What is Fluency?

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What is fluency?

Fluency is the speech pathology term for stuttering.  When a person stutters, the flow of fluency of speech is interrupted.

Causes of stuttering

The causes of stuttering are unknown, but in most cases there is a genetic link.  While is not caused by trauma or anxiety, stuttering can impact a child’s confidence and cause social anxiety.

Types of stuttering

Stuttering can manifest in different ways, such as repeating sounds or syllables, prolonging sounds, or experiencing blocks or pauses during speech. It can also be accompanied by physical tension or struggle behaviors.  Examples include:

  • Repeating sounds, syllables, words or phrases e.g., “its a c-c–cat” or “I know, I know, I know that”
  • Pausing with no sounds, also called a block e.g., “It was…..nice”
  • Getting ‘stuck’ on a sound – also called a prolongation e.g., “I fffffffound it”
  • Facial or body movements e.g., grimacing and blinking.

Is stuttering is curable?

Stuttering is a complex speech disorder and while there is no cure, with the right treatment and support children are able to communicate effectively and go on to lead fulfilling lives.

When does stuttering start?

Stuttering usually starts at preschool age around 3 years old.  Sometimes children may gown out of stuttering without treatment, however from school age the chances of this happening naturally or even with therapy starts to decrease.

When to seek treatment

It is important to remember that if your child has been stuttering for more than 6 months or is starting school soon, it is recommended to book in for an assessment immediately. The best time to treat a stutter is in the preschool years, so it is ideal to have it investigated in this time period.

Treatment for stuttering typically involves working with a speech-language pathologist using various techniques and strategies to improve fluency and communication. Early intervention is recommended, so if you suspect your child may be having trouble with their fluency, contact us to arrange an assessment and to discuss treatment options.

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