Questions Raised About Cluttering Definition

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Re: question for david and ken and anyone else

From: Ken St. Louis
Date: 19 Apr 2010
Time: 16:59:43 -0500
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Kathy, Thanks for the tough question. <smile> It's funny how an attempt to clean things up may bring up unintended meanings. When I wrote that a person does not have to clutter all the time, or even most of the time to be defined (diagnosed) as cluttering, I thought I was helping out the situation that often occurs when a person normalizes right in front of our eyes. Now, apparently, you (and a few others) have nailed me on the other side of the issue. How INFREQUENTLY must a person clutter in order to be defined (diagnosed) as cluttering. I don't know, but like cases of infrequent stuttering, when it occurs clearly and unambiguously a few times, we call it stuttering. I submit we can do the same for cluttering. Of course there will be cases when we really don't know. I would prefer to not label such persons at all. I am not persuaded that the invocation of a "spectrum" for the ambiguous cases helps very much. I may not feel very stuffed up or achy, but I still have a cold. I may only occasionally suffer from a back spasm that comes seemingly from nowhere, but I still am in the group of people who have "back problems." This is the logical problem. Two practical and potentially serious clinical problems could result when someone is placed on the "spectrum" as a "cop out." First, the expert may wish not to be quite the bearer of bad tidings and thus fail to label someone who should be labeled (and treated). How many times have we seen this in stuttering: a person labeled as "disfluent" rather than "stuttering?" because the former sounds better. Second, the expert who really does not know may potentially label someone as "almost cluttering" who really should not have to deal at all with the professional suspicion that there is a problem. Ken

Last changed: 10/10/13