A fluency disorder affects the natural flow of speech, mostly known as stuttering.

Stuttering includes:

  • Primary behaviors such as repetitions of sounds, syllables, or whole words and prolongations of speech sounds.
  • Secondary behaviors such as eye blinking, avoidance of eye contact, physical tension in the speech musculature.

Another type of fluency disorder is cluttering which is characterized by a fast rate with slurred speech and reduced intelligibility.

The signs of a fluency disorder can be made worse by emotions such as stress or anxiety.

Fluency disorders include a combination of factors such as neurological, psychological, social, and linguistic.

Speech and language pathologists (SLPs) will:

  • Diagnose a fluency disorder by taking a detailed medical history and listening to different speech samples in variety of contexts.
  • Perform an oral-motor exam and assess the speech and language skills.
  • Discuss with family, caregivers, and teachers about the disorder and how to help.
  • Use a multi-model approach to help the child speak more fluently.