Please contact Florida Speech if you would like to set up an appointment for a fluency
evaluation and/or treatment.
- Fluency is the smoothness with which sounds, words, and phrases
are put together verbally. Fluent speech should be void of hesitations,
extraneous pauses, or repetitions. Everyone is disfluent to a
slight degree, however disfluency becomes a problem when a speaker's
message is overtaken by the disfluencies, and listeners focus
on the speaker's sound and word production, versus the intended
message. Dysfluency is commonly known as "stuttering". Stuttering
is a disturbance in the normal flow of speech.
- Some common types of dysfluencies include:
- sound or syllable repetitions (i.e.: "t-t-t-t-toy", "sa-sa-sa-same", "abou-abou-about")
- word repetitions (i.e.: "I-I-I want to go", "he wants to-to-to play", "my mom is-is not home")
- phrase repetitions (i.e.: I want-I want-I want a snack")
- sound prolongations (i.e.: "Sssssssssssssam is my friend", "Mmmmmmmmy name is Mmmmmmmmelissa")
- silent prolongations (i.e.: a silent period where the lips are pursed and ready to produce the "b" sound for the name "Betty")
- Broken words:
- silent intervals within words (i.e.: "I am playing a g-(silent pause)-ame")
- sound or syllable interjections (i.e.: "I am uh going to the uh grocery store")
- word interjections (i.e.: "I want to well play")
- phrase interjections (i.e.: "I can you know-you know take care of it")
- excessively long pauses at inappropriate times (i.e.: "I want a Game Boy for [long pause] Christmas")
- changes to the words but retain the same message (i.e.: "I will take a cab-bus")
- Incomplete phrases:
- productions that suggest the speaker changed his or her mind on what to express (i.e.: "I am going to go-but let me tell you this")
- There may also be secondary characteristics noted with an individual
who stutters. These characteristics may include excessive eye blinking, head
jerking, fist clenching, and/or facial grimacing.
- Many children experience a normal period of dysfluency during the ages of 2-5. A child experiencing this may produce word
and phrase repetitions.
- A speech-language pathologist is the professional who is able to diagnose and effectively treat fluency disorders.
- Treatment of fluency disorders is dependant upon several factors, such as
the severity, the age of the individual, the presence or absence of secondary
characteristics, and the profession (or desired profession) of the individual.
Speech therapy for fluency disorders is not a "cure"; there is no "cure" for
fluency disorders. Treatment focuses on teaching the individual strategies
for fluency (such as breathing or relaxation techniques).
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