Using a fluency app helped with my confidence

LeeAnn Brionez, author of the article

When LeeAnn Brionez wanted to work on her fluency, her speech therapist suggested using a Delayed Auditory Feedback app. Here LeeAnn tells us how she got on with it.

Hi. My name is LeeAnn and I would like to share my story about how my stutter has affected me throughout my life. I grew up in Texas and did not have a great childhood, which made my stutter worse. I always was shy and didn’t speak much; I was terrified when trying to communicate with others. 

I remember being teased and laughed at as early as elementary school. I was called a retard. It was terrible, I couldn’t focus on my school work. It is not OK to have people bully you. My mom would often come to the school and embarrass me by talking to the Principal, and she would also yell at the students who bullied me. I remember receiving some speech therapy at school back then, but could not even tell you what strategies I learned.

Being introduced to DAF

As I started getting older, I realised I wanted to work on my fluency. I knew I needed to find a way to communicate more effectively with others. That's when I was introduced to Delayed Auditory Feedback (DAF) by my high school speech therapist. She told me about an app which plays back what you say on a short delay so it sounds like you’re speaking with someone else.

Using the app was weird at first and hearing my voice back was very distracting. But after a while I got used to it.

Although I wanted more fluent speech, I was stubborn and at first did not want to use a device that would make me hear my own voice. However, I started to use the app. It was weird at first and hearing my voice back was very distracting. But after a while I got used to it and found that I was speaking more fluently. I found it helpful because it made me slow down my speech. My family and friends noticed I was not stuttering as much.

I began using it in my classes, out in the community and when I had to do a presentation. People thought I was listening to music so I had to tell them about the app. Being more fluent made me feel more confident in myself and my ability to communicate, which made me feel more positive about my speech overall. 

At work

Since high school I have been having more speech therapy, where I work with my DAF app and on various fluency strategies. I attend college and have a job working as an event specialist at a wholesale club. I talk to customers a lot so I still use the DAF app every day, it's a great tool. I’m still working on knowing when and how to use various strategies when out in the community, but I feel like my speech and confidence are continually improving. 

Thank you for letting me tell my story, I hope other people can relate to it and take something positive from my journey.

If you'd like to try Delayed Auditory Feedback, see our Apps & Devices page too see what's available. Have you tried DAF yourself? Why not share your story and tell us about it? Click here to find out how.

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