Stuttering, also called disfluency, affects the fluency of speech. It is characterized by disruptions in the production of speech sounds. This is different from the brief tension-free disfluencies that are common in most people’s spontaneous speech. For example, most people repeat words or phrases periodically, or they interject occasional fillers like “uh” or “um”. Disfluencies only become stuttering when they are so prolonged or occur so frequently that they impede communication.
What are the signs and symptons of stuttering? Stuttered speech is usually characterized by numerous repetitions of words or parts of words as well as prolongations of speech sounds. Stuttered speech may also become completely stopped or blocked; the mouth is positioned to say a sound, but no sound is produced. Interjections like “uh” and “um” can also be classified as stuttering when they occur so often that they interfere with the listener’s understanding.
How Can We Help?
The specialists at Jodie K. Schuller & Associates are professional speech and language therapists, many with over 25 years of experience in communicative disorders. Licensed by the state of California as speech-language pathologists, our therapists have also completed advanced training in specific techniques to enhance oral and written communication. Therapists have been trained to help children with social challenges using Michele Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking Curriculum. To help those with delayed speech development, therapists have taken advanced training in the Talk Tools approach to oral motor therapy and the Cycles approach to phonology. Having attended the Childhood Apraxia (CASANA) Conference, therapists have been trained to use the Kaufman, Strand and Prompt methodologies, among others, to help those with apraxia of speech. Therapists have studied the various methodologies recommended to treat children on the autism spectrum including PECS and Floortime. They are equipped to help nonverbal children using American Sign Language (ASL) and Alternative and Augmentative (AAC) devices. To facilitate the development of reading and written language development, therapists have attended training programs from coast to coast including post-graduate courses offered by the Landmark School of Education, the Wilson Reading System (based on Orton Gillingham) and the complete range of programs developed by Lindamood Bell including LIPS, Visualizing and Verbalizing, On Cloud 9 Math and Seeing Stars. Therapists have also been certified by the International Association of Orofacial Myology (IAOM) to diagnose and treat breathing and swallowing problems related to unhealthy oral resting postures, sucking habits and tongue thrust.