A fluency disorder is a “speech disorder” characterized by disruptions in smoothness, rhythm, and continuity of sounds, syllables, words or syntactic language units during speaking. Disfluencies in speech are more commonly referred to as stuttering. The most common Disfluencies include prolongations, repetitions, and blocks. The individual’s rate of speech, as well as the frequency and duration of their disfluencies are assessed.
The therapy process then focuses on reduction and/or control of these disruptions. Each individual has attitudes toward their speech disfluencies that are discussed and evaluated as part of the therapy process. The goal is to help the individual manage and/or control their speech to gain fluency. Secondary characteristics during speaking are also addressed to reduce or eliminate their occurrence.
Some identified characteristics may be tongue clicks, loss of eye contact, facial grimaces, hand movements, lip tension, jaw tension and other body and facial movements. All aspects of the disorder are carefully addressed in therapy and in the evaluation process. For young children the Lidcombe program is the preferred therapy at West Coast Speech Language Pathology.