Many young children can be difficult to understand: fast, excitable speech combined with a developing grasp of the language can make childhood speech far less clear than adult speech. But for some children, speech disorders can take this lack of clarity to a different level, impacting academic and social development. One disorder that often subtly, but significantly, can impact a child’s speech is cluttering.
Cluttering can be a subtle speech disorder, so it is often overlooked. A clutterer’s speech is typically produced with short, rapid rushes of speech, separated by pauses. These pauses may seem oddly placed, and either shorter or longer than you would expect for the situation. A clutterer will also pepper their speech with revisions and interjections, almost as if they are interrupting themselves. Sometimes, there will also be an accompanying language issue, with the speaker often seeming unsure of exactly how to get their message across.
Because cluttering can be subtle, often children don’t get the help they need early on. This can cause issues in school and with friends, and can ultimately damage a child’s confidence. A speech-language pathologist can help a clutterer improve their speech significantly. Speech therapy can target the specific personal patterns of each clutterer, evaluating their strengths and weaknesses and using these to improve clarity. The speech therapist will help the child to develop strategies for reorganizing their speech patterns, and give them exercises to help introduce their improved speech into their day-to-day lives. With intervention by a trained speech-language pathologist, clutterers can often improve their fluency and learn to produce fully intelligible speech.
Do you know a child who clutters? What techniques have they used to improve their clarity? Share your story in the comments section below!
For information on our New York based Speech-Language Pathology services, please call Speech Associates of New York today at (212) 308-7725 or visit our website at http://www.speechassociatesofny.com and find out how our team of professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists can help!
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