About 5% of children in the Netherlands stutter. That’s one child in every classroom. According to Speech Pathology Australia, it occurs in 8.5% of 3-year-olds here. It lowers self-confidence and makes social situations arduous.
Vodafone, DDB & Tribal Amsterdam, the Dutch Stuttering Federation (NFS) and stutter ambassador singer, Sanne Hans, have found a way to help children speak more fluently. With exercises based on rap.
The exercises are housed in an app called Get The Flow. Its objective is to train speech in a fun way and boost children’s self-confidence, as rapping is a good way to support speech fluency. Rap provides guidance, a rhythm, a flow and increases vocabulary, which really helps children who stutter. At the same time, the app lets children connect, as they can duo-rap together. This lessens the feeling that they are the only one who stutters.
Famous Dutch rappers including Ali B, Broederliefde, Sevn Alias, Kevin, Soufiane Eddyani and Jairzinho contributed to the app. Special rap lyrics were written that make use of tongue twisters, vowels, consonants and alliterations that are hard to pronounce for children who stutter.
“We are very happy about this initiative. Especially for these kids, for whom self-confidence is an important issue, there isn’t a lot of fun training material,” stated speech therapist, Anja van der Vlist, at Dutch Stuttering Federation (NFS).
“Rapping helps you focus on speech flow which makes talking easier. Rhythm is also an important element that can improve fluency. We hope that this app helps children to speak more easily. This is a fun and playful way to practice your speech skills.”
Ed van Bennekom, creative director at DDB & Tribal Worldwide, Amsterdam, added, “It’s great to see that brands can add real value to people’s lives. In the case of Vodafone, a telecommunications brand that helps children who stutter to communicate better. It’s magical to witness that when children start rapping, their stutter disappears. We think that using something kids enjoy, like rap as a tool to battle stuttering will really motivate these kids to practice their speech skills more often and reduce their stutter.”
Watch Mitchell, a 12 year-old boy from Volendam, conquer stuttering through rap. [Warning: tearjerker]. Mitch was the first to use the app.
Get The Flow reinforces Powerful Connections, Vodafone’s brand engagement programme, in which the network provider shows how technology connects people and changes their lives for the better.
Get The Flow is available for Android and free to download.