Speech Therapy Services

Fluency Disorders

What is a fluency disorder?

When people speak, it is normal to have a moment where something does not come out easily, you use the word “uh”, or to occasionally repeat a sound or word. It is not normal if these disruptions prevent you from expressing your thoughts with others. Fluency disorders are more commonly known as stuttering.

How would I distinguish it from normal disfluencies?

  • Repetitions of words
  • Holding out sounds for a few seconds more than normal.
  • You may notice “blocks” in speech. A “block” is a moment of disfluency when a person tries to say something but the words “get stuck” and will not come out. You may notice a grimace when seeing a block.

How do I prepare for a fluency evaluation, and what does therapy look like?

The therapist will likely collect a “speech sample” in which the child or adult is asked to describe a picture or tell her about a certain event or activity. The therapist will analyze the sample and determine which strategies will be most helpful in making it easier for the person to speak clearly. In therapy, the clinician will demonstrate these strategies, and the patient will practice them during a variety of activities (Ex. Reading, conversation, phone calls, talking to family/friends, etc.).

Resources

For more information on fluency disorders please see The Stuttering Foundation website.

Source

Information taken from: Assessment in Speech-Language Pathology, A Resource Manual, 4th Edition. Kenneth G. Shipley