What are fluency disorders?

Fluency disorders affect the natural flow of speech. The best known fluency disorder is stuttering. It begins during childhood and, in some cases, persists throughout life. The disorder is characterized by disruptions in the production of speech sounds.

Stuttered speech often includes repetitions of parts of words or whole words, as well as prolongations of speech sounds. At times, the flow of speech may become completely stopped or blocked. Some speakers who stutter exhibit excessive physical tension in the speech musculature.

Another type of fluency disorder is cluttering. This is identified by very fast and slurred speech with reduced intelligibility. Other disfluencies might have a neurological psychological origin.

Professor Vanryckeghem talks about services available at UCF’s Communication Disorders Clinic for people who stutter. For more information, email ucfcommclinic@ucf.edu or call 407-882-0468.

What is the evaluation procedure?

The evaluation consists of two components. During the first evaluation, the speech-language pathologist administers a number of self-report tests (questionnaires). The second evaluation consists of obtaining different speech samples that allow the clinician to determine the number and types of dysfluencies (breaks or interruptions in speech flow), as well as the ways in which the speaker reacts to and copes with the speech disorder. An interview follows the speech tasks.

Please provide us with any reports you have from previous speech and/or language evaluation or treatment. This allows us to determine if and what additional assessments need to be completed. In addition, you may send any relevant medical or psychological reports, IEP school records, etc. The diagnostic decisions made subsequently lead to a recommendation for treatment, if warranted.

What type of treatment do we provide?

Stuttering is a complex disorder. A multi-modal approach is used to bring about behavioral changes needed to achieve improvement that will be maintained with continued practice.

The speaker will be engaged in activities designed to help “demystify” stuttering. He/she will learn to identify personal behaviors, difficult speaking situations, and attitudes and emotions associated with stuttering. Incorporated into the program are activities to modify the stuttering and enhance fluency. Specific emphasis is placed on carry-over from clinic to real-life experiences as well as maintenance of fluency.

Hear from our clients and their families

A UCF student discusses stuttering and his therapeutic success.

Note: “www.ucfspeechlanguagetherapy.com” has been changed to healthprofessions.ucf.edu/cdclinic.