I am excited to have a guest post from Hiten Vyas, who wrote about the use of Skype for helping people who stutter. Hiten Vyas is a person who stammers. He is passionate about helping people who stammer increase their confidence and reduce anxiety. You can find out more at his blog Stuttering Hub (http://stutteringhub.com).
It still exists and it always will. A person who stutters seeks help and visits a speech and language therapist to meet him or her face-to-face. Yes, I’m talking about traditional speech and language therapy.
However, these days with the availability of the Internet the way therapy can be carried out is also changing.
Voice over Internet is the technical name, the most well known of all is Skype (http://www.skype.com/intl/en-gb/welcomeback), and probably the biggest in the game!
Below are some of the key benefits of using Skype as a tool in your therapy box, both for yourself and for the people who stutter that you help:
A problem shared is a problem halved. This is certainly true. However, the sad and unfortunate reality is that certain problems such as stuttering have a stigma attached to them. Often this can change depending on a person’s culture and background. Some issues may be too difficult to speak to with others face-to-face. In these cases you can help a person who stutters maintain their privacy and get help from you at the same time. Discussing first via Skype can also be a good way to create rapport before subsequent ‘face-to-face’ therapy.
In the world of smart phones and mobile access to the Internet, and with your Skype app installed, you can have therapy sessions from anywhere you have internet access. These can range from your home to a hotel room while you’re away on a conference. Often this can be easy for the person who you’re helping as well. He or she can also connect to the call through their smartphone if they have the Skype app installed.
It’s not just all about talking
Yes talking via Skype is easy. But its still very important to be able to see the person you’re helping, especially when you’re demonstrating a technique. You can easily connect your webcam to your Skype account and you can both see each other when talking.
The number of people you can help increases
This one is easy. When helping people who stutter locally, the number of people you can help is fairly limited. However, with Skype you can be helping people across the whole world.
Related to the point above, Skype also offers excellent conferencing facilities. This means you could be holding group therapy sessions with multiple people, allowing individuals to share experiences, do role-playing, and carry out exercises collectively in a supportive environment.
Calls from Skype to Skype are free!
Everyone loves a bargain. I’m sure you and the people you help do to. If you make a call from your Skype account to another Skype account, the call is free! And you could be speaking to a client in the United States or Japan and it still wouldn’t cost a thing. You can still have clients across the world, and call them on their mobile and landlines through Skype, for prices at a fraction of what it would cost for you to call abroad through your own mobile or landline.
Other reduced costs
It’s not just the free and cheap calls that make Skype an attractive tool. The use of Skype can also mean less travelling and less fuel bills.
Its the way people who stutter connect with each other
Go onto any of the major stuttering forums and you will read about people who stutter organising self-help sessions in twos, threes and groups all the time. By offering help via Skype you are doing so on a technology platform which people who stutter are used to.