Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

ACCENT MODIFICATION

 

What is accent modification?

 

Accent modification is a way of ADDING an additional pattern of pronunciation to your current way of speaking so that you are more easily understood by native speakers of the language or dialect.  

 

 

How does accent modification work?

 

A native speaker trained in pronunciation and prosody designs a systematic plan for you targeting your specific sound differences and then trains you on these targets in increasingly difficult contexts until they become an automatic pattern for your speech muscles.  

 

 

How much do accent modification cost?

 

Accent modification rates vary by who provides them and where you are. You can view our rates by clicking here on the "Store" page of our website or the "Accent Modification" page.  

 

 

Who can provide accent modification services?

 

Services can be provided by coaches with a range of backgrounds including ESL teachers, Linguists, Actors, Singers, and Speech-Language Pathologists. However, if there is also an underlying speech or language impairment, only Speech-Language Pathologists are qualified to identify and address both the clinical services and the elective services together.  

 

 

What is the price of an evaluation?

 

Our accent modification evaluations are built into the cost of our packages. At GRIFFINSPEECH℠, we include a detailed assessment of your speech pattern by a certified Speech-Language Pathologist as well as a written report for both pre-package and post-package results.  

 

 

How long does accent modification take?

Changing an ingrained speech pattern takes many weeks. The Compton method advocates at least 12 weeks in order to change at least 50% of accented phonemes. However, this method does not include training in intonation and prosody.  At GRIFFINSPEECH℠, we incorporate both the Compton method and intonation training. We recommend speakers of English as a second language start by committing to a 12-13 week program and extending from there if further change is desired. Native English speakers with regional accents who wish to acquire a more neutral accent may start with an 8 week program.

 

 

Will I lose my original accent?

The goal of accent modification is not to eliminate your current accent; it's to ADD a new one! You can always choose to "code switch" back to your original way of speaking depending on where you are and who you're talking to. For example, some people like to speak with their accent with friends and family in casual settings and use their new pronunciation in professional encounters.  

 

 

How were you trained to provide accent modification services?

As a Speech-Language Pathologist (Speech Therapist), I have a Master's degree in speech and hearing science. This means that I have extensively studied the sound system of English (phonemes) as well as how the brain, tongue, lips, teeth, and respiratory system (including your vocal folds) coordinate to produce speech. This allows me to give very specific instruction in how to change your pronunciation that professionals and other fields often cannot describe as specifically. Additionally, I was certified in the Compton Pronouncing-English as a Second Language method of accent modification and have studied the works of the ESL Rules program for intonation and prosody.  

 

 

Do you offer discounts, specials or promotional codes (promo codes)?

Our costs are not negotiable. We already offer a very competitive rate based on location, training, and expertise.  

 

 

How can I learn more about your accent modification services?

Visit our accent modification page by clicking here.  

 

Can I book online?

Yes! Actually, booking online is preferred as we do not have receptionist at this time. Online booking is available anytime. Click here to start your booking.  

 

 

 

 

 

SPEECH THERAPY

 

Am I too old for speech therapy?

You are never too old for speech therapy! Speech-Language Pathologists work with people throughout the lifespan from newborns (on feeding/swallowing issues) to geriatric (on speech, language, social skills, or swallowing impairments).  

 

 

How long does speech therapy take?

There's no short answer or way to tell you this for sure (anyone who claims to is not telling you the truth). That is because speech therapy is a personalized health care service. The duration necessary depends on many facto, including frequency, intensity, structural differences, motivation, and other health factors.  

 

 

What qualifies someone to provide speech therapy services?

Unlike accent modification which is an elective service given to adults without impairments, speech-language therapy is a health care service! Therefore, only licensed and certified Speech-Language Pathologists may provide these clinical services. To find a Speech-Language Pathologist in your area, visit the website for the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA).  

 

 

How does speech therapy work?

Speech (articulation, voice, stuttering, etc.), language (grammar, vocabulary, social skills, etc), feeding, or swallowing therapy begin with an evaluation from a certified Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP). You do not need a referral from your physician to get private-pay services. However, if you would like to use your health insurance to pay for these services, a doctor's order is recommended. GRIFFINSPEECH℠ does not provide feeding or swallowing therapy at this time. To find an SLP who does, please visit the ASHA Find a Pro website.  

 

After the evaluation, your SLP will design a customized treatment plan for you with both long term and short term goals. The nature of the goals and the treatment techniques will depend on personal factors as well as the difficulties identified in the evaluation. For information about how a specific type of treatment works, please contact me.  

 

 

Can I use health insurance to pay for these services?  

GRIFFINSPEECH℠ is in the process of becomming credentialed with health insurance carriers and only accepts private pay (cash, check, credit card, at this time).  

 

 

Can speech therapy work for me now if it didn't when I was a kid? 

Recent research and technology breakthroughs may work to your advantage in finally treating a persistent speech or language disorder. Barriers to the success during childhood also include:

 

Motivation

 

  • Did you really follow through on everything your SLP suggested you do for home practice)

  • Home programming is a key aspect of the therapy plan

Individual vs. group therapy models

  • Some people perform better with one-on-one intensive therapy

Generalist vs. Specialist

 

  • Many SLPs in the school setting are general practitioners required to have some knowledge about many many communication impairments. However, they are not allowed to refer out to specialists in the field because of legal reasons affecting schools.

  • As a private practitioner, if your communication needs fall outside of my expertise, I am hapy to refer you to an SLP who specializes in your area of need!

 

 

What is a lisp?

Many people falsely refer to all speech sound disorders as a "speech impediment" or "lisp." Within the field of speech language pathology, we do not use the former term at all. The preferred terms are "speech disorder" or "speech impairment." For SLPs, lisps refer to two very specific speech patterns only: the tongue protruding between the front teeth for /s/ and /z/ sounds so they sound more like a "th" ("thoup" for "soup), called a "frontal lisp" or air escaping out of the side of the mouth during /s/ and /z/ so they sound more like "sh" and may even have a slushy or wet sound ("shoup" for "soup"), called a "lateral lisp."

 

All other speech sound disorders that don't fit that description are not lisps. For example difficulty with the /r/ sound, ("wabbit" for "rabbit") is not a lisp. Disorders affecting speech include articulation impairment, phonological disorder, apraxia of speech, dysarthria, other motor speech disorders, etc. You must be evaluated by a certified speech-language pathologist (SLP) for a specific and accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.  

 

It is important that you receive an evaluation by an SLP in order to accurately diagnose the impairment and identify any underlying structural difficulties affecting your speech and overall health. Even if you have seen a doctor or other health care provider or specialist, they may have overlooked a key issue. SLPs are specifically trained to look for these factors and often identify features others may not have noted or may not have seen the importance of.  

 

 

What is the difference between speech and language?

 

Speech

Speech refers to how you sound. To put this in simplest terms, many Loony Toons and Disney characters exhibited speech impairments. Here are just a few examples of speech disorders:

  • Articulation/Phonology (pronunciation - e.g., Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird, or Sylvester the Cat)

  • Voice (vocal quality, including resonance, pitch, and loudness - e.g., Donald Duck or Micky Mouse)

  • Stuttering/Dysfluency (disruption in flow of speech - e.g., Porky Pig or Foghorn Leghorn)

 

Language

Language refers to overall communication, both in terms of your ability to understand others (receptive language) and get your own thoughts and ideas across (expressive language). If it helps you remember the difference, think, sign language is a language that does not rely on speech

 

Language includes:

  • Form (Grammar and sentence construction)

  • Content (Vocabulary and world knowledge)

  • Use (Pragmatics and social communication)

 

Communication breakdowns can occur an any of these areas as speech and language are both dependent on complex neurological systems. Speech also can be impacted by structural differences, including muscle functioning. There are countless disorders that can affect communication and countless different classifications of communication impairments that each indicate different treatment methodologies. Because of this, it is important that speech and language disorders are diagnosed by a trained qualified expert - a Speech-Language Pathologist.  

 

Do you offer voice therapy services for professional singers?

No, singers often have additional specifications that must be accounted for in therapy. As Autumn is not a trained singer, she works with clients who are also not professional singers. 

How much are your speech therapy services? 

Please see the store page for current pricing.

How much are your voice therapy services?

Please see the store page for current pricing.

Can I book online?

Yes! Actually, booking online is preferred as we do not have receptionist at this time. Online booking is available anytime. Click here to start your booking.