No-Nonsense Guide to Fluency Disorders

Jun 15, 2020 | Blog

So far we have learned about speech sound disorders and language disorders. If you haven’t already read those posts, go check them out! Today we are going to learn all about fluency disorders.

What is Fluency?

Fluency is the aspect of speech production that refers to continuity, smoothness, rate and effort. There are two types of fluency disorders: stuttering and cluttering. Stuttering is the most common type of fluency disorder and the one we will focus on today!

Types of Stuttering

As you read this article, you might be thinking, “don’t we all stutter sometimes?” It’s true that all children might experience different types of speech disfluencies. Here are some so-called “normal” types of disfluencies:

  • Phrase repetitions: “I want- I want that”
  • Revisions: “I want- I need that”
  • Interjections: “um,” “er”

So yes, you might catch your child, or yourself, saying “um” or repeating phrases here an there. Stuttering, on the other hand, is when there is an interruption in the flow of speaking that can affect the rhythm and rate of speech. Here are some examples:

  • Repetitions of sounds: “li-li-like this”
  • Prolongations: “llllike this”
  • Blocks: l—ike this”

I believe it’s important to note that a stuttering disorder is the entire experience a child might have due to the stuttering behaviors. This includes feelings and emotions or tension the child might experience because of stuttering.

Myths about Stuttering

There are TONS of misconceptions about stuttering. Check out the chart below, I’m sure you’ve heard one (or all) of these before.

Stuttering Myths

My Role As An SLP

Treatment for stuttering looks a little different than therapy for articulation or language disorders. My job as an SLP is to guide your child to communicate to the best of their ability and this may mean trying multiple approaches. Stuttering is complex and a one-size-fits-all approach won’t lead to success. Every child is different and therapy should be tailored to their specific needs.

Learning to handle a stuttering problem can be a long-term process, and children who stutter must e allowed to take their own time and follow their own courses.

School Age Stuttering: A Practical Guide by Nina Reardon-Reeves, MS & J. Scott Yaruss, PhD


  • School-Age Stuttering TherapyA Practical Guide by Nina Reardon-Reeves, MS and J. Scott Yarus, PhD.
  • Myths About Stuttering

I’d love to hear your comments below! Or send a message straight to my inbox.

Alyssa Dudley, MS CCC-SLP

Owner, The Child Inspired