Written by: Tara Gray, M.A., CCC-SLP
There are two types of fluency disorders that impact children: stuttering and cluttering. Parenting children who stutter has been covered previously, here.
While stuttering has been covered, we still have not touched on cluttering. Cluttering is a type of fluency disorder that can occur both in children and adults alike. People who clutter are often described as “fast talkers,” but the speed of their speaking can be fast or follow irregular speed patterns. Clutters also often delete parts of words or change the stress patterns or words when talking. This fluency disorder can also result in disorganized speech. People who clutter can have any combination of these factors which all impact their ability to be understood by others. Below are some examples of these cluttering behaviors.
Examples of Cluttering Behaviors
Deleting parts of words:
- An example of this might be someone who says: “Thtotheachyesday” to express that “Theo went to the beach yesterday.”
Unexpected pauses during speech:
- Imagine someone says: “There’s no way you went to the mall yesterday and I didn’t see you!” versus “There’s no…way you went to the…mall yesterday and I didn’t see…you!”
Changing the stress patterns of words:
- For example, saying “emphasis” instead of emphasis, “watermelon” instead of watermelon, or “super” instead of “super.”
Cluttering and Speech Therapy
But how does cluttering relate to speech therapy? Just like other fluency disorders, people who clutter can benefit from speech therapy with a clinician knowledgeable in the treatment of fluency disorders. If you have concerns about a child who you think may clutter, we have clinicians here at Small Talk who are knowledgeable in this area. We can evaluate your child to determine if they have any type of fluency disorder and then develop goals to provide treatment for their specific disorder.
The Stuttering Foundation is an organization for people with fluency disorders. Their website has some resources and additional information about cluttering.