Are you struggling with speaking and wondering what’s going on?
Everyone experiences disruptions in the fluency of their speech sometimes.
An example would be if you’re someone who uses “uh” or “like” in the middle of your sentences while you’re forming your thoughts.
This is also called a filler word.
If you do this with a high frequency, or have other issues around forming words and saying certain sounds, that could mean you have a fluency disorder.
Fluency disorders like cluttering and stuttering might make your speech hard for others to follow, and in turn you may feel ashamed or embarrassed to speak.
If these barriers sound familiar, you should check out fluency disorders speech therapy.
There are strategies out there to assist you with your fluency disorder.
Let’s talk more about cluttering, fluency disorders, and how speech therapy can help you.
What Is A Fluency Disorder?
To understand what a fluency disorder is, first you have to know what fluency is.
Fluency is the amount of effort you have to put into your speech, which can affect the flow, rate, and smoothness of your verbal communication.
Everyone is, at times, “disfluent,” which means that everyone has habits that disrupt the fluency of our speech.
If you have a fluency disorder, these habits may be more extreme or regular, and cause you distress when speaking.
You might make atypical sounds or repeat syllables or phrases, and because of that you may avoid speaking because you feel embarrassed.
Fluency disorders are usually accompanied by behaviors that show you’re struggling or other mannerisms beyond just speech disfluency.
You may feel emotional and social setbacks as a result of this disfluency (which is also sometimes called nonfluency).
What Is Cluttering In Speech?
Cluttering is a fluency disorder that is defined by irregular or quick speech that results in some skipping and uneven patterns that you may not even be aware of when speaking.
Some characteristics of cluttering include:
- Uneven rate of speech
- Maze behaviors
- Pauses that aren’t typical
- Leaving out speech syllables
- Pragmatic or social issues
- Rapid speaking
- Collapsing speech syllables
- Concurrent disfluencies
- Language forming issues
- Lack of clarity of speech
Some people experience cluttering on its own, while others may have it coincide with other speech fluency disorders like stuttering.
It’s common for people who clutter to not always notice when these moments are happening, which could cause frustrating situations for you socially.
What Does A Clutter Sound Like?
We just described what cluttering is, but that doesn’t give the best idea of what it sounds like when it’s happening.
If you clutter you might pause in a part of a sentence that might be unexpected to those listening.
For example, you might say something like, “Today I will [pause] play soccer with friends,” with the pause in the middle of the sentence rather than at the end as expected.
Syllables in your speech might be left out entirely – saying “Iwansanwich” instead of “I want a sandwich.”
It’s especially common to drop the end of a word while speaking, saying something like, “I will go to the grocestore.”
While you’re speaking you may retrace what you’ve said a lot, revising or interjecting over your own words.
It may seem like your thoughts are skipping as you speak, which is called a “maze behavior.”
This means you’re shifting topics mid sentence, and your thoughts may seem disconnected to those listening to you.
Ultimately it’s interruptions in your speech that result in a lack of clarity for the people listening to you.
What Causes Cluttering In Speech?
There is no pinpointed cause of cluttering, as research has not progressed far enough to narrow this down, though some research suggests that it runs in families.
We’re not sure when cluttering usually starts, though most people are diagnosed at around the age of eight.
Though the causes of cluttering are unknown, it may occur alongside other disorders.
These disorders include learning disabilities, auditory processing disorders, and autism.
Tourette syndrome and ADHD can also co-occur with cluttering.
What Is The Difference Between Clutter And Stutter?
Stuttering is a fluency disorder that is most characterized by repetition of sounds and words.
A typical stutter might look like someone saying, “Can you pass the b – b – broccoli,” for example.
If you stutter you might also prolong certain syllables, for example drawing out the “s” sound when trying to say the word “snake” by saying “sssssnake.”
Stutters can also happen silently, as if you can’t start a word you’re trying to say, or involve repeating a word multiple times (like saying “let’s go to the park – park – park”).
This differs from cluttering which is more about having an irregular cadence to your sentences and mashing words and thoughts together.
How Can Speech Therapy For Cluttering Help?
If you have cluttering you may not notice the irregularities in your speech, which can make them difficult to address.
One of the best ways to address cluttering is to slow down and really consider your speech.
This isn’t something you have to undertake alone.
A speech therapist will be able to signal to you when to slow down and identify when you’re most cluttering your speech.
Your speech therapist will come up with a plan to address your specific difficulties and concerns and work with you to come up with strategies.
Book Your Appointment With Voz Speech Therapy Today
With the help of one of our speech therapists you could speak with a fluency you never thought possible.
You don’t have to feel at the mercy of your cluttering fluency disorder, because we’re here to help.
1331 H St NW Ste 200,
Washington, DC 20005
Voz Speech Therapy is a pediatric bilingual speech therapy clinic in Washington, DC that provides individualized services based on the specific needs of your or your child. Therapy sessions are provided in English or Spanish, depending on your child’s native language. Voz Speech Therapy es una clínica pediátrica bilingüe de terapia del habla en Washington, DC que brinda servicios individualizados según las necesidades específicas de usted o su hijo. Las sesiones de terapia se brindan en inglés o español, según el idioma nativo de su hijo.