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