Speech Fluency Disorders

What is Speech Fluency?

Speech fluency refers to the smoothness of sounds, syllables, words, and phrases during speech production. Disfluency in spontaneous speech can be experienced occasionally by individuals in any age group and is considered normal. 

Fluency Disorders

A fluency disorder disrupts the normal flow of speech. Behaviors may include prolongation and/or repetition of sounds, syllables, or whole words. People with fluency disorders also frequently experience psychological, emotional, social, and functional impacts resulting from their communication disorder (Tichenor & Yaruss, 2019a).

Types of Fluency Disorders

Stuttering

Stuttering is a speech disorder that disrupts the normal flow of speech and can cause tension and negative feelings about talking. 

Signs and Symptoms 

  • Part-word repetitions – “I w-w-w-want a drink.”
  • Prolonged sounds – “Ssssssssam is nice.”
  • Blocks or stops – “I want a (pause) cookie.”
  • One-syllable word repetitions – “Go-go-go away.”

For more info: https://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/stuttering/\

Cluttering

Cluttering is a disorder of both speech and language processing that frequently results in rapid, dysrhythmic, sporadic, unorganized, and often unintelligible speech (Daly, 1993).

Speech Disfluencies in Children

Developmental stuttering is common for children ages 2 to 5 years, they can experience typical disfluencies as they develop their communication skills, which might include repetition of whole words or phrases. 

If disfluencies in speech are impacting your child’s daily life, an evaluation with a speech pathologist might be recommending.

What is the evaluation procedure?

We provide a comprehensive fluency evaluation consisting of a detailed parent interview followed by a formal and informal assessment of the stutter. The speech therapist will determine stuttering severity, characteristics of the stutter, as well as assess other behaviors that may be associated with the stutter such as physical tension, secondary characteristics, negative reactions, or avoidance behaviors associated with the stutter. The results of the evaluation will assist with developing a treatment plan that is specific to the client and their needs. 

What type of treatment do we provide?

We provide an individualized and holistic approach when providing speech therapy for a stutter. Treatment focuses on providing strategies to facilitate fluency as well as targeting the emotional response that is commonly associated with stuttering. 

The four main approaches used in therapy are Fluency Shaping, Stuttering Modification, Avoidance Reduction Therapy for Stuttering, and Acceptance Commitment Therapy. Often these therapy approaches are combined to create an individualized treatment plan based on the specific needs of each client.