Stuttering: Fluency Shaping

Last week we introduced the topic of different approaches to stuttering therapy, focusing on how counseling and working on confidence in speech, with or without a stutter, is often a key component. Today, we’ll focus on a different aspect of stuttering therapy: fluency shaping.

Fluency shaping is a type of stuttering therapy that aims to modify the way a person speaks. The therapy doesn’t only focus on changing speech in the moment of stuttering, but rather changing the way a person speaks on the whole to help lessen the frequency and severity of stuttering. There are several different aspects of speech that can be addressed in fluency shaping: breathing, articulation and phonation, and the coordination of these three tasks. The speech-language pathologist will typically instruct the client in specific techniques, for example, stretching sounds and syllables in a word to various lengths during speech. Another common type of fluency shaping is easy phonatory onset, in which the client is taught to ease into words with gentle voicing to lessen tension. Soft contact, a technique in which the physical contact between the lips teeth and tongue is softened, is another approach to reducing tension.

Although many speech therapists find fluency shaping effective, it’s typically combined with other aspects of therapy as well, including counseling and stuttering modification—an approach that we’ll discuss more in depth next week.

Do you have personal experience with fluency issues? Share your story below in the comments section.

Do you think that you or someone you know may benefit from the services of a speech-language pathologist? Contact Speech Associates of New York at 917-841-2965 or visit us on the web at We’ll pair you with one of our trained and certified speech-language pathologists who can provide in-home therapy to help address your speech, language, and communication needs.


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