It is common for most of us to experience disfluenices while speaking (e.g., ‘um,um’,   ‘I I I…’), but when the frequency and severity of these interruptions interferes  with effective communication it becomes stuttering.  Difficult to define, it was described early on as ‘… what the person who stutters does to avoid stuttering ‘ (Wendell Johnson, 1946).   More recently, it has been defined as an interruption in the forward flow of speech.    

While there is no known cause for stuttering, Latest research indicates that while it is neurological in nature it can be compounded by other environmental, communicative and psychological factors.    Unfortunately, there is a lot of shame associated with stuttering.  One in a hundred people stutter, yet it is very rare for a person who stutters to meet another person who stutters.    There is a tendency to hide stuttering by switching words or speaking very little.   Therefore, treatment goals include not only techniques to promote fluent speech but also strategies to develop a healthy attitude towards speech.   

Connections can help!  We evaluate and treat stuttering, with staff members who have sought advanced training in the latest research-based approaches to evaluate and treat stuttering.  A stuttering evaluation includes assessing overall communication skills (e.g., language, sound errors, speech fluency and attitude toward speech).   

Preschool (ages 3 – 6) stuttering therapy begins with a basic goal:  elimination of the stuttering.  Research shows that 80% of preschoolers will outgrow their stuttering, though it does not clearly discern who will outgrow it and who will not.  Therapy includes family training sessions to provide parents with strategies to facilitate fluent speech in real world situations.   One-on-one sessions with the child focus on fluency enhancing techniques.   

For those who continue to stutter, the goal is to effectively manage their stuttering.  We can help identify tools not only to modify stuttering but also to discern when use of those tools is most appropriate.   Therapy includes addressing environmental and psychological factors.