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Speech Therapy with a Difference.

Speech Therapy with a Difference.

Last night i.e. 25th June I was going through my diary and suddenly remembered the entire incident about joining Swar Sudhar Society (Dr. ADLAKHAS SPEECH CLINIC in DELHI, INDIA). So, I thought to share with you, 'some' of them have heard this incident a lot of times from my mouth, but I do believe there are 'some' left who are still unaware. For members who don't know about me, the introduction starts with " I am Rohit Kishore Gupta" (MAGIC WORDS). I am currently settled in Melbourne Australia working as a Database Administrator with Synchronized Software. My journey to fluency started on 7th March 2004 when my parents forcefully took me for an appointment with Dr. Adlakha. I was reluctant for the appointment but Mummy forced me to come. The reason being is my past experiences with doctors had always been a nightmare, right from reading a book in front of a mirror or tasting your Mama's thumb on Wednesday or eating green food on Wednesday or putting some lolly in my mouth while speaking or nani ke badam(GRAND MOM'S Almonds) or speak as if you are singing....Uffff. ..Bhagwaan Bachaaye Aise Doctors se...(GOD SAVE FROM SUCH DOCTORS).The list is never ending... During the first meeting Sir analyzed my problem and asked me to come from 12th March onwards. I left the clinic and till the time I reached my home, the argument with my Mom was already heated up and it came to an extent where kasame started. Then I agreed that I will go on 12th and if I like it then I will continue, otherwise I will leave. Then the penultimate day arrive 12th March 2004 , I woke up with the same feeling, just one more sitting with an Doctor and then again mummy will start looking for some other. I know that she had already taken one more appointment at Batra Hospital , so just adding few jerks onto my list of doctors. I arrived at the clinic with -ve ATTITUDE. Sir, started with a brief introduction and then I suddenly asked him "DO I have to read books in front of mirror?" This is the question which I asked to all the doctors to whom I have been to and the answer had always been "YES" and in the back of my mind I was sure that he will say "YES" and that would be my last class or final moment with that doctor if they answer yes to these questions. But I was shocked to hear he said "NO". I replied "What?" Then he replied "No, you don't have to read books in front of mirror. This was the turning point and I thought if this doctor is not asking me to read books then he must be different, but I was still not sure... Sir, told me about the therapy and most important thing "A DIARY" and few other tips and then he asked me to come tomorrow i.e. 13th March 2004 it was Saturday and he told me about GT and mentioned to me that he usually don't ask people to join GT from the very first day but after couple of weeks. So if you want to come then you can come. When I left the clinic, I got a call from my mom and she asked me, how was the first meeting. "Is he good?" I said "Don't know! He asked me to come tomorrow." So my mom asked me “Are you going tomorrow or not?”. I was thinking what to say as my mind was saying "NO, NO, NO" and for the first time my heart said..."Toone Itne doctor try kare...isko bhee try kar le...aur waise bhee kuch to alag hain...Mirror ke saamne book padhne ko nahin kaha".(You have tried so many doctors.. So what try this one also.. He is different. He has not said to read book in front of the mirror.) I told my mom, I will decide during the day and will tell you later. My mom asked me are you going tomorrow or not, I said haven't decided as yet. I think it’s a miracle that on 13th March I woke and left for the GT. The first GT session was a bit horrifying but it was enough to develop interest in me. Aur phir kya GT ka karvaan chalta chalta...(In this way I attended so many GROUP THERAPYS) But still I don't know what happened in the first Meeting which forced my steps, my heart to move towards Dr. Adlakha. But before saying thanks to sir, I thank my mom first who actually forced me by her kasme vaade, pyar mohbaat, tactics to attend the first meeting and then Adlakha Sir who changed my direction my personality. .... Now, I am bindaas(CAREFREE) kind of a person... Frankly speaking I did the hard work for first two years, I mean exercises, reading, ROS attending GT regularly and the result was felt by everyone. Now, I am not regular with the exercises but I still read few pages of MY DIARY every single night (I am not bluffing, I have made it as a habit.) On my diary I have also pasted a picture given to me by Adlakha sir, which was my FIRST GROUP THERAPY(GT) AT SWAR SUDHAR SOCIETY. Now, my schedule is such hectic that I am not regular at mails but I will try my best to be regular, because I still remember I used to pinch every member of SSS to write mails and now I am just like them. I want to conclude by saying just doing exercises or writing diaries wont make any effect until you don't have faith in you and in Adlakha Sir and if you are able to establish faith then don't worry leave it on Sir. Now, I am following the steps provided by Sir, and at per this point I am not facing any issues with my speech, I am feeling pretty much confident. In meetings, I don't hesitate to speak as I show confidence which I acquired through my speech. I am planning to come to India by the end of this year or early next year. So hoping to attend quite a lot of G.T.'s.

To Choose the Right Therapist

To Choose the Right Therapist

My name is Dhritiman Das. I started my therapy at Adlakha Speech Therapy last year in the 3rd week of May. For me, the turning point in therapy, would be understanding the psyche of stutterers and non-stutterers. This helped me to fully ignore all kinds of remarks made about my speech and accept myself without worrying too much about the consequences of stammering in front of people. This gave me a massive psychological relief.
Good traits of a speech therapist are that he/she should be patient get feedback from his /her patient on a regular basis, try to understand the psyche and emotional status of the patient and always encourage him/her to improve the speech and monitor his/her progress regularly. The good traits of a patient are that he/she should be patient and should fully co-operate with the doctor. He/She should accept his situation and do his/her best to achieve max. fluency. A good patient should do the exercises regularly and have faith in the doctor, in God and ESP.IN him/herself. Thank You Dr. Sajiv & Seema Madam For Helping & Guiding Me. Dhritiman Das is a former patient and long time friend with Adlakha Therapy Centre

Stuttering: A Misunderstood Habit

Stuttering: A Misunderstood Habit

Stuttering is a habit. I start off with this short and concise statement to highlight and debunk a popular misconception that stuttering is a disease that cannot be treated. Like any other habit, this too can be overcome. There is an urgent and pressing need to spread awareness about this habit as many stutterers around the world go through life feeling depressed, debilitated, frustrated because of their speech impediment. They are often mocked, ridiculed, bullied at school or just shown general disregard about their speech impediment. It can leave a person feeling very lonely, affected by a debilitating impediment they don’t understand. You are not alone
The most important thing to remember is that if you stutter, you are not alone. There are millions of people like you around the world. Having said that, you must rejoice that there are equally a large number of people who have overcome this habit and have attained fluency with the aid of speech therapy.

Stuttering? Speech Therapy?
To put it in lay man’s language, stuttering is caused due to a lack of coordination between the organs or so to call “processes” involved in producing speech. Speech therapy entails training those organs to act in tandem so as to be able to produce the correct sound. It is like training yourself how to talk again, or to correctly maneuver your speech organs to produce the right sound. Having said that, it requires a lot of dedication and effort on the part of the stutterer and the speech therapist in order to debunk the flawed method of talking the stutterer has become habituated to over the years.

When to act? – need for Early Intervention.
It is a popular belief amongst parents that their stuttering young ones would eventually grow out of it. This cannot be more farther from reality. In most cases the child grows up with the habit of stuttering and it does not magically go away. Stuttering children are often told, if not commanded, to speak properly, to speak slowly or even at times to speak correctly or not speak at all. Such disregard to the child’s stuttering can lead to behavioral issues, such as withdrawal, resignation, lack of confidence, etc. impacting the child’s overall development. The child’s stuttering and emotions need to be taken care of with great sensitivity, so as to not impress a wrong notion upon the child’s impressionable mind. Men are creatures of habit. And as with all wrong habits, early intervention can prove to be the most beneficial. Habits are formed with due to timeless repetition. Stuttering is a habit too and countering it at a young age can take care of it effectively. A young child’s mind is like a sponge, it absorbs what it sees, hears or perceives. Before stuttering can set in and become a habit, it can be effectively taken care of by a speech therapist by proper guidance and retraining the child to use his speech organs in the correct fashion. Having said that, it is never too late to kick off a bad habit. Maybe harder, but not impossible. Speech therapy is the same with a child as it is with an adult, just that the child is more open to learn. The time to act is now.

Seeking Help
The importance of seeking help from a qualified professional cannot be stressed on enough. We have all been recommended and maybe even tried various remedies ranging from eating almonds to alternative medicine to even divine intervention, but to no avail. There are many quacks out there making tall claims of curing stuttering within a couple of days. Quite understandably why, these tall claims attract a large number of people. They make a large profit on the individual’s helplessness and lack of knowledge of speech therapy. Who would not avail the opportunity if they happen to chance up on a cure for their problems? The stutterer’s speech can be further hampered due to improper guidance. Thus, it is reiterated that it is unequivocally essential and cannot be stressed up on enough to seek professional help from a qualified individual who is trained aptly to handle such speech impediments. Stutterer or a non-stutterer, we all know someone who stutters or at least have come across someone who does. There is an urgent and progressive need to spread awareness about stuttering and speech therapy amongst fellow stutterers. To remind them that they are not alone and there is a way out of this habit. By Dig Vijoy Sodhi
digvijoy@sodhis.org

Towards a Better Understanding of Speech

Towards a Better Understanding of Speech

A person who stutters is often bombarded with likely causes of his/ her disorder by all and sundry. It causes a lot of confusion and misconception in the minds of those afflicted, thereby adding to the magnitude of the problem. Before one decides upon the treatment modality, it is essential to understand the mechanism of speech production and thereby, the mechanism of stuttering.
At the outset, I would like to state that there is no physiological abnormality in the speech organs of a person who stutters. This means that the condition of his/her lungs, vocal cords, mouth, nose etc is as normal as anybody else’s. If there is no physiological abnormality then there cannot be any medical or surgical treatment for the same. Hence, my first advice to all is do not waste your money and time on medication (Allopathic, Homeopathic, Ayurvedic, Unnani etc.). The only person who can help you is a qualified, experienced Speech Therapist.
What is speech? How is it produced? What goes wrong with a person who stutters?Lets try to answer these questions:Speech is the end result of coordination between four components: 1. Air reservoir: The lungs
The driving force for production of speech is the air from the lungs. Speech isproduced during expiration. No air, no speech. Less air, less speech. More air,more speech. Therefore, people who have lung disorders get out of breathwhile speaking. When one shouts, more volume of air per second is exhaledfrom the lungs. When speaking softly, less air is exhaled. 2. Phonators: The vocal cords
The vocal cords are like strings of a guitar. When they vibrate, sound is produced. The quality of sound depends upon the tautness of the strings,striking power and thickness of the strings. The strings of a guitar are set into motion by the musician’s fingers. Similarly, the vocal cords vibrate when the air from the lungs tries to pass through the gap between the vocal cords. The quality of sound thus produced is dependent upon the thickness, length and gap between the vocal cords, all of which can be altered by the individual himself to a large extent. Hence, each person’s voice is unique and helps in identifying the person. This sound is monotonous and needs processing to form speech. This function is performed by the articulators. 3. Articulators: Lips, tongue, hard palate and jaws
The raw sound produced by the vocal cords is processed into vowels by changing the shape of the lips. Pursed lips do not produce any vowel.Consonants are produced by various forms of contact between lips, tongue,hard palate and jaws and are always followed by vowels. 4. Resonators: Nasal passages and paranasal sinuses
The importance of the resonators can be gauged when one attempts to talk with the nose pinched or when one is suffering from cold. The voice becomes heavy and loses its quality. The resonators impart a nasal twang to the voice,thereby enriching it. During speaking, varying proportion of air passes through the nose. Some consonants are formed by a strong nasal component.For eg, words starting with N and M. The four components that form the speech pathway are finally coordinated by the brain to form fluent, intelligible speech and language as we know it. Any incoordination among these components can lead to speech disorders. This is what happens in stuttering. The coordination among the four components is lost. This does not mean that something is wrong with the brain. This coordination is learnt behaviour. Hence, the roots most commonly lie in a faulty learning process during childhood. It can also be unlearnt by the brain if there is any extreme stress on the brain, like during an accident, or an illness. If speech is learnt behaviour which is learnt during childhood, then stutterers can learn in later on too. If speech coordination can be unlearnt, it can also be re-learnt. This is where the speech therapist steps in. He uses a combination of psychotherapy and speech exercises to train the brain to establish coordination. The analogy can be drawn with driving.Driving is to be learnt by establishing coordination between clutch, gear, brakes and accelerator. A novice driver will have poor coordination, thereby giving a poor driving experience. As he gains experience and confidence, the coordination improves and operating various components becomes second nature to the driver.The ride experience becomes pleasurable. The speech therapist also tries to establish similar coordination between various speech organs and make it a part of the stutterers second nature. With practice, this coordination becomes second nature and the speaking experience improves. The role of the speech therapist is similar to that of a driving instructor in such a situation. He can only initiate and guide. Training and practice is dependent upon the learner. Dr Abhijeet Bhatia is an Assistant Professor with the Department of ENT, Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences.
abhijeetbhatia77@gmail.com

Communication is an Integral Part

Communication is an Integral Part

An Information is knowledge only if it is shared. How does one share it? By giving it an expression.
A view, when does it become a view point? When it gets an expression.
An idea, when does it make a difference? When the power of an idea gets an expression.
A vision, how does it form out of the white cells? When it gets an expression.
But the most importantly, how does one get an expression? by Communication.
but for which the world would not be what it is today.
Why do we communicate?
Possibly to make others understand one’s own concern, ideas and vision.
And how one makes others understand is an art of communication.
Interestingly, all of us in one way or the other try to communicate but without realizing that what we are communicating whether we should or if so then how. Broadly, any effort to establish any communication with anyone will be possible only on the desire of sharing some information. Sharing of information actually means enlarging the group of people who share the same concerns, ideas and vision.
There is no doubt that all of us use communication skills in our own way to make things happen. But those who use these skills effectively are able to write history rest becomes part of it. So the choice is obviously for the growing individuals to make on communication skills to be part of their personality who write history.

Taking Care of Your Ears

Taking Care of Your Ears

Isn’t it fun to be able to talk and hear? You can talk to your friends, hear their jokes and laughter. But if you cannot hear and talk, you would miss out on a lot of fun. To preserve these precious gifts of speech and hearing you have to take special care of your ears. Our ear is a delicate organ. A damage or injury to any part of the ear may lead to ‘deafness’. One of the common causes of deafness is persistent Ear Infection and Ear Discharge. If neglected, it may lead to permanent deafness. It is therefore, essential that we pay special attention to our ear and its hygiene. Here are a few guidelines that will help you take proper care of your ear and hearing faculty: • A slap or blow on the ear can cause a hearing problem that may be irreversible. Take care not to slap or strike anyone on the ear, even for fun.
• Sudden loud noises like crackers, gunshots, etc. can damage the ear and can cause deafness. Protect your ears from loud noises.
• Do not clean or scratch your ears with pointed objects like matchstick, hairpin, pencil, etc. It can rupture the eardrum or injure the ear canal.
• Keep a watch on young children playing with tiny objects like beads, seeds, etc. If they put them in the ear, the eardrum may get ruptured or the ear canal may be injured.
• Do not put oil or any other liquid in the ear as they can result in pain, swelling and ear discharge. Keep your ears dry always.
• Do not swim in dirty water. Unclean water entering the ear can cause ear infection. While swimming, always plug your ears with ear plugs, especially while diving.
• Do not have your ears cleaned by roadside quacks. They use unclean instruments which may cause infection. The eardrum too may get damaged. Clean your outer ear (PINNA) with cotton buds regularly. Do not clean the ear canal with a cotton bud, the wax might get pushed inside the canal.It is better to get the ear canal cleaned by a doctor.
• Avoid using unwashed pillow covers, towels, etc. used by a person with ear discharge.
• While feeding a baby keep its head raised. Otherwise milk may enter into the ear cavity (through the small passage connecting the throat and ear). It can cause pain with swelling and ear discharge.
• Frequent nose and throat infection may cause ear pain, swelling and discharge. Consult a doctor immediately and take regular treatment.
• Recurrent pain in the ear and ear discharge can cause permanent deafness. Don’t neglect it. Use of oil or water only worsens the condition. Prevention is better than cure. Proper hygiene and care of the ears at the right time will help in preventing deafness. Better Hearing is Better Living. Dr. A. L. ADLAKHA is a reputed ENT Surgeon at ADLAKHA HOSPITAL, Amritsar, Punjab. INDIA

Group Therapy Analysis Through the Mind of a Stutterer

Group Therapy Analysis Through the Mind of a Stutterer

The rush hour begins and along with a thousand others I too got up early today.
Chasing my inane dreams, a constant battle between the forceful spirit that yearns for a radical change & the antagonistic mind ruminating all those possibilities had begun.
The palpitation seems to overpower and bluff your self-beliefs when you are about to enter a populous confined infrastructure. On the contrary, the clinic was much more of a homely atmosphere. With the emancipating culture of the premises, one is positively driven towards change.
Comparing it to the previous therapy session, luckily of which only a few glimpses exist in my memory, I could only see myself as an improvement from the former.
A kick start to the session with the alternative reading exercise, naïve to me, went on smoothly.(Thanking those articulation and ROS sessions/practices).
Surprisingly, I didn’t feel the dire need to chalk out my matter for every turn.
The fuchsias (newbies) had a heck of a ride with names. I hope remembering them is gonna be their forte now.
The short-movie Stutterer(an Oscar winner and well deserved)arranged in the class, was an emotionally intriguing piece of work.
While a stutterer would firstly relate to only the afflictions faced by him as described, the movie had a broader vision and message to be conveyed.
To learn from the courage of people who have more grave adversities in life and yet take an initiative against such profanities!
The next lesson was on Institutionalization and a reprise of therapy and speech basics.
Dr. Sajiv has always been an active philanthropist and mentor on his ideas about institutionalizing his therapy methods for the betterment of the masses.
He gave us a detailed insight on the problems to be addressed, people to be involved, changes to be made and his course of action.
The entire discussion driven by Sir involved active participation by all individuals inviting suggestions & viewpoints.
Contributing to the concluding individuals were asked to give a brief summary of the above.
The idea was to gather what parts/which moments had a deeper impact on each person. In a way, it summarized the beautiful and thought provoking day of today.
Another brick in the wall today!
Another forward step on the road to fluency! - by Aseem Bhaskar

Make That Call!

Make That Call!

Many people, whether they have a stammer or not, can have difficulty talking on the telephone. Using the telephone can cause a great deal of anguish especially for people who stammer because in phone the basic medium of communication is speech and people learn to cope with it in their own way.
If you have a particular problem of Telephone Communication then you may find the following practical suggestions helpful. DO NOT AVOID
Do not keep putting off the call you need to make. That call will only become even more difficult and stressful. The fear of stammering on the phone may be so much that to initiate a call may be a herculean task. Avoidance is not a solution.
Face the fear on the face of it. ASSESSMENT
Practice should help you to feel happier about using the telephone. If possible observe yourself in the mirror while talking on the phone. Watching yourself in the mirror while phoning can be helpful as you will be able to see where the tension lies on our face and other parts of body. If you do start to block, then stammer openly but gently and easily. Try not to force the words out and most importantly remember to speak slowly. Do not worry too much about the silences, they occur in all conversations. Concentrate on what you have to say, rather than worry about any blocks. Your purpose is to communicate, whether you have a stammer or not. Pay attention to your fluent speech. Many people who stammer forget about their times of fluency and dwell most of the time on the stammering. Savor your fluency, make other calls when feeling more fluent, strike while the iron is hot. Fluent speech breeds confidence and confidence breeds fluent speech.
Do not hold the phone tight. Remember to grip the phone with the tip of the fingers and thumb instead of using the whole hand to hold. This will help you to ease out any tension. Tight closure of the fist while holding the phone compounds the problem and leads to dis-fluency.
At home record your telephone conversations if you can. Note your speech carefully, especially the speed and the lead up to any block. Try to learn from each recording, and prepare a strategy for the next call. RECEIVING CALLS
This is the area over which you have least control. However, even here you can part way to easing some of the pressure you may feel. Always answer the call in your own time. Don’t rush to attend. Instead of getting afraid of blocks start enjoying the pauses. Use short sentences and give pauses, feel the silence and use the correct articulation. Once you have started practicing this exercise then pauses will not create more stress in talking. Do not allow others presence to distract you. Don’t be afraid of initial silence on the phone if you struggle for your first word. DUAL TASK
Keep a pencil-paper near to your telephone. Scribbling along with speaking helps you to divert your attention from speech towards writing. Initially practice the hand and spoken words coordination for 3-4 days then slowly use the finger instead of pencil. The main aim is to engross the mind in dual task so that fear of block is not there. GENERAL ADVICE
Practice should help you to feel happier about using the telephone. Confront your fear of the telephone. Talk about what it is that you fear happening and what you can do about it. Openly discussing with the Speech Therapist will help you in finding the answers.
Try to be aware of the situations where you avoid using the telephone and gradually tackle these calls. Make the most of local calls (especially tele callers from call centers) for practice because you do not know them personally. Choose to use the telephone rather than write mail/letters. Try to be the person in your household who answers the telephone,
Finally practice, practice and practice.
Do not let that modern day piece of plastic dominate your life.
GIVE SOMEBODY A CALL NOW!

Mental Health & Depression

Mental Health & Depression

Mental health is an all- encompassing term that includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects our thought, emotions, and behavior. Our Mental health determines how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Bio-Psycho-Social factors contribute to mental health problems, these include: Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry Life experiences, such as trauma or abuse Family history of mental health problems Good mental health is characterized by a person’s ability to cope with and manage change and uncertainty feel, express and manage a range of positive and negative emotions, and to maintain good relationships with others. Mental health is a part of the overall well-being of a person and bringing this perspective to the fore the WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION has taken an initiative this year to celebrate the World Health Day on 7th April 2017 by talking about Depression. So let’s talk… We all have times when our mood is low, and we’re feeling sad or miserable about life. Usually, these feelings pass in due course. But if the feelings are interfering with your life and don’t go away after a couple of weeks, or if they come back over and over again for a few days at a time, it could be depression. When a person suffers from depression, it interferes with daily life and normal functioning. It can cause pain for both the person with depression and those who care about him or her. It is a real illness and not a sign of a person’s weakness or a character flaw. Sadness is only a small part of depression. Depression has many other symptoms, including physical ones. Some core symptoms are: Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, worthlessness, helplessness Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities Decreased energy, being “slowed down” Difficulty concentrating, and making decisions Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping Appetite and/or weight changes In many cases, depression can be triggered by an unwelcome, stressful or traumatic event. This could be loss of employment, the end of a relationship, loss of a loved one, major life changes, like changing job, moving house or getting married, being physically or sexually assaulted, being bullied or abused. Experiencing depression can make it hard to find the energy to after oneself. But taking an active role, and taking steps to help yourself cope with your experiences, can make a big difference to how you feel. It is a manageable condition. Managing depression requires a treatment plan, and a team of experts to put that plan to work. A small but important step towards well-being involves expressing oneself and talking about our mental health issues leading to a giant leap- ‘mental health’. Mental Illness is not a choice but recovery is! Let’s stop the stigma of mental health, it’s nothing to be ashamed of, Neither is talking about it. Let’s Talk! & Get Over It.

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