Stuttering & Cluttering
We integrate evidence-based fluency techniques with related areas, such as speech sound production, confident voice, breathstream management, reduction of communication anxiety, and professional presentation and social skills, to individualize our programs.
Continue reading for more information on stuttering and cluttering.
EXAMPLES OF GOAL STATEMENTS:
I will speak more fluently by reducing the frequency of stuttering occurrences
I will reduce physical tension and struggle associated with an intense stutter and will stutter in an easy and free way
I will feel more confident speaking with others and will approach situations and word choices that I have, in the past, avoided
I will address and challenge unhelpful thoughts, feelings, attitudes and beliefs related to stuttering/cluttering
I will develop and maintain an appropriate and natural feeling rate of speech that is reflective of my own communicative style
Stuttering is a speech disorder that affects speech-motor coordination and results in a disruption of forward flowing speech.
Each person who stutters is likely to experience the characteristics of stuttering differently. In our work with adults and teenagers, we address three major stuttering areas.
The Core Behaviours of Stuttering
Repetitions of sounds, syllables, words, phrases
This component is addressed through learning and application of fluency shaping, stuttering modification, respiratory-phonatory coordination, and relaxation techniques.
The Secondary Behaviours of Stuttering
These behaviours are often referred to as "struggle" behaviours and happen as a response to managing the core dysfluency. Some common examples include:
Substituting desired vocabulary or rephrasing sentences to avoid a potential disfluency
Using filler words or starters (um, like, so)
Avoiding situations that are fearful, such as attending social events, asking questions or answering the phone
Pretending not to know answers to avoid a potential disfluency
Physical movements of the body or head (e.g. blinking, grimacing)
Changes in breathing patterns
Using a quiet and timid voice
Negative Feelings, Attitudes and Beliefs
Many adults who stutter have developed unhelpful beliefs that lead to restrictions in life participation. An example of an unhelpful belief could be, "If I stutter in this moment, this person will think less of me". Many commonly express feeling less confidence, embarassed and restricted.
Our clinicians work to address secondary behaviours and unhelpful beliefs and feelings through mindfulness, relaxation, cognitive behavioural therapy, and desensitization and approach strategies.
Once we achieve our target (easy, free-flowing speech) in a small capacity, we advance to more challenging levels in a systematic and individualized way, fostering independence and confidence in navigating moments of stuttering.
Cluttering is a speech disorder resulting in the forward flow of speech. People who clutter are frequently misunderstood by their listeners.
Most commonly, cluttering is characterized by a fast rate of speech, but people to clutter may also experience some or most of the following:
Disorganized flow of language in conversation
Better performance when under pressure
Excessive interjections and revisions of speech
Speech that sounds jerky, irregular, as in "spurts"
Collapsing long words
Distractibility or difficulty maintaining focus
Reduced self-awareness or self monitoring