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.

How can UCF help?

The Communication Disorders Clinic (CDC) at the University of Central Florida offers services designed to assist speakers who may exhibit stuttering, cluttering, or other fluency disorders. Our Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) use self-report tests as well as observational data to aid in making appropriate diagnostic decisions. These diagnostic decisions lead to the recommendation of a treatment program that is unique for each individual. Both clinicians have specialized credentials and one is an ASHA Board Recognized Certified Fluency Specialist.

What is the evaluation procedure?

The evaluation consists of two components.  During the first evaluation, the SLP will administer a number of self-report tests (questionnaires).  The second evaluation will consist of obtaining different speech samples that will allow the clinician to determine the number and types of dysfluencies (breaks interruptions in speech flow) as well as the ways in which the speaker reacts to, and copes with the speech disorder.  An interview will follow the speech tasks.   If you have received a speech and/or language evaluation or treatment in the past, it would be helpful to provide us with any report you might have.  This will allow 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 that are 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, as well as 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.

Resources

Orlando Chapter of the National Stuttering Association
Martine Vanryckeghem, professor of communication sciences and disorders at UCF, is the chair of the National Stuttering Association Orlando Chapter support group. The group meets every second Wednesday of the month in the Communication Disorders Clinic Conference Room in the Innovative Center, Suite 500, from 7 to 8/8:30 p.m.

National Stuttering Association
www.nsastutter.org

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