Stuttering is a physical communication disorder that affects the fluency and flow of speech. No one is completely stutter free – everyone at some point produces general disfluencies in their speech but people who stutter have disfluencies that impact their communication and daily activities.
Stuttering may be characterised by:
- repeating sounds (p-p-puppy), syllables (da-da-daddy), words (can-can-can) or phrases (and-I-went, and-I-went); and / or
- stretching out sounds or parts of a word (aaaaand); and / or
- an absence of sound when trying to speak (called blocking).
Other stuttering behaviours may also be present for example blinking, head or arm movements, changes with breathing or “filler” words (I’d like an um-and-and-and-yeah apple).
There are a number of programs used to treat stuttering but Canberra Speech Therapy only offers evidence-based treatments to assess and manage all our clients’ stuttering.
Early intervention is recommended for children as this is the best time to reduce stuttering. Currently, The Lidcombe stuttering therapy program has the strongest research evidence for children under the age of 6 years. This program also has research to support its use with primary school age children.
For adolescents and adults, research has found the use of prolonged or smooth speech techniques to have positive results in reducing and managing stuttering. Addressing anxiety that may also accompany stuttering is also recommended.
Contact us to find out more information about our services or to book in for an initial assessment.