Questions Raised About Cluttering Definition

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Re: How can you tell the difference between cluttering and stutte...

From: Ken St. Louis
Date: 20 Apr 2010
Time: 08:56:15 -0500
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In 1998, I wrote the following as an introduction to a piece on cluttering in the Encyclopedia of Special Education: "The word, “cluttering,” sounds more like an untidy personality trait than the name of a disorder. Even so, cluttering is a speech disorder—or more specifically a “fluency disorder”—related to and rhyming with “stuttering.” Importantly, the two disorders are not the same. Cluttering is characterized by excessive breaks in the normal flow of speech that seem to result from disorganized speech planning, talking too fast or in a jerky fashion, or simply being unsure of what one wants to say. By contrast, the person who stutters typically knows exactly what he or she wants to say but is temporarily unable to say it, thus repeating or prolonging sounds or syllables, blocking, and/or using accessory (secondary) devices (e.g., eye-blinks, synonyms for difficult words, or abnormal facial postures) (Daly, 1996; St. Louis & Myers, 1997). Because cluttering is not well known, there is much ambiguity about the disorder. For example, the speech of many who clutter is often described by themselves or others as "stuttering." Moreover, cluttering frequently coexists with stuttering. And some authorities question whether or not a reliable definition of cluttering has been established (e.g., Curlee, 1996)." Hopefully, it's a start for you. Thanks for participating. Ken

Last changed: 10/10/13