Graduation Year

2016

Degree

M.S.

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Major Professor

Nathan Maxfield, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Committee Member

Michelle Bourgeois, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Committee Member

Stefan Frisch, Ph.D.

Keywords

Fluency, Intention, Neural Imaging, Pre-SMA, Treatment

Abstract

Developmental stuttering persists in approximately 1% of the United States population. Stuttering has been shown to impact overall quality of life. The present study examines the effects of a Novel Right Brain Intervention on two female participants with persistent developmental stuttering. The aim of the study was to determine whether encouraging greater activation of the right hemisphere, specifically the pre-SMA, via complex left-handed movements, prior to speech production, would lead to a reduced stuttering frequency and severity in people who stutter (PWS). It was hypothesized that each participant would reduce stuttering symptoms and behaviors following the intervention due to the results found in patients with non-fluent aphasia's and neural imaging findings with PWS. Following analysis of speech samples taken from unstructured retell and unfamiliar reading tasks, the results revealed decreases in stuttering and secondary behaviors during the unstructured reading task for Participant 1 and decreases in stuttering and secondary behaviors during the unstructured retell task for Participant 2. The results of this study should be interpreted with caution, as this is a pilot study with multiple limitations. With further research, this method of intervention may become a viable option for those who have not benefited maximally from current intervention methods.

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