Speech Easy Stutter Device
Detroit News Channel 7, Health, August 8, 2002
Three million people stutter in this country. This is a story
about one of them. A young man who, after years of
unsuccessful therapy, tried something new. A device that looks
like a hearing aid now what comes out of his mouth is music to
It isn't easy for 18-year-old Jason Jacobs to watch himself
The straight-A student has been stuttering as long as he can
remember, but he doesn't stutter anymore.
Now Jason talks without much hesitation…and he talks a lot.
"You can talk to my parents. Yeah, I've been talking a lot
more," Jason says.
That's because Jason wears a tiny ear piece with a powerful
microchip. It's computer-programmed to provide
"delayed-audible feedback". In other words, it lets Jason hear
The device called Speech Easy works on the same principal as
something called the Coral Reading Effect.
Dr. Joseph Stigora explains, "If a person who stutters reads
out loud and has somebody else read along side of them out
loud, they would be almost totally fluent."
Speech Easy acts like the person reading along side, but it's
much more convenient.
"It's digital and it is just miniature. So when the person
leaves the office, they put this in their ear and now they've
got altered auditory feedback wherever they go," says Dr.
Programming Speech Easy takes about two hours and the results
"That's, I gotta' say, probably the first time in my life that
I was able to hear my son speak a whole sentence without
having any problems," John Jacobs says.
Jason, of course, couldn't wait to give his friends an earful.
"They're like, 'Holy cow, what happened to you,' ya' know? I
just... it's incredible," says Jason.
Speech Easy is custom made for each person, so the results
will vary. So far, it's been effective in up to 80 percent
of stutterers. The Speech Easy device costs about $4,000.
The device will be available in the Detroit area in the next