Child In Speech Therapy

FLUENCY THERAPY

Increasing speech intelligibility

What is a Fluency Disorder?

"A fluency disorder is an interruption in the flow of speaking characterized by atypical rate, rhythm, and disfluencies (e.g., repetitions of sounds, syllables, words, and phrases; sound prolongations; and blocks), which may also be accompanied by excessive tension, speaking avoidance, struggle behaviors, and secondary mannerisms."

   - American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

Types of Fluency Disorders

  • Stuttering

"Stuttering, the most common fluency disorder, is an interruption in the flow of speaking characterized by specific types of disfluencies, including repetitions of sounds, syllables, and monosyllabic words (e.g., “Look at the b-b-baby,” “Let’s go out-out-out”); prolongations of consonants when it isn’t for emphasis (e.g., “Ssssssssometimes we stay home”); and blocks (i.e., inaudible or silent fixation or inability to initiate sounds).


These disfluencies can affect the rate and rhythm of speech and may be accompanied by negative reactions to speaking such as avoidance behaviors (i.e., avoidance of sounds, words, people, or situations that involve speaking), escape behaviors, such as secondary mannerisms (e.g., eye blinking and head nodding or other movements of the extremities, body, or face); and physical tension."

- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

  • Cluttering

"Characterized by a perceived rapid and/or irregular speech rate, atypical pauses, maze behaviors, pragmatic issues, decreased awareness of fluency problems or moments of disfluency, excessive disfluencies, collapsing or omitting syllables, and language formulation issues, which result in breakdowns in speech clarity and/or fluency (St. Louis & Schulte, 2011; van Zaalen-Opt Hof & Reichel, 2014). Individuals may exhibit pure cluttering or cluttering with stuttering (van Zaalen-Op’t Hof et al., 2009).

Breakdowns in fluency and clarity can result from atypical pauses within sentences that are not expected syntactically (e.g., “I will go to the / store and buy apples”; St. Louis & Schulte, 2011), deletion and/or collapsing of syllables (e.g., “I wanwatevision”), excessive levels of typical disfluencies (e.g., revisions, interjections), maze behaviors or frequent topic shifting (e.g., “I need to go to...I mean I’m out of cheese. I ran out of cheese and bread the other day while making sandwiches and now I’m out so I need to go to the store”), and/or, omission of word endings (e.g., “Turn the televisoff”)."

- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)