterers. 2
DAF range 30 milliseconds to 200 milliseconds. User-adjustable.
FAF range: +0.8, +0.6, +0.4, 0, -0.4, -0.8, -1.2 octaves (seven settings). User-adjustable.
Binaural (two ear) or monaural (one ear) sound. Binaural sound is 25% more effective than monaural sound and is recommended for severe stutterers; mild stutterers may be able to use monaural sound.
35-7500 Hz frequency range clearly reproduces all vocal frequencies of adults and children.
Rechargeable battery lasts about 16 hours. Charges like a cellphone.
Gray case, with belt clip.
Two 3.5mm jacks for any standard microphone and headphones. One 2.5mm jack for any standard cellphone earset.
3″ x 2.25″ x 0.75″ (7.5 x 6 x 1.75 cm). About the size of an iPod Mini.
2.8 ounces (80 grams).
Sennheiser PC131 binaural (two ears) lightweight headset
Plantronics Voyager Pro Bluetooth wireless earset and Jabra A210 Bluetooth wireless transmitter
Plantronics MX100S binaural (two ears) earset
Small screwdriver for adjusting controls
Battery charger (American or European plugs)
No Miracle Cures: A Multifactoral Guide to Stuttering Therapy book
Oct 10, 2011 by Anonymous
I am a closet stutterer. There are only a handful of people professionally who probably know that I stutter (in my personal life there is only my family that knows, but this includes my extended family including in-laws, etc). Part of my job requires participating in, and in many instances faciltating large conference calls where there can be 5-10 or more people on the call. In this meetings, there are frequently attendees whose names are very difficult for me to say, and sometimes impossible depending on where I need to use the name in a sentence.
Within days of receiving SmallTalk, and for the first time in my life, I was able to say some (I have not tried all of them yet) of those names in what to me is a difficult circumstance to speak in (conference call). A key reason why I believe SmallTalk is so effective over the phone is because I am able to hear my (delayed/altered) voice in the same headphones as the conference call, and the immediate effect was a substantial reduction in the vocal tension that always accompanies this circumstance. In addition, I also feel that it was beneficial that the Smalltalk is not voice activated, since the first words that I may need to say are the ones that I am having the most trouble with. To say that this experience was liberating is an understatement.
Aug 10, 2011 by Robert Grider, SLP
Thanks—At session to set up Patient and Mom loved the SmallTalk. It was amazing the improved speech and reading he had.
Robert Grider, SLP
Minnesota Voice & Speech Clinic
Mar 01, 2011 by Shane Furnish
I got my small talk and wow what a difference it has already made I went to the mall and spoke to everyone who was wanting to talk and I even went to the drive thru and had no issues with the person understanding me. Still waiting to get it approved to use at work might have to get the throat mic before it will get approved but cant wait till everyone who comes to me at work with questions to be able to explain things to them without it taking forever to get it out and them to understand me.
Thanks a lot of coming up with this device speecheasy has nothing on you.
I watched the video it came with and I do not completely understand the stretching the vowel exercise but maybe I'll catch on. It was a great video about you are in theater that's great I would love to have an opportunity like that.
Very nice to have found out about you and use your device.
Prentiss High Bay
Oct 27, 2010 by Eric
My name is Eric; I'm twelve years old. I have used the SmallTalk with the headphones since July.
I began speech therapy when I was five and continued when I went to public school because I was having trouble with my sounds and was very dysfluent. I was diagnosed as being a stutterer, although I never stuttered. My speech was terrible and no one understood me. Every year I had a new speech teacher who used ineffective ways to talk. In fourth grade I began private speech therapy.
Private speech therapy worked better for me than school therapy. I only worked on my "r" sounds and not dysfluency. My speech therapist did not think I stuttered, but did not know what I was doing. My speech therapist received a call from another client's mother inquiring about cluttering. After reading an article about cluttering, she realized that I had tachyphemia. Unlike stuttering, tachyphemia is not a speech disorder. It is a rare neurological disorder. This disorder does not improve with traditional stuttering therapy. So Ms J. ordered the SmallTalk for me after I agreed to wear it and attend therapy every day for the rest of summer.
When I started school, everybody understood me better and paid attention when I talked to them. At first, I tried to wear the headphones the entire school day, but it was too hard so I didn't wear them at all. So then I changed to just wearing them for two hours. I'm wearing headphones so I don't have to listen to other noises while using my SmallTalk.
The SmallTalk is easy to use; I usually "wire up" in the morning for my Public Speaking class around 9 AM, and I wear the headphones until lunch around 12 noon. After I take SmallTalk system off, I store it in my laptop case so I always know where it is. After some difficulty, I now remember to take it home, so I can try to use it at home.
I don't really think it is difficult to use the SmallTalk because I only use it 3 hour a day. This system has made a big difference in my speech because I am fluent and talk more slowly. My friends and teachers can understand my speech for the first time.
This testimonial was dictated to Janet Mills [SLP] by Eric.
Jan 08, 2008 by Helen Agnew
I trialed a DAF/FAF device from Casa Futura Technologies in the US. A simple small device half the size of a pack of cards with ear plugs or a headset (social circumstances permitting) it is portable and hides well in clothing. The rate/delay of feedback in the ear, pitch and volume can be altered ranging from Darth Vader to Minnie Mouse. I plugged myself in, made some calls and it worked with success that I'd never experienced before. Interestingly Darth Vader works for business and Minnie Mouse handles social calls. This time I've ditched the self analysis. I'm so over why it works; I just need to get the job done. Any drug or device that gives a quick result and a buzz high leaves me wary of using it too much too often and it becoming just another hit and miss on a good or bad day. I save it for the phone or selective challenge situations and the 'magic box' concept seems to be holding.
It's pointless to speculate if it will work the same for you. It's genuine to tell you that this stutterer is sounding like a regular human being on the phone and that the more important the call is to get it right the wider the grin once it's achieved. This is a tax deductable investment that has already earned it's keep on the job. I doubt the ATO would question it being a vital tool in my workplace after a simple with and without demonstration at my desk in an open plan office.
from the Australia Speak Easy newsletter
Feb 19, 2007 by Josito Dondon
The SmallTalk really did a miracle job on my stutter, the result was amazing! I can feel it, it teaches me to relax and more calm, this device gives me self confidence! I can talk now to people and answer phones without any fear at all, also last night I attended a party, I was surprised that I can talk already even without using the device.
Thank you so much Sir!
Mar 06, 2006 by M.J.L.
I think you should get a Nobel Prize for your work in the SmallTalk. It is a boon to folks like myself who can't say two words without the device, and I thank you with all my heart for your caring. Kay McNeal let me read your book, and I think it is marvelous, truly, you are such a dedicated person in your field, and again, I must thank you for being so. You remind me of my son and my husband; they are so dedicated in their work (they are trial lawyers) and they are so sincere and that's why they get good results, like yourself.
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Heitmann, R., Bjornerud, B., Einarsen, A., Narmo, A., Kravik, K., Ingebrigtsen, A., Hovd, T. (2010). “DAF- og FAF-funkajonene i stammebehandling med utgangspunkt i SmallTalk.” Norsk Tidskrift for Logopedi, January 2010, 15-20. ↩
Unger, J., Glück, C., & Cholewa, J. Immediate effects of AAF devices on the characteristics of stuttering: A clinical analysis. Journal of Fluency Disorders, 37 (2012) 122–134.
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